Archive for November, 2009

This scared the kids, so it was satisfactory

Posted on November 30th, 2009 10 Comments

There’s been more than one occasion when someone’s asked me, “Does anyone actually go to these things? Like, stand out there in the cold?” This is the most common response to my initial, “I’m going to (an outdoor winter event).”

I then typically follow up by popping open a browser (this is usually at work), hitting TCL, and showing them last year’s thing. “Wow, you’d never catch me out there freezing my ass off”, is typically the next statement. “Well, you keep warm by virtue of shared body heat. That’s what makes the evening so magical; improper touching”, I try to sell it. But that’s usually not enough. After revelations that there’s no booze and that the place is swarming with kids, the conversation just peters off into other subjects, “So … Toronto City Life … what is that, a government website?” “Yup.” “Not very interesting.” “Yeah.” ”Have lunch yet?” “Nope.”

People are too jaded. Perhaps because they’re hungry. The Cavalcade of Lights, with this year’s record lack of snow, didn’t really classify as a winter event, so all that hoopla about buttocks falling of in the cold were for naught. The kids were there, but you couldn’t hear them over the din of the show and any ones caught underfoot were pretty much fair game so that problem wasn’t overly daunting. I managed to get up to the front of the crowd with barely any resistance:

cavalcade of lights, 2009, show, crowd, show, stage, nathan phillips square, city hall, toronto, city, life

The alcohol prohibition thing is also a bit of a moot point. I was not once searched even though I carried a bag big enough to conceal a small keg. A mickey stolen away in a coat pocket would most certainly have gone unnoticed, or you could do as any self-respecting adult would and simply go already lubricated. Essentially, sobriety is for children, the infirm, and stupid people.

But I don’t want to get hung up on methods of smuggling drinks in because with the kind of cover you get in both the scenery and the crowd, you can pretty much set up a temporary shelter where you and your junkie friends can shoot up in complete privacy. Drinking? Please, the cops have bigger things to worry about. Like heroin addicts. Or those guys that sell all that light-up crap that the kids use once before it explodes toxically in the car on the way home. Domestic-quality Chinese products are always hit-and-miss:

cavalcade of lights, 2009, show, crowd, show, stage, nathan phillips square, city hall, toronto, city, life

The best way to avoid these shuckers of mens’ wallets is to simply avoid them. Look for the guys with the craziest head gear — dead giveaway — and beeline it in the other direction. If you have children with you, a) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hehe! Hahaha! *wipe tear* Oh man. Why would you do something like that? and b) Avert their gaze from crazy hat guy. If nothing else, at least save yourself some cash.

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Sad-eyed kitties and puppies and vile diarrhea you wouldn’t want

Posted on November 26th, 2009 16 Comments

Bill Carroll implored me not to rush to judgement about the Toronto Humane Society scandal as I was throwing my clothes on this morning. I silently promised I would, but I have to be honest, my happy side disappears pretty readily when I hear about people abusing animals. It’s like beating up on kids or midgets; I don’t need to explain why that’s wrong. And I’m pretty sure most people would agree with me.

The scandal centers mostly around allegations of abuse and mistreatment of the animals in the King Street shelter:

justice parks wherever it wants

You know, all the sad-eyed kitties and puppies that make me wanna punch whoever hurts them in the friggin’ face!! How does that feel, huh?! HUH?!

*breathe deep*

*exhale slowly*

Everything’s good! :D

So yeah, I really don’t approve of that kind of behaviour. But Bill brought up a good point, many of these animals are brought to the shelter in this state. Of course some of them will look abused, that’s why they’re here. And yes, sadly, some of them die or have to be put down because their injuries are too serious. The shelter makes no secret of this:

humane society, king street west, scandal, pets, dogs, cats, toronto, city, life

However, three things have come together that make me look at the situation with a whole lotta suspicion.

First is my own, albeit single, interaction with the Humane Society in Durham. The facilities were nice, the animals healthy and clean, so nothing bothered me on that end. But the staff, I dunno, didn’t really seem to care a whole lot about animals. And I thought it was odd that they seemed to be dissuading me from taking home a cat: “that one’s not very friendly, that one’s very sick, she’s blind and tends to break stuff, he’s had the most vile diarrhea for months…” In some cases, the conditions for adopting a pet seemed a bit steep: no going outside, no interactions with other animals going outside, no other animals altogether, no flats, no rural homes, no children, no balconies, and a few other things.

