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My Toronto Islands

There’s a debate on right now. To change the Island Airport in T.O. I have to weigh in.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve flown Porter Airlines. I liked it.  The service was good, I like free cookies and drinkedy drinks, I do.  I used Porter to fly to NYC on a trip.  It took me the same amount of time to get to Porter’s terminal as it does to get to YYZ. The main convenience of the Toronto Island Airport over YYZ (aside from the free cookies, which your professor recommends- because cookies are delicious) is that it is smaller than YYZ. For this reason, it makes sense that the airport stays exactly the way that it is.

Now, I want to talk about my Toronto Islands. They are the people’s islands.

It’s no secret that your professor ladyperson, me, fucking loves Toronto. I love Toronto with the same visceral passion that a dog loves a fresh bone full of marrow– Toronto nourishes me, beloveds. I’ve lived in different places, and none of them have filled me up in the way that this city does. If I feel sad or down, all I have to do is hop on the TTC (and I love even the TTC, despite all of its underfunding issues, horrendous microagressions to those with disabilities,  and its foibles) and get off at Bathurst station, or Yonge/Bloor and climb up from the underneath and get up to that corner and I know, somehow, that I am okay.

When I first discovered the islands, I had lived in TO for a bit. The islands were my sanity-saver when I was finishing my dissertation. They are straight-up jewels in the shininess that is Lake Ontario. I get on the TTC, and I take the ferry (7 dollars round trip) and go to the island. I unpack my towel and for no additional dollars, I can go on vacation for a few hours. The city needs this. I need this. I swim in Lake Ontario (the water quality is excellent, so stop freaking out) and I lay in the sunshine and then I get an ice cream and ride the ferry home and see my city’s skyline in all of her beautiful breathtaking glory while the sun sets. There is no better way to spend a summer day. I will take it over your packing up your car and spending three gridlocked hours on the 401 or wherehaveyou to get to whatever cottage thing you go to, rich folks. You folks are suckers. You could spend $7 in toonies and loonies you dug out of your bags and pockets and couch cushions (well $10 if you count the ice cream) and be even more relaxed because you didn’t have to sit in all that gridlock. 

What’s important about the islands? They aren’t real estate. Yes, some folks live on the island. But mostly, it’s a park for the people. The people who love our city enough to stay in it, even when the mercury breaks the thermometer and all the rich folks have fled north. It’s a place that folks go to sail, or swim, or be with their children and families, or their friends. It isn’t meant to “boom”– and I can’t get my mind around anybody who would go there and look at it and think “Let’s fucking pave this shit. Let’s fill up this air with jet fuel stank and this (UN blue flag quality) water with run off! Let’s make some fucking money!” I guess I can get my mind around it because a lot of people are fucking greedy motherfucking assholes. But fuck those people. Seriously.

So, if for whatever reason, you’re in a position to vote on this issue, please vote against any and all expansion of the Island Airport. For once, let’s let the people win over greed and trees win over pavement, let’s let water win over jet fuel.  

I’ll save a spot for you at the beach, beloveds.

 

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