Suburban Status Report 20231203

I continue to indulge in my suburbanly-incorrect practice of brazenly walking to places like the grocery store. Naturally, this is preferably accomplished via sidewalks. Naturally, suburbia persists in its relentless mission to kill me by blocking off said sidewalks. This is due to the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the thoroughfare known as Yonge Street (AKA Highway 11 and also the longest street in the world). There are magnificent billboards at every intersection that depict how cars will be able to navigate the Yonge Street corridor much, much easier once the work is done. It makes me proud to live in a place so invested in road esthetics. And also proud that my taxpayer dollars can make such wonderful weather-proof billboards, because it appears this important work will span many, many years.

But in the mean time, the creation of the infrastructure necessary to make the world a better place for automobiles is wreaking havoc on the infrastructure necessary to make it possible to walk north or south on Yonge Street. The main reason I need to walk north or south on Yonge Street is to catch the inter-city transit required to get myself the heck out of the suburbs into civilization. To preserve what little is left of my sanity.

The sign on the righthand Yonge St. sidewalk says sidewalk closed, use other side. The sign on the lefthand Yonge St. sidewalk says sidewalk closed, use other side. I’m pretty sure Kafka is the author of these elegant missives. Also, as a result of this important project, most of the bus stops have also been taken away, probably so as not have pedestrians be a hazard to cars. I have to walk an extra three blocks to catch the bus that gets me to the subway which, after a mere 40 minutes, will take me to the city because, to serve you better, it now goes to the Highway 407 subway station, one stop from the desolate end of the line, instead of Yorkdale, which is much further south.

When I’m on my way home, if I’m early enough to catch the bus that stops running at 7pm (to serve you better, or perhaps to ensure you can never get back to suburbia, which come to think of it is a good thing), there are no longer any northbound bus stops within twenty minutes of my house. On the plus side, the lengthier walk is cheaper than going to the gym.

Recently, there’s some other sort of infrastructure construction on the residential streets. Unlike the notices that frequently arrive at my house from the emissaries of “community standards,” there was no warning this was about to take place on our quiet crescent. Trucks rolled in. Digging devices rolled in. Digging ensued. Sidewalks got obscured by industrial equipment. Equipment similar to the type that required a visit from said emissaries of community standards. Evidently, these have dispensation, because apparently the community desperately needs whatever they are excavating to China to achieve.  

Urban sprawl progress. Can’t live with it. Can’t kill it.

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