The “trial by fire”, as my manager put it, continues. This is the eighth straight day of 12-hours-per-day, no-breaks keyboard bashing and code-slinging. Sheer exhaustion set in about two days ago. The deadline looms, I get it — I just better get a few days off after this is all over!
In the meantime, however, the small pocket of wit I had stored at the back of my brain was used up about four days ago. I hope you bear with me through this challenging time, dear reader. It’s hard enough to just string a sentence together let alone something coherent. At least there are some photos to fill in the gibberish!
Plus, thankfully, Regent Park has a history that I can regurgitate to pretend like I’m saying something meaningful :) For example, after a little digging around I learned that Regent Park was considered a slum in the heart of Cabbagetown well before it was destined for the projects. In other words, I don’t think the buildings necessarily made it what it is. But I don’t think they helped.
There, didn’t that sound meaningful? Haha … I can’t even tell anymore!
Anystars, the northern part of Regent Park was built in the early fifties, the southern nearly a decade later. Apparently the guy who designed the southern towers won an award. From the air, I guess, they’re nicely arranged. On the ground though, they just don’t seem terribly people-friendly.
Oh don’t get me wrong, the place has “fascinating history” written all over it, even if that history isn’t necessarily all happy. Why the heck else would I go there? I already have enough crack at home.
There are some unusual aspects to the place that give it a little more fat around the jowl; you know — character. It is, after all, easy to dismiss it as that place you avoid at night, but that’s way too simplistic.
The majority of Regent Park is composed of mostly poor Asian people who’ve been living there for decades, most of them with kids. The predominant ethnic group is Chinese. Which pretty much proves that the Chinese are troublemakers. But if you don’t buy that, it at least shows that the problems that Regent Park has aren’t necessarily caused by one group or another.
I mean, I’ve traveled enough to know that the “cultural differences” excuse for violence / etc. is utter bullshit, but I also have an appreciation of some of the hardships that immigrants have to go through. Been there, done some of that. Not too much, mind you, but enough that I’m not totally talking out my ass.
All of this might be a bit of a moot point, though. As I’d mentioned earlier, Regent Park is slowly being replaced with modern condos … affordable but *definitely* nicer than what’s in the area now. While I’m sure that living in a nice place has never stopped people who want to engage in un-neighbourly conduct, I think it tends to make the rest of the community stand up to protect what they have. When what they have consist of squalid buildings (and rentals to boot), I don’t think it’s surprising that people really don’t care. I’m sure I wouldn’t.
Also, Regent Park was sold as a transitional community — people were supposed to have just lived there temporarily while they established themselves in Canada. Seems that established part, however, didn’t really happen for most of them. It’s been suggested that this is because rent there is based on income — a sort of pay-what-you-can system — so people just got comfortable (i.e. lazy). But looking at the demographics, this just doesn’t seem right. I don’t think it’s unbelievable that some people may genuinely be stuck in a cycle of poverty, and I doubt that they’d want that for their kids. Hell, we pay enough in fees and taxes that most of us are probably flirting with the soup kitchen ourselves.
Guess we all have our troubles. At the moment, mine is trying to stave off nervous exhaustion; that tick in my eyelid is really getting out of hand. But, soon, I’ll be spending days sleeping in (I’d better!), and enjoying a respectable paycheque. Not everyone can say that.