Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Whenever I'm back home in Toronto for a visit, I like to go back to all my favourite spots. This includes the Toronto Islands. On Centre Island, you can spend hours strolling along the park land and ride the log cabin at the amusement park where I spent many a happy summer. On Hanlan's Point, I attended a week-long science camp every summer as well. (no, I wasn't a nerd - everyone went, because it was a great place to flirt for 5 days!)

But my favourite spot is the tiny neighbourhood on Ward's and Algonquin Island, where people live in fantastic, cosy cottages like this one, and here's a great slideshow. Anyone I've ever taken there has never been less than completely enthralled. Part of its charm is the strong sense of community there, which has always come across as quite cool & bohemian.

It's next to impossible to buy a home there - the waiting list is miles long, even though there are no shops and you have to take a ferry to get to the mainland for work! You will often see desperate notices stuck up on trees/poles in the area, begging for somewhere to rent or even housesit. People love it *that* much.

So when I read this article in the Toronto Star today, I lost it. The current Environment Minister, who also happens to be a Tory wanker, has called the residents squatters and wants to do his best to evict them when their lease deal is reviewed later this year. The lease situation has always been a contentious subject, because the island is public land and the community has evolved from people who simply moved over and built homes over the last 150 years. However 10 years ago, they were granted a 99 year lease under the NDP government.

The one good thing, of course, is that Canadians put up a big fight when they have to. I'm looking forward to seeing the supporters take this guy down in the press.


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