Friday, June 09, 2006

Strip malls and electrical fields

Over 2 billion squeezed
Last night's walk through Wexford, in Scarborough, started inauspiciously but wound up epic. At Sean's suggestion, we got on the 54 East bus at Eglinton Station, and got off near Victoria Park. We had a couple of new people with us: Camille, a poet I met at Lexiconjury, and frequent Squiddity commenter Liav (who came straight from a job interview, and was wearing a tie & carrying a portfolio of architectural sketches in a tube). When we alighted in the middle of a featureless commercial zone, they looked a bit disconcerted: this was not the interesting cityscape they'd been expecting! But the night was young.

Sean wanted to see some of the Points of Origin murals, which he'd read about in the latest issue of 54 East Magazine. We found those, and we also found a bizarre mural on the side of a halal butcher shop that showed a train going through mountains, people in rowboats on a stormy sea, and some kind of neo-classical temple; also some cedars in pots. Then we found a very pastoral mural advertising the Wexford Restaurant.

The restaurant is in the Wexford Heights Plaza -- see above photo. We dawdled outside. They were just closing, and a woman who worked there came out & chatted with us. She told us the restaurant has been right there, in that strip mall, since 1958, and she gave us all copies of 54 East. The Wexford Heights Plaza also features an adult video outlet and an Islamic SuperStore -- two doors apart. I imagined the respective proprietors of these establishments periodically stepping out onto the walkway and just glowering at each other.

We wandered off the main road, past a huge Ontario Hydro facility, and into an electrical corridor. There was a bike path in the corridor, so we walked down that. It was very quiet, and I thought I could hear the wires above our heads crackling faintly. We wondered what aliens, or archaeologists from a far-distant future, would make of the solemn silent rows of immense hydro towers, marching endlessly from Pickering. As we got closer to Kennedy, we had an amazing view: a jumble of towers, transformers and wires in a wide field, and behind them the lights of all the highrises of Scarborough. "You couldn't make this stuff up," said Camille.

We reached the tracks of the Scarborough RT, which Camille, Liav and I had never ridden; Sean and Himy enthusiastically insisted we had to try it. We walked to the station and got on. It's true, the RT is like a tiny toy subway! It's the cutest transit in the GTA.

Flickr photoset here.


Post a Comment

<< Home