June 30th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

Intersections with Traffic

Yonge-Bloor Subway Station: The end of the month crowd created a line threading across the entirety of the station, waiting to buy their month passes for July. The station was crowded at rush hour.

Downtown roads: The roads were unusually crowded, even for rush hour traffic. As many workers as possible got off early today for the long weekend. Tomorrow is Canada Day, and thus it will be a four day holiday (at least!) for as many Canadians as can manage it. The other downtown roads were also additionally crowded because University Avenue, a major downtown thoroughfare, was largely blocked off.

University Avenue: What happened in the US today that I missed? A bomb threat? Is there a visiting dignitary in Toronto? I have never seen such security around the U.S. consulate, not even at the start of the war with Iraq when the sidewalks near the consulate were crowded with protesters. A human cordon of policeman walled off the consulate. More of them, dozens more, blocked off all road access anywhere near the consulate.

Highways: The highways are thronged with traffic, anxious to leave early for their four (or more) day holiday. As usual, the police are blitzing the roads up to cottage country in an effort to crack down on speeding and lack of seatbelts.

Little Portugal: Portugal won in the European Cup semi-finals and they're off to the finals on Sunday. All of Little Portugal is a mass of humanity, an impromptu street fare and parade, starring more Portugese flags than you can shake a stick at. Fans compete to wear as many flags as possible. They stroll among the immobilized cars to slap the hands of fellow fans in cars. The sidewalks are lined with people. Most of the cars are lined with people too - standing up, waving flags, waving out of the open trunks of cars. Two policemen direct traffic. They have more urgent things than to ticket the flagrantly endless seatbelt violations occurring all around them: they need to keep the traffic moving, at all of a few miles per hour.

Nighttime: The moving trucks are out in force. All the daytime traffic camoflaged them, but now they are awkwardly parked on curbs and blocking driveways across the city. When I move, I run down fridge supplies. Tomorrow, the newly moved will be hard-pressed to find open stores to stock them with whatever new things they require.