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Filed under: Pictures, Why I'm Right

From the desk of Patrick

Posted on November 25th, 2009 4 Comments
from my desk to yours

eyes of the tiger!Office of Toronto City Councillor McConnell
Attn: Councillor McConnell

Hey, Pam-pam! What’s shakin’, baby? Seems like it’s been ages since we chatted, huh? Come to think of it, I don’t think we ever chatted. We’ve never met, as a matter of fact. But with this new scrutiny about the plane trip you took this summer, I wanted to reach out and let you know you have supporters out there. At least one. Here.

In returning from Florida to put in your vote on this summer’s garbage strike, you helped to break the impasse put in place by the very people now pointing their fingers your way. I’m not sure that $1,100 was the cheapest flight you could’ve found, but compared to the waste and mismanagement proffered by the rest of Toronto Council, this is a pittance. If I contributed to your flight from my own exorbitant taxes, I want you to know that I’m not sore about it. Probably cost me, like, a hundredth of a penny. You’re welcome.

Besides, if you were required return to Toronto to do your job during that special emergency vote, it would have been negligent if you didn’t try to get back quickly. I wouldn’t take any flak from anyone over this if I were you. Show ’em a letter from your satisfied constituent if they think you’re pulling a fast one on them.

Basically, Pammers, don’t let them get you down. You’re doing your job, and you’re doing it well; the other councillors are just jealous. One day they’ll be in jail for whatever illicit underage sexual relationships they’re engaged in (aren’t they screwing the innocent?), and you and I will laugh about it over a couple of cold ones.

Stalwartly yours,

from my desk to yours

To the cyclists of Toronto,

Okay, I admit it, I feel for you. A bit.

When cops start blocking bike lanes to stop off for lunch, that’s a little much. I think everyone’s in agreement that this is just not right. If it’s a fine for the officer, so be it. If there’s an additional reprimand, I don’t think it would be out of place. After all, if the police are going to be enforcing something, they should be following it, otherwise John Q. Lawman won’t be getting much respect around here.

Your beef with many car drivers is a perfectly valid one and this is a fine example. The problem I’m seeing is that there’s a whole lotta antagonism between both sides and no one is making any progress. I see you screaming at cars, many of whom have just made innocent mistakes, sometimes just to vent, sometimes for very good reason indeed. I see them shaking their fists back, neck veins so strained that a pinprick would just instantly fill the inside of the car with red. Woh-oh-oh-hoaw there! Just hang on a second, therre, Nelly. Is it getting hot out here? Let’s just take a deep breath.

I’ve been on both sides of that glass. There are most certainly jerk-hole drivers, and without a doubt jerk-hole cyclists. Jerk-hole pedestrians too. The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m not going to depend on anyone out there, especially not the jerk-holes, to prevent my death. Besides, there’s plenty of opportunity for death at the hands of other types of drivers: tired, distracted, drunk, high, having a cardiac arrest, having a stroke, having a mechanical failure, etc.

So, you can point at the motorists all you want, but the onus is on you to take responsibility for your own actions first. It’s tempting to just say fuck it when your life is threatened so often, but I urge you to stick it out. Obey the rules of the road to the best of your ability. At the same time, you should expect no less from your fellow travellers. And now you also have a much stronger moral position from which to cuss people off. You can flip them a most righteous bird.

Or you also try talking to people. If they’re parked in the bike lane, why not give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe they really don’t know what the lane is for. You’ve got tourists and other out-of-towners driving around and the signage around the city’s already pretty crazy. I drove downtown for years and still managed to do lots of inadvertently illegal stuff; rarely did I try to murder cyclists. The two aren’t related.

If I could leave you with one thing it would be this: imagine the surprised driver who, after dangerously cutting you off, finds himself having a friendly and relaxed conversation with you (instead of the usual scream) who explains why that maneuver back there really wasn’t such a good idea. Now you’re not just another jerk-hole cyclist, you’re a human being who’s just trying to get through the day. Just like the driver. Queue rapport! And … action!

Shift that paradigm, as we used to say in the nineties. Oh, and Pam McConnell’s on your side; let that lofty perspective keep you afloat.

I’m still convinced that the cyclist who died hanging off the side of Michael Bryant’s car was being a jerk, but he was just one individual with a mess of personal problems. If he’s going to be the poster boy for something, let it be the end of an era.

Pedestrianly yours,

from my desk to yours

To the former From the desk of Patrick,

Awww crap. Sorry, pal. I thought I was using a copy, I swear, if I knew I was changing the original, I never would’ve done it!

