Archive for the ‘The Ghetto’ Category

Old Map of Toronto

Although Parkadale doesn’t really show up on this map of Toronto from 1894, the “institutions” that line its eastern and southern borders suggest that it was always kind of a haven for deviants and reprobates. I guess Parkdale was like the ‘burbs back then, only instead of having bix box stores like Costco and Best Buy around, they had big boxes full of criminals and crazies.

It appears that there’s always been a “Lunatic Asylum” at Queen and Dovercourt, but I had no idea there was a “Central Prison” at King and Strachan, about a ten minute walk from me. Closer to home, we had the Mercer Reformatory — a place where prostitutes and “sexually precocious” ladies would end up for treatment. It couldn’t have been all that effective though judging by the number of “working girls” who still use the neighbourhood streets as an office.

Anyway, as Infonaut points out, it’s interesting to see how downtown T.O. has evolved over the past century. Who knew Front St. actually used to be the front street. Or that Fort York used to be on the water.

Too bad about Parkdale. Some things never change.

Here’s an interesting history digest of downtown Toronto that explains some of the locations noted on the map.

Hurray! Toronto police caught the notorious Parkdale purse snatcher. You can’t go stealing grannies’ purses in P-dale without the full might of Toronto’s finest coming down on your ass. But, although this “coward” is off the street, there are a few fellons still at large. Here are the ones that I know within two blocks of my place:

+ The crack-buyer-and-smoker-behind-my-house, 18 of. The fact that they yell at each other over who got the bigger rock at 3 a.m. is a crime in itself.

+ The garbage-can-kicker-over. Apparently neatly stored trash is this vigilante’s enemy.

+ The public-urinator, quantity unknown. My neighbour’s stoop might technically be private property — but I still don’t think you should be peeing on it.

+ The Parkdale Public Pooper. The public-urinator’s more brazen cousin. Granted there might not be a poop-and-scoop law for humans on the book, I still think this guy should be arrested for what he does to the neighbourhood sidewalks.

+ The Hamburgler. I swear to god he exists. I saw him booking out of the King/Dufferin McDonalds — only instead of a mask and cape, he had track marks and Zubaz pants.

I imagine there’s a police task force in place for these perps. Hopefully we see some results soon.

I hate being at work when people start to fuck up my shit, but this story makes me feel lucky that I spend most of my day in a cubicle. It starts in late February when two armoured truck guards pull up to do a routine refill at a Parkdale ATM. However, on their way into the store they get held up at gunpoint and nailed in the head. You’d think getting jacked for $90, 000 would be bad enough.

Sadly, a few weeks later the two guards lost their jobs. Claiming the pair did not follow proper security procedures while exiting the truck, the security company terminated their employment.

Goes to show, when you get stung in the ghetto, things can always get worse.

I should be surprised and disappointed that someone was gunned down two blocks from my house early Christmas morning, but I’m not. After spending the past week telling anyone who asked about what a shit hole (two words?) of a neighbourhood I moved to over the summer, it’s nice to see that I wasen’t exaggerating.

I use that CIBC sometimes. Now I’m wishing that there was some size XL kevlar under the tree for me to take home. Cuzzy says The Gate — the pub next door — serves up a mean breakfast, but I’m guessing there’s nothing going over easy there right now.

And his momma sighed…

“Why I wanna be Parkdale’s city councillor,” by the Parkdale candidates

I want to be councillor so I can make Parkdale more eco-friendly and TTC accesible…

WTF!?! These candidates are delusional! They should be talking about making the ghetto less axe-murder friendly and crack-accessible. Sheeesh. Of course, this all-candidates profile was published in NOW — the pinkest, commie-est magazine in the land. (They’re probably still blaming Parkdale street crime on Ernie Eves and Mike Harris.)

Trust me, when I go to the polls next week, I’ll be looking from some who’s anti-junkie attacks — not pro-pretty green space.

Sex and the Ghetto

In “I did not know that” news, it turns out that Canadian Sexpert — and total MILF — Josey Vogels has been living in the Ghetto for years. She says the neighbourhood reminds her of her last home in Montreal. Funny, I’ve been to Montreal and I don’t recall any neighbourhoods that look like a set for Escape from New York.

In any case, it’s nice to know that there’s at least one minor-celeb in the hood that I have a chance to not make eye-contact with as I’m coming or going. Not that there was any lack of sex in the ghetto before Vogel arrived six years ago. If you were to count the rings on the hookers that maintain office space outside my house most nights, you’d realize that Parkdale has been adequately serviced for decades. Well…adequately by hobo standards.

CSI: Ghetto

You know sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking you heard something like a gun shot, or cop sirens or something? If you’re like me, you probably tell yourself you’re still drunk and to go back to sleep.

But then there are times when your neighbours house gets shot up. Man, I hate it when that happens.

I’ve been living in the fine ghetto of Parkdale for about a month now and I’ve slowly been getting used to the place. That is until yesterday evening when I was walking up Cowan St. and looked down to see a horrified face looking up at me from the sidewalk [pictured below]. I nearly crapped my pants I was so scared [not pictured]. I suppose some cracked-out hippy thought embedding these monstrosities into the concrete was a nice way to spice up the front of the old junkie den, but I have to disagree.

In any case, this pretty much represents my Parkdale experience thus far — that is — as soon as I start to feel at home in the new hood, some freak occurance makes me questions why I moved to the ghetto. I guess it’s not that bad a place, I just need more time to appreciate it. Still, I’m not walking up Cowan anymore.

In the ghetto