I live in, essentially, the last affordable area in the city of Toronto. Lately - there has been a ton of press about our little 'hood by the lake. Technically, there are three parts of it - Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch - most people just lump it all as Mimico. Will and I are in the middle of it - in New Toronto. And let's put it this way - when I give directions to my house, I say turn left at the strip joint and drive into the lake. This about sums up the differing parts of my 'hood.
Toronto Life wrote about it. The National Post wrote about it. The Globe and Mail wrote about it. The articles are glowing about this gem by the lake. But the comments? Not so much.
Once people stop arguing about the boundaries of Mimico v New Toronto - the majority of the comments about the articles all boil down to ....'they keep saying it's up and coming but nothing ever changes'.
GOOD! Personally, I don't want it to change. Sure did I pass a hooker last Christmas as Will and I went to mail his letter to Santa? Yes, yes we did. But we also walk into our neighbourhood coffee shop and are greeted by hugs and hello's from everyone. Do I love that there is a line up outside of our liquor store everyday, fifteen minutes before it opens? No, I don't. I find it sad. But do I love that I can walk there? Absolutely. I can also walk to to a Shoppers, an incredible butcher, an amazing library, a beautiful waterfront skating trail and to my son's school.
Last night, lying in bed, I heard a man walking down the street, talking and swearing away to himself. I knew exactly who it was. He is a developmentally delayed man who takes the streetcar downtown every morning and who Will says 'hi' to when we walk by him. HE is part of our neighbourhood just like all the kids and families are where we live.
I don't want to live in the Beaches - it's lovely but man, is it BUSY. I don't want a Starbucks or Gap to open on the corner of Lakeshore and Islington. I love living in an culturally and income diverse area of the city. I know it will give my son a more realistic vision of what the world is actually like and give him a better understanding of it.
So for everyone out there waiting for our 'hood to change a bit more? Keep waiting. We're doing just fine as we are. Want to meet at The Kave on Friday - the sign says female AND male dancers!!!
**just a random night out in the 'bum and hooker fights - vomit puddled' area of Mimico (yes - god - New Toronto...whatever)**