I didn’t have the heart to try to re-write you. Also, I don’t have an idea what you were about. Something regarding sweaters? *sigh*

You’re up in post heaven now with all the other posts that get deleted by naive blog owners (when will they learn?!)

I hope you had a good life here, brief as it was. Your candle blew out long before your legend ever did. Sir Elton John.


Filed under: B Sides

My candidacy for mayor of Fantasyville

Posted on November 24th, 2009 6 Comments

You get so bogged down in stupid stuff sometimes, you forget to take a breath, don’t ya? I know I do. Every day I run through vapid revenge fantasies to help me deal with some of the unfortunate people I have to interact with.

My current fantasy involves coming up with some well-written, polite, but stern reasons why the person pissing me off at the moment should cease and desist their transgressions immediately, transcribing these reasons onto index cards, and pulling them out whenever the opportunity presents itself. One for every topic, arranged alphabetically. This would save me the “I should have said…” regret while allowing me to express myself in the most concise, effective manner possible. Pre-delivery, a single index finger held aloft to indicate a moment’s pause while searching through the cards. After delivery, a nod, a wave, and a now move on — you’ve clearly been bested look.

If this doesn’t come to fruition, a long walk is a good place to clear the head or scheme. I did this on east Gerrard Street yesterday; ended up feeling both more optimistic about my ability to write sharp preemptive repartee on index cards, and surprised that for some reason I’d never been there before. Another Chinatown near my own neighbourhood, and this one comes with a cool movie set:

chinatown, gerrard street, gates, temple, skyline, cn tower, toronto, city, life

Not unlike the Chinatown on Spadina, but a little more calm. I still managed to get authentically jostled on the sidewalk though, and there was a good amount of that genuine, frenzied replenishment action by the markets’ stock boys.

chinatown, gerrard street, market, fruits, vegetables, crosswalk, pedestrians, toronto, city, life

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Cat Ouija

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 11 Comments

You know, it’s almost that time when everyone and their dog will be revealing what they think will happen in 2010. I visited a few such lists on the internet and they ran the gamut from the total annihilation of the earth to Jesus returning from heaven heavily armed and pissed. Obviously the problem here is that the lists are being produced by people and their dogs. Everyone knows cats have spooky psychic abilities, they’re the choice for predicting the future.

cat, oliver, ollie, predictions, 2010, psychic, ouija, toronto, city, life

I decided to make a title image for this because I paid four bucks for that sheet of Bristol board and I’ll be damned if I only use it once.

For tonight I decided to ask Oliver just one question after starving him for the evening. Figure I’d cut him some slack on the first time out. Here’s how the setup works: In round 1, a psychic motivator (in blue package below) is placed on each number to, well, motivate Oliver to make a selection, thus informing us of his psychic prediction. The numbers represent the number of letters in the answer, the letters are used to spell out the answer. Cat Ouija, basically.

cat, oliver, ollie, predictions, 2010, psychic, ouija, toronto, city, life

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Filed under: Pictures

Essence of pragmatism

Posted on November 19th, 2009 20 Comments

I like Christmas, I really do.

I’m always a little surprised to hear someone say that they don’t. To me, the dislike inevitably always boils down to poor management, doesn’t matter the back story.

What do you see when you look at the following picture?

christmas, decorations, seasonal, downtown, urban, business, toronto, city, life

Do you see a brightly decorated foyer with a festively blue wreath above the door, or is that a translucently hot sun about to go supernova and tear you and your family limb from limb? I’m going to suggest that both are possible depending on how you look at it. This can either be the prelude to an idyllic Christmas, or it can the foreshadowing of utter bloody terror. What’s the difference? I believe the answer is expectations.

In the first scenario, the only expectation is that you’ll be home, happy with your family, and hopefully you’ll get to enjoy some relaxing time off and a couple of good meals. Pretty simple, easy to fulfill. In the next scenario, well, I don’t have enough space here for the lists, recipes, schedules, budgets, planning, planning, and more planning that needs to takes place. And that show really needs to hit the road ASAP if it’s going to get some traction by December.

The first scenario has fairly low expectations. The second’s are in the stratosphere. So the trick is to simply bring those expectations down. Manage them.

Part of that is letting everyone know you want to keep it as simple as possible this year:

tree, business distrct, td centre, toronto-dominion centre, christmas, decorations, seasonal, downtown, urban, business, toronto, city, life

Take a page from the people in the business district, they didn’t dick around. “Throw a string of shit on that tree and let’s get the fuck outta here, we’ve got money to make”, is most probably how it went down. The essence of pragmatism.

