Regent Park is an original City of Toronto housing project. The projects of Toronto. I’d say there are similar areas in all the cities that make up the GTA. Scarborough has Malvern (did my teens around there). North York has Jane and Finch (played marbles around the corner). And downtown Toronto has Regent Park (a pleasant stroll of a block for me). Out of all of them, I’d have to say that Regent Park seems the most genteel.
The buildings are smaller, and these days the area’s more run-down than anything else. But at night, especially around some of the inner courtyards between the buildings, it can still be a pretty menacing place.
And that’s where King’s hero would find himself. I’m sure Stevie wouldn’t be able to resist throwing something schmaltzy into the plot … a basketball, rolling slowly out of the pitch shadows, slowly but with no sign of decelerating, as if being propelled by something other. And just before hitting the man’s foot, coming to a sickeningly sudden stop. He would back away as he gazed upwards, the slowly illuminating multitudes of windows in the buildings encircling him filled with horrible shapes, nausea and fear rising into a knot at the back of his throat, terror pulling his pupils into dense points straining to shield him from seeing what he was seeing … up there.
And now Kingie would wreck a perfectly good horror and have the hero’s dead son stand in one of the windows or some other such bullshit. Why?! Why can’t it just be a purely evil force facing well-adjusted individuals? The baggage gets in the way of the train, if you get my meaning.
I prefer my horror noir. Just a bunch of people get brutally massacred; don’t read too much into it. Sometimes, a shadowy villain is all there needs to be.
So after escaping that horror, King would take the poor sap back up through southern Cabbagetown only to be accosted by some huddled baddie in a toque.
At this point I’d turn off the movie and go to bed.
Great neighbourhood, is what I’m getting at. Full of contradictions, as I used to end my grade eight essays with. As with a lot of other neighbourhoods, the dividing boundary is literally the line down the street. On one side you buy your crack, on the other a hand-blown artisan glass pipe in which to smoke it. Cabbagetown, ironically, is named after cabbages, the only vegetable the dirt-poor Irish immigrants could manage to grow. Luckily they stopped leeching off society and we now have a vibrant and mostly Irish-free slice of old Toronto.
Haha! Just kidding. Those ruddy-haired bastards are swarming over Toronto like Black Death itself.
(It’s okay, I have Irish friends. :D Well, associates. Associate. And I enjoy Guinness. Plus Irish Cream flavoured anything. :D )
Anyhow, there you have it; Cabbagetown, up to the armpits in history and conveniently close. Good on cold days, über-quaint, and bordered by something evil. Actually, now that I think about it, that’s probably closer to a M. Night Shyamalamadingdong plot.
Sorry, but I’m just going to stop right there before it leads me down some road I’d rather not take. Can’t stand that guy. He’s not even scary!
Before I go, I just wanted to give a shout-out to CardSwap.ca who sent me a nice new year greeting and informed me they were also fellow Torontonians. Easy sell. The site is basically a way to buy and sell used (or new, I guess, whatever turns your crank), gift and discount cards. CardSwap guarantees delivery. This is clearly their time to shine so I’d like to wish them all the best. I’m certainly not above gift cards myself.