Occupy Bay Street! Or is it Occupy Toronto..?

There seems to be some confusion over the whole “Occupy” event here in Toronto this week. Is it supposed to follow the U.S. version of Occupy Wall Street, in which case Occupy Bay Street would be the obvious choice? If so, then why is there also an “Occupy Toronto” camp currently stirring sleepily in St. James Park between Adelaide and King East?

So far, the Toronto Camp in St. James Park seems to have the largest contingent, although they’re a bit slow off the mark compared to the two “Bay Street” protesters I saw on the way to work this morning.

I think there’s also some confusion as to when and where the Toronto Camp will be marching today, with one protester telling a Breakfast Television reporter this morning that he “may take a walk over to Queens Park later today…”, as he gave the camera a halfhearted wave and  a self conscious grin when it panned round to him; which I thought was very cute—and very Canadian.

Somehow, I don’t see this whole “Occupy” event taking off so much over here, unlike the Italian version. It is early days, however, so maybe it has yet to gather some steam.

Occupy Toronto camp in St. James Park
Occupy Toronto camp in St. James Park

No smoke without fire in downtown Toronto

Walking home last night after work, I tried to stay on the sunny side of the street as much as possible. Even though the weather is warming up, there’s still a chill in the air and keeping in the sun makes for a more pleasant stroll through the city.

My mobile sunbathing technique took me along King East and down Front Street, keeping to the south side. As I was heading west, I noticed clumps of people here and there up ahead of me, all looking up. As my gaze followed theirs, I was surprised to see a huge plume of smoke in the distance, just beyond the CN Tower and towards the lakeshore. At this point I had no idea what was happening, other than the obvious fact that a large fire was underway. Almost immediately, sirens started to sound and fire crews began to speed by in their trucks.

I took a picture. Actually, I took a few. It was the least I could do as my more dramatic side kicked in and I began to imagine this day going down in Canadian history as our very own 9/11!

Thankfully the terrorist scenario turned out not to be the case. When I got to my local pub closer to home, I found out that the top floor of a condo on Queen’s Quay had caught fire and the resulting plume was what we all saw. The smoke, however, was quite short-lived as the city’s emergency services went into action!

There were reports of no fatalities and only two injuries in the fire.

Click on the pictures below to see how exciting my life is on the way home from work.


Before crossing: Look left, look right, look left again

The intersection of Bay and King Streets in the downtown core of Toronto can be a busy and treacherous crossing for pedestrians. This is where the Go Train crowds gather as they make their way to work in the mornings, or as they head back to the train station on their way home at the end of the day. One of the city’s busiest intersections has to be Yonge and Dundas, but Bay and King can be pretty damn hairy at times, too.

That’s why—even with the benefit of lights—it’s best to always look where you’re going and check for errant traffic before stepping foot on that asphalt.

I noticed on my way to work this morning that the little fella below mustn’t have been following this piece of advice, and he obviously paid the price on the road at Bay and King for not doing so…

Street art or casualty?
Street art, or road kill?