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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The ultimate meaning of life is to embrace that which compels you to act in spite of fear.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

If these docks could talk

I enjoy reading stories like this one, which was published in the Toronto Star's GTA section. I dig any discovery (I know, a cheap pun) or image that forces me to look beyond the space around me and see it in the light of an imagined past (or how it might be in the future). Many times I've stood at St. Clair, which was countryside in the 19th century, and looked toward the lake, wondering what the city looked like, sounded like, and smelled like back in the 1800s.

How did the ships' crews and stevedores regard our fair city back then? Were they just glad to have work (as I would be right about now)? Did they drink at the Wheat Sheaf? Where did these men live? Did they have permanent homes? And where were the hookers (not what I'm looking for, by the way)? Did the men at Fort York look across the water and say, "Bloody Americans," as so many Canadians do today? (Note: I happen to like most Americans.)

Of course, there are many more questions than these, the most pressing of which is, what do we do with history when we uncover it? If at all possible, I would love to see this dock preserved as a lakeside park feature, so I can challenge my view of the lakeshore simply by walking through it whenever I wish.


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