“…and I believe that people, are better than they seem…..”
I know you don’t know me all that well, but I have been with you for as long as I can remember.
When I was a musically obsessed punk rock kid in my early teens, my mom took me to see you and I fell in love immediately. I remember so much about that trip. I remember that Blondie was playing at Ontario Place Forum and I got to go. I remember seeing so many other, older kids, making their way to the show too, some of then with mohawks, some in leather jackets. I knew if I could live there with you I would be in my glory.
I never got over you.
I remember countless trips taken throughout my life, for varying lengths, and some which I guess were technically too long to be legal. I decided you were my home away from home, and although I never ended up living there and circumstances being what they are, I haven’t been up to see you in too long, you are always in my heart. The way your skyline looks to me in the twilight sun when driving on the Gardiner Expressway just pass the CNE will always the my breath from me. It’s like driving into Oz.
I got to know you well Toronto, as well as any native, and what is a native to a city so welcoming to newcomers anyway?
I have been down your streets in bone chilling cold as well as sweltering heat. I have been in your white linen downtown restaurants and your bohemian College Ave coffee shops. I have purchases made in the “worlds biggest bookstore” as well as the U of T gift shop.
I have tried to bridge the distance between where I sit now and my second home by staying connected to media, I still listen to your radio, I read your paper and thanks to the internet your local TV, which sadly was front and center(centre?) today.
This one hurts.
Today, my Toronto joins Nice, Berlin, New York, London and more in the litany of cities that have been effected by this kind of horror.
Toronto, you endured horrific tragedy. How could this happen? 2 km of your most famous street scarred by such unspeakable cruelty and terror. Why THIS city? A city so much the example of civic inclusion. How could a crime like this happen in Toronto?
I guess it’s true, you can’t apply logic to madness, whatever motivated this man to perpetrate this atrocity will undoubtedly be discussed over and over in the coming hours and days. Whatever it turns out to be, please know that I am with you and I miss you. Please know that I am mourning with you, you did not deserve this, no city does.
Please don’t let this day, which may be the worse in city history change who you are. Never let the hate that was in this man’s heart, create more hate, more division. Don’t do what we, down here on the other side of the lake, have done. Don’t create your own madness, from his, no matter what his motivation was today.
Stay the way you are, the most inclusive mosaic of cultures, the most welcoming city I have ever been in.
I’m sorry I’m not as articulate as I usually try (and mostly fail) to be. It’s been a rough day thinking about you. I join you in mourning. I join you in anger. I pray for the better days to come as you continue to be the worlds greatest city.
I always find some kind of a song that fits the moment, I racked my brain and I came up with this one, consider it a prayer from Syracuse, and tonight I send it to you Toronto.
PS. See you soon.