Saturday, August 27, 2005

Walking where the other half lives

When Jason proposed a psychogeography walk through Forest Hill, I didn't think it would be that interesting, but it turned out to be one of the more enjoyable walks I've been on. Our small group gathered at Eglinton Station and meandered south and west. Soon, we came to Upper Canada College. We thought the campus would probably be patrolled by security guards who would kick us out, but as we explored further, we didn't see a soul. The school's courtyard was dark and very quiet.

We continued on and came to another private school: Bishop Strachan, which, according to Jason, features in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Again, we wandered through open gates and explored without encountering anyone. We were amazed at the poshness of the school: the neo-Gothic splendour of the older buildings, the sleek glass-and-hardwood polish of the new ones, and the sheer expensiveness of every detail. The playground featured this gorgeous playhouse; peering through the windows of the preschool, we saw tiny chairs arranged before state-of-the-art flatscreen computer monitors. In the schoolyard, we tried out the slides and the hopscotch board.

The poshness continued as we walked on through Forest Hill: we'd never seen so many ornamental columns, and all the lawns and gardens were so mercilessly tended, they looked artificial. We detoured through a pitch-dark section of the Beltline Trail, then found a playground with some swings. Apparently, swings are something of a psychogeographical tradition. (Incidentally, the sprinkly bits in the above photo are grains of sand being kicked up by Jason.)

We reached Casa Loma, where some big catered party was going on, and a row of taxis waited in the parking lot. As we walked, we noticed a lot of "Lost Cat" posters on telephone poles. Alison took one down and kept it (there were two on one pole, and they seemed to have been there for awhile). The cat had been missing since June 26; he was 12 years old, neutered, declawed, and, the poster mournfully noted: "He went out without his pearls."

We had greasy food at Vesta Lunch ("Reputable since 1953!"), which really hit the spot; encountered Glen Kerr's outdoor computer survey (see previous entry); and ended at Bathurst Station. We walked from Yonge & Eglinton to Bathurst & Bloor!

Incidentally, if you'd like to walk yourself, you could get in touch with me or with the Toronto psychogeographers through their website. But you could also just round up a bunch of your friends and set out on your own. Anyone can do psychogeography!


Anonymous Liav K. said...

I love psychology! And geography! And walking! How do I get in?

1:39 a.m., August 28, 2005  
Blogger Nadia said...

Hey Liav, I finally got around to setting up a gmail account for this blog (see sidebar) -- so drop me a line!

1:35 p.m., August 28, 2005  

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