Monday, November 29, 2010

The Sprout of Affection

When you head south from Eglinton Avenue on Yonge Street in Toronto, you are heading towards downtown and the lake, and it's a fairly steady downhill slope all the way.  I didn't notice how uphill Eglinton was until I was biking back towards Bloor tonight from my friends' house.  I suddenly realised that I could coast at a great pace all the way down.

After a dinner that was unequivocally lovely, delicious, and heart-warming, I was in good spirits as I headed out for the long bike ride to the Beaches.  It was with a slight smile that I looked at all the small shops lining Yonge, the Christmas decorations hanging from lights, and the people out walking to and from coffee shops.  As I rode up to a red light at Alcorn Avenue I could see all the sparkling lights of downtown glimmering below the railway tracks that cut the view in half, and the highrises stretching tall glass shoulders into the sky above them.  I could see far down along the street, to where Yonge has been strung up with a canopy of blue and white lights.  A tall blue christmas tree stood in an intersection which was just out of view.  And just at that moment, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolled through, above the road, high above the city, in a riot of lights and colours.

This was my first time seeing the holiday train, and what a sight!  I wished that the stop lights would stay red for a little longer so that I could watch it roll by.  Apparently this incredibly jolly train stops in places across Canada and the US raising awareness of hunger and raising funds for foodbanks and food programs.  So magnificent!  I am surprised that I saw it sneaking through uptown Toronto late at night, and glad as well.

For the very first time, I had a very small feeling of affection for Toronto, in that real way that one feels when one is at home in a place.  I have mostly felt like a stranger here, and I'm not totally over that yet, but it was nice to feel that seedling of a sentiment which makes a city feel like I belong in it.