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2005 04 03
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imageEveryday I cross the intersection at Queen & Spadina to head to my office on Camden St. With the heavy traffic I am usually looking straight ahead to avoid the turning cars and speeding cyclists as they cross the streetcar tracks.
Looking up I see a web of cables that spans the entire intersection. A canopy of electrical wires that power the streetcars stretched out like a giant spider web. It’s strange that I hardly noticed them before, probably because there isn’t much to look up at in that intersection.

The street has changed so much since they reconfigured Spadina Avenue with the dedicated streetcar lane running down the middle. Traffic was hell before when they had the frequent bus stops and cars constantly turning around. The one thing about Chinatown is that it has its own rules about how you move through it. Whether walking, parking or cycling, you have to adapt to the movement of its will. It’s unlike the rules of any other part of town. Just go with the flow and don’t cross the grain — it will just get more frustrating.

At the southeast corner there is an old building with a turret on top. The corner entry to the café is marked by a limestone pillar. I often cut through the space and notice that this pillar has eroded drastically over the years. The wind seems to sweep through it, weathering the limestone column and carving its original block form into a sinuous, organic shape. It is now braced with a prosthetic steel angle for structural support. Just like people, these buildings also require help as they wither with age.
[email this story] Posted by Arriz Hassam on 04/03 at 08:02 AM

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