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2005 03 30
Toronto, the Clean and Beautiful City
image‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ – I can hear her say – in a nasal tone – a voice that contributed to the noise pollution of my home economics class some twenty-five years ago. Well – I certainly want to be heaven bound – my teen Baptist brain surmises – as I wipe the pencil marks off the plastic of my stark white binder. Is it true? But of course, my Sunday school teacher confirms, as my obsession with cleanliness manifests rapidly.

Fast forward to 1998 – a snow storm – Toronto - my new home. I feel overburdened. I cannot possibly clean all of the snow from my driveway. I wish for a heated drive, a heated sidewalk, some solar contraption to melt the snow and an enormous stream cleaner for the detailed cracks and crevices that wrap the paving stones. Working at the waterfront fosters my obsessive compulsiveness. Bottles ebb and dive as seagulls swoop for bits of trash and food popping up and down in the murky water. Tires ring the docks as boats carelessly rock against the wood. As if the best use of old tires is to cast them as bumpers for water vessels? Is this the best the city has to offer? I wonder about, shivering in the cool wind and I notice the fragile flowers attempting to spout in a late spring. There are too few to cheer my soul and I retreat to the office, where my colleagues are designing a new city in the Middle East - one where careful mathematical calculations contribute to the precise cutting of stone for a gleaming man-made waterway.
[email this story] Posted by Samantha Sannella / Design Exchange on 03/30 at 08:02 AM

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