But the idea is to take a page and not the whole book, because otherwise you start getting stuff like this:

td centre, toronto dominion centre, business district, christmas, decorations, seasonal, downtown, urban, business, toronto, city, life

Okay, it’s certainly better than barf on the windows, but it seems a little cold. Guess I’m more of a traditional Christmas kinda guy; gimme a fireplace, a mug full of booze, and a comely lass on the knee. Trees are also nice. I probably wouldn’t choose to put giant, blood-red impalement pyramids in the entrance to my place. I think it gives off the wrong message.

td centre, toronto dominion centre, business district, christmas, decorations, seasonal, downtown, urban, business, toronto, city, life

Bay Street sure likes it’s Christmas angular and abstract. But that’s okay, I don’t expect any more than that.

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The Practical Gentleman’s Guide to Urban Insolence no.8

Posted on November 18th, 2009 4 Comments

Warmest welcome once again, dear reader!

It’s so nice to have the pleasure of your company for another instalment of the Guide. I do hope that life has treated you kindly and that during the odd times when it hasn’t that you’ve had some opportunities to practice being practical. And, more importantly, that that practice has brought you some satisfaction.

In this edition I’d like to pull back from street level and look at a couple of larger forms of urban insolence: government and transit. It’s certainly not necessary to go into any sort of detail; insolence comes in many forms from both sides at this level, from new taxes to higher bus fares, and these are not necessarily local or even urban issues. In fact, as I hope you’ll find, the topics covered here have broader applications.

However, for the practical gentleman this poses a profound conundrum: does one take up arms and revolt against increasingly unjust overlords at great risk to oneself and one’s family, or does one resort to enjoyable but much less effective flaming paper bags (with surprise) left on doorsteps?

Alas, neither option seems agreeable, does it? On the one hand we must choose between radical criminal action, on the other classically amusing but ultimately ineffectual pranks. What’s the practical gentleman to do?

A great deal of wisdom has been scratched onto the walls of prisons as regards these matters, but please allow me to at least get the ball rolling:

The Continental

When one can’t be direct but wishes to nonetheless improve a situation, one must think outside the box. If more money is involuntarily leaving our pocket, more must come in to replenish it. It’s a simple balancing act. Thus, the practical gentleman takes his case directly to the people, bypassing the tight-fisted upper echelons altogether.

In this approach, we simply ask passersby to donate for charity, and I must stress strongly that this is not the same as asking for hand-outs. That would be most ungentlemanly and besides, this is an investment. To convince our fellows of this, however, we are required to present our case with a little more flair. Some call this marketing.

We simply invest in a nice colour print-out of the charity we’re representing, a nice binder to put it on the cover of, and a few hundred charitable donation “receipts” to give to anyone who requests them, to go in said binder. And a pen :) The charity is of course you, only jazzed up a bit; marketed better. Try some interesting twists on your name, combine it with a slogan, borrow a nice logo, but keep it all simple. For example, “The Patrick Fund – Fighting poverty at hom e and abroad”. The name must always be entirely truthful and you should always have a full explanation at the ready. In this case, it is a fund that is in my name and to be used to fight poverty in my home, possibly also to fight that woman I don’t much care for. With minor typographical errors.

For the logo, simply take an existing one from anything around you (using a cell phone camera, for example), and cut off everything but a quarter of the image. For simpler logos, like the Nike swoosh, you may have to use a half of the photo. Or, if cutting doesn’t produce satisfactory results, simply flip the image around horizontally or vertically. The McDonald’s golden arches easily become William’s golden catch basin — for money!

But, most importantly, you must add a prominent outline of the African continent on the logo (hence, “The Continental”). This lets people know you like geography. If you don’t, maybe now’s the time you gave it another try! People aren’t going to give their money to just any old schmuck on the street. Let them know how worldly you are, what a great investment you’ll be, why they should believe. Africa, the symbol of hope.

In this way you don’t hide behind any small print and your honesty and commitment to being upfront will shine through. The donations will come pouring in! At the end of the day you can go home satisfied that your fellow human beings have helped you because of a shared sense of civility. Take that, government!

The Convenient

Did you know that local businesses often provide instant financial support to anyone who strolls in through their front doors? It’s true. In most convenience stores, for example, often placed clearly and visibly in front of the cash register is the leave-a-penny take-a-penny bowl. Most store owners don’t contribute to it so they have no say in how it’s apportioned; it’s a social support system by the people, for the people. Including you.

