Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Touching bottom

It is apparently a total coincidence that Toronto's renowned gay village is located on what, long ago, was once the estate of Alexander Wood. Wood, as that Wikipedia article explains, was an openly gay merchant and city magistrate at the turn of the 19th century. He was sent back to Scotland for a few years owing to his dubious handling of a sexual assault case -- several young soldiers were suspected of rape, and Wood decided that to properly investigate the case he would need to personally inspect their genitals. All in the line of duty, you know.

A statue of Wood stands at the corner of Church and Alexander, just down the block from Buddies, and there is a plaque on the plinth illustrating the magistrate's infamous "investigation." The soldier's brass bum has been rubbed shiny and clean; I'm not sure if rubbing it is supposed to bring good luck in one's amorous pursuits, or if people just like to touch it.

Here are the hands of Alison and Leslie, getting in touch with a little civic history:

Touching bottom

3 Comments:

Anonymous dave said...

Huh... huh huh ... you said "wood".

3:30 PM, May 31, 2006  
Anonymous Liav said...

whoa. I have totally not heard about this before. Have to hunt that plaque down.

(were you at the gladstone tonight? I thought I spotted you, but, in an instant.. gone!)

12:51 AM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Nadia said...

Hey Liav, I was at the Gladstone, actually! There was a walk, but when the rain came down we switched to Plan B, which involved cider and poutine.

10:30 AM, June 01, 2006  

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