More and more, lately, I’m struggling to feel at home in Toronto.

I’m certainly engaging with it less. I used to go to TIFF every year, and Hot Docs. I used to go to concerts and beer festivals and Raptors games, and try new restaurants, and go to St. Lawrence Market every weekend. Obviously COVID put a serious crimp in those plans, but I haven’t seemed to recover. Anyway, I was tailing way off on stuff like that before COVID. Even moving to this side of the Don River has made it feel tougher than when I lived a block from Yonge Street. It used to take 5-10 minutes to get downtown in an uber; now traffic and construction are so bad that it seems to take 25 minutes to get any-fucking-where. I know I can fix this particular sense of disconnection by just doing these sorts of things again, but it just feels like so much more effort now.

I used to feel more connected to the city by taking transit everywhere, but now I drive to the office. I haven’t been on the subway in nearly three years, and given the kind of random violence that seems to happen on the TTC every other day, I’m in no hurry to get back on it. Speaking of random, people getting stabbed to death by swarms of teenaged girls, or getting jabbed in the back with a needle by a stranger, or having their homes sold without their knowledge…Toronto’s always been a big city and it’s always suffered from violence, but this feels different. Maybe it happens every time a recession drives more people to desperation or conflict and I just don’t remember. But this is my third in this city, and it sure doesn’t feel familiar.

An overtly corrupt premier. A do-little mayor who thinks more police funding is the right answer. House prices and rents so high that seniors and nurses can’t live here.

Ten years ago I wouldn’t have thought this, but…if it wasn’t for our jobs, I’m not sure I’d still want to live here.

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