Penny contributions can be made when pennies are abundant in your life. When they’re scarce, you can of course take. But be sure to do so a penny at a time, thus affording someone else the opportunity to take every alternate penny if they wish. A two-second wait period is customary unless no one else is in front of the counter with you.

The only drawback of the take-a-penny system is that some stores carry larger caches than others. I suggest carrying a strong bag (the pennies will get heavy!) and visiting as many shops as you can. Remember, those pennies already belong to you so you’re not required to make idle chit-chat with the shopkeeper. If they give you any trouble, simply threaten to call police. If this is not your style, you may instead opt to dress provocatively. Ladies will have an advantage over the gentlemen here, I’m afraid. Sorry fellas, we can’t win ‘em all.

The Economic

Many economic pundits have been putting forth the idea that being environmentally conscious and being profitable don’t necessarily have to be exclusive of each other. In fact, an amazing array of novel ideas is beginning to surface during these difficult financial times, many of them designed to produce environmental benefits, and many of those turning in tidy profits for anyone willing to put in some effort. The concept of carbon credits, for example, is ingenious but it hasn’t quite caught on yet. The problem is simply a dearth of mass adoption. This means that the market is still very much wide open … for anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and work for it.

Honest rewards for honest labour.

The further upshot of this is that the practical gentleman may rest well at night knowing that he’s earning an income from a noble pursuit, its influence continuing well into the future. The only requirement is a nice smile and a number of carbon credit certificates. There is no currently accepted standard for these – be creative, but keep the initial batch inexpensive. The idea is not to lose money here :)

Now the hard part: we go door to door selling carbon credits. There’s no trick here, you just have to shake hands, sip tea, and sell the hell outta that carbon!

Eventually, you may want to to invest in some fancy paper certificates — set yourself apart from the competition. Just work the cost into the price of the credits.

You can promise clients that each carbon credit they buy will be used to directly sequester a certain amount of green (in your pocket), ‘n house gasses. Not sure exactly what those gasses would be, but probably natural (this is a good, light-hearted jest to open the conversation with – and be sure to hug the potential client).

Of course, you must guarantee each and every certificate. Should the client ever wish to redeem it, you must exchange the credit for the appropriate amount of carbon. Although it’s difficult to get pure carbon, rough carbon (mixed with impurities) may be produced simply by burning something to ashes. This is your contractual obligation so you must honour the request within a reasonable time frame.

One of the biggest arguments against buying credits in this way is that (it is claimed) they are really used to prevent the environmental effects of burning stuff. Haha! What nuthouse did that escape from? If you buy a carbon credit, you should be able to exchange it for carbon. Who’s going to pay for not getting something? When the customer understands that this certificate is worth something, then it becomes a lot more valuable. Treat each buyer like the intelligent human being they are; logic will always wins the day ;)

You’ll have to do some research into going carbon credit prices but, since you probably won’t have any immediate competition in your neighbourhood, you may just be able to set whatever price you want. Just be sure not to price yourself out of the market! :D

I hope, dear reader, these points will help you through the tough times. They were inspired by a certain form of insolence, but their application turns out to be much broader. If the challenge was to think outside the box, hopefully that has been achieved. Certainly they are merely a spot from which to cast off, but hopefully they’ll chart a course to some pleasant tropical island with nice beaches, nice people, and nice drinks with little umbrellas in them. Even Mexico might be a nice escape.

Wishing you a bon voyage!

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Parade of delinquency and terror, part 2

Posted on November 17th, 2009 4 Comments

In part 1 of this explosive exposé on the real Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, I went into detail on some of the hazards and ordeals that you are really subjecting your kids to by bringing them along to the event. You may not even be aware of this because, as an adult, you’ve had a good chunk of time to build up your comprehension and so your defences. It’s like understanding how lightning works; it’s still a nervous giggle of a WHAM! outside but you don’t hightail it under your couch like the cat. You know you’re safe.

Consider this, for example:

santa claus parade, 2009, yonge street, dundas street, university avenue, christmas, seasonal, holiday, parade, crowd, people, children, floats, toronto, city, life

Awww. You see Santa’s Workshop, a few rosy-cheeked, satisfied elves sitting outside with the happy labours of the year past, some cute houses topped with fluffy snow and powdered sugar. Merry Christmas, kids!

From another angle, this is Santa’s Sweatshop, miserly and terribly underdressed children cast outside their warm shelters in the middle of a cold Siberian winter, no doubt for under-producing for the “jolly old elf” (who’s probably enjoying himself a back-alley rub-and-tug somewhere in Bangkok). Merry freakin’ Christmas, kids.

