Freedom, Renewal, and Diversity

The sun is shining as we head into the Easter long week-end. This long weekend is a favorite, it means soo many things, not the least the beginning of the warm weather which in Toronto means lots of neighborhood outings and exploration.  It is also jam packed with symbolism. All of which applies impeccably to our neighbourhood

Passover

Passover started earlier this week. It is a commemoration of the story of Exodus.  The overarching symbols are of freedom and migration.

This history of development at Eglinton and Oakwwod / Dufferin includes a lot of migration. The migration happened in waves, the turn of the century Irish, Post WWII Italians and Portuguese, post 1980s economic downturn drawing migrants form the Caribbean and, and it continues with newer communities from the Philippines and Latin America and eastern Europe. The reasons people leave their home countries vary considerably, but a common theme is the pursuit of freedom, economic, political religious etcetera, the freedom to be and express. Welcome to Toronto.

Easter

Tomorrow, the Easter holidays begin with Good Friday.  The rich symbolism here is in the story of Resurrection, which combined with Spring is a strong symbol for renewal and re-making.  Not only have countless families remade their lives here, but our neighbourhood itself has been re-made and renewed many times over.  What began as farmland with the rich soil and moist natural ecosystem was easily transformed into a working class hub of housing and bustling businesses once the the Toronto Transit Commission took the Oakwood Streetcar north.  And we are still transforming.  Surely our hard times, as businesses struggle to stay open during Metrolinx Construction, will come to pass once the LRT is running (as long as Bombardier keeps up its end.) The future is beautiful.

Day of Pink

Yesterday, we celebrated the Day of Pink with a genuine spark,  as our neighborhood, otherwise known as the International Market, is a true embodiment of the spirit of multiculturalism and diversity. A quick glimpse at our neighbourhood by language, alluded to above, paints a wonderful picture.  True to its description there are many flavours to be discovered here. A walk along our main street will lead you to discover traditional Jamaican dishes cooked with pure ingredients and flavorful spices, Ugandan groceries, Budapest and Uzbek cuisine, Chinese food, Filipino take-aways, French cooking classes and  . . . a community of people . . .  to whom the York Eglinton BIA wishes a fresh and fabulous holiday break this weekend.

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