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2006 09 06
Written Toronto, pt. 2: Reprised
One of a series of excerpts from works containing seminal (or just plain interesting) descriptions of design features in the city. Timothy Findley, in the first few paragraphs of the short story "Dinner Along the Amazon," offers a note-perfect satire of Toronto's tony Rosedale neighbourhood, centered on a few too, too human flaws in its design.

(Note on copyright: These excerpts are designed to fit the category of "fair dealing" under Canadian copyright law, as they are part of a running commentary on how Toronto's design has been represented in the city. I realize, however, that copyright law is vague on this matter. If any authors, or owners of these authors' copyright, object to having their work included here, please contact Robert Ouellette to have it removed.)

Rosedale Home
(From web reproduction of Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods)

From Timothy Findley's "Dinner Along the Amazon":

Perhaps the house was to blame. Once, it had been Olivia's pride; her safe, good place. Everyone else—including Michael—found it charming. Prestigious. Practical. North Seton Drive was a great location. Running out of Rosedale down towards the ravine, all its back yards were set with trees and rolling lawns. Autumn and spring, Olivia could happily walk or ride her bicycle to Branksome Hall, where she had been teaching now for six years. She really had no right to complain. Number 38 was handsome enough—its glass all shining; its paint unchipped.

Recently, however, Olivia had begun to balk at the physical act of arriving there; of being on the sidewalk and turning in towards the house, admitting that she belonged on that cement and was meant to walk through that front door. There was always something lying on the grass she would not allow was hers: a torn, wet
Star or a bit of orange peel—(I didn't put that there!)—something left by a neighbour's child or someone else's dog. And even, once, a sinister pair of men's blue undershorts.
[email this story] Posted by Jeremy Keehn, The Walrus Magazine on 09/06 at 10:41 AM

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