At this point, some parents may say, “But I’ve taught my kids well. They’ll make the right choices.” I’ve no reason to doubt anyone’s parenting skills, but upbringing is no match for military-style indoctrination. Pretty soon your kid’s goose-stepping down University Avenue with the rest of his comrades:

santa claus parade, 2009, yonge street, dundas street, university avenue, christmas, seasonal, holiday, parade, crowd, people, children, floats, toronto, city, life

Still not willing to co-operate? Let’s see how he feels after this:

santa claus parade, 2009, yonge street, dundas street, university avenue, christmas, seasonal, holiday, parade, crowd, people, children, band, floats, toronto, city, life

No? I see; junior likes to play hardball, huh?

santa claus parade, 2009, yonge street, dundas street, university avenue, christmas, seasonal, holiday, parade, crowd, people, marching band, children, floats, toronto, city, life

That’s right. If they don’t get him one way, it’ll be another. Do you really want your kid playing a tuba? What kind of a horrible parent are you to even consider that question?

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Parade of delinquency and terror, part 1

Posted on November 16th, 2009 8 Comments

After squeezing my way through my second annual procession on Sunday, I can say without hesitation that the Santa Claus Parade is no place to bring your kids. The dangers are many and very, very real.

To begin with, you have strange men winding their way through the audience snapping random pictures of children and posting them on only God-knows what website. That alone should be enough, but there’s much more to be wary of.

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Last blast of warmth for the next six months

Posted on November 13th, 2009 4 Comments

This is starting to look bad, isn’t it? Second Friday post that didn’t make it out until the weekend. But this time, dear reader, I want to assure you it was an absolute necessity. You see, an event took place this weekend that marks TCL’s first technical anniversary and I didn’t want to waste a post on something more mundane.

I say technical because if you look at the archives, TCL only goes back to January. But it’s really been online since November of last year.

Luckily the WayBack Machine has, as yet, no record of it.

At that time TCL had a mostly-black theme with content that induced hemorrhaging from the eyeballs and projectile vomiting. Pretty awful stuff. Back then I didn’t have the experience or the sphincteric relaxation to do anything interesting, really. Had anyone suggested I run a shocking exposé on what really happens at the annual Santa Claus Parade, I would’ve balked!

But in mid-November I attended Illuminite, the annual Christmas lighting of Yonge-Dundas Square. It was a cold and rainy November night, but the show went on anyway. Try as I might, I wasn’t able to muscle my way up to the front of the crowd, and it was in that soggy moment of inspiration that I remembered it was Toronto City Life. Most of these people were alive, so they qualified. I was getting all bent out of shape for nothing!

That epiphany, and the attitudinal adjustment that came with it, carried me through all the way around to this year’s event. Good thing too because there were a lot more people this time around:

illuminite, 2009, decorations, yonge dundas square, yds, yonge street, dundas street, eaton centre, christmas, holidays, seasonal, events, crowd, group, presentation, celebration, lighting, ceremony, performance, toronto, city, life

Most of the show, consisting of fire, sparks, trampolines, and dancing, took place at the far end of the square. There was a lot of loud music that, more often than not, descended into a raucous noise that in no way said season’s greetings to me. Eventually, the same spooky music I remember from last year came on as the fire dancers wound their way across the square toward the stage I’d plunked myself behind:

illuminite, 2009, decoraions, yonge dundas square, yds, yonge street, dundas street, eaton centre, christmas, holidays, seasonal, events, crowd, group, presentation, celebration, lighting, ceremony, performance, toronto, city, life

The dancers paraded around on stage in wintry white and silver, twirling fiery objects and having pyrotechnics go off behind them as if to say, “here’s the last blast of warmth you’re getting for the next six months”:

illuminite, 2009, decorations, yonge dundas square, yds, yonge street, dundas street, eaton centre, christmas, holidays, seasonal, events, crowd, group, presentation, celebration, lighting, ceremony, performance, toronto, city, life

The audience were close enough that one slip and the girl in the red hood got a face full of fire. Now if that’s not a reason to go see something live, I don’t know what is. The fireworks were pretty scary too:

illuminite, 2009, yonge dundas square, yds, decorations, yonge street, dundas street, eaton centre, christmas, holidays, seasonal, events, crowd, group, presentation, celebration, lighting, ceremony, performance, toronto, city, life

Behind the dancers was the reason for the whole display, the tree.

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Filed under: B Sides, Pictures