Archive for the ‘people’ Category

To mask or not to mask?  Masks have turned out to be a very useful tool in stopping the spread of the corona virus.  All you have to do is look at the stats in countries such as South Korea and Vietnam where mask wearing is the norm and compare those numbers to the stats in countries such as here in Canada where mask wearing took some time to catch on.  Only 38 people have died from COVID in Vietnam compared to almost 10,000 here in Canada.

In the early days of COVID (doesn’t it seem like a long time ago?) masks were controversial.  There were a lot of mixed messages from public health – remember when wearing a mask was going to increase your chances of getting sick because you can’t help but play with your mask and then touch your face?   Now, there are laws and rules that stipulate that you have to wear a mask indoors – in stores, in schools, on airplanes (who’s flying these days any way?), and in other public places.   The argument switched from ‘masks won’t keep you from catching the virus’ to ‘the masks prevent you from giving the virus to other people.’

a couple walking on Yonge Street, holding hands, waiting for a light to change, he's in a blue shirt and wearing a covid mask

“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” quote, French author Victor Hugo

 I was looking for help in writing about COVID-19 and people and masks and why we were slow to accept the practice.  I went looking through google for quotes and poems about masks because I wanted to explore the idea that in western culture wearing masks is just not done.  Masks are for thieves and others who are up to no good.  The bad guy always wears a mask when he wants to rob a bank.  Masks are for hiding your identity and fooling facial recognition software.

I have to add that the wearing of masks has become political although not to the extent that it has in the States where Trump has made the mask a symbol of weakness.   We have our anti-maskers and they are still protesting (there was one in downtown Toronto today but I missed it).   Apparently there were a couple of hundred people at Yonge Dundas square protesting lockdown measures in the name of Canadians’ constitutional rights and freedoms (CityTV link).

three people on bikes on Yonge street during streets open, the man in front is wearing an anonymous mask

The ‘Anonymous’ mask, or Guy Fawkes mask, was used in the 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” where Fawkes was presented as a champion for human rights, an anti-establishment figure.  It has become one of the most recognized symbols of protest around the world.

three people, two women and a man, waiting outside in a line up for a store, all three are wearing masks.

One of the poems that I found was “We Wear the Mask” written by Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1896.  It’s opening lines are:

“We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.”

So now we have another “use” of a mask.  The invisible mask that we wear to hide our true selves from other people.  This quote from Japanese author Haruki Murakami complements the idea: “It’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off”.

The last poem I found was one where the American author Maya Angelou adapted Dunbar’s poem (above).  It’s long.  It has nothing to do with COVID and probably not much to do with Toronto either.  But in these unusual topsy turvy times, so what?  It’s not a happy poem.  But mix together COVID and its doleful fall-out, plus the protests surrounding Black Lives Matter and the simultaneous fight to increase recognition of Indigenous rights, stir it all together and presto, befuddled and disconsolate times.

“We wear the mask that grins and lies.
It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts . . .
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world think otherwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing Oh Baby doll, now we sing . . .
The clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard HA! HA! I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

Seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl

I say “HA! HA! HA! Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break
So . . . I laugh! Until my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, HA! HA! I nearly died
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
Hmm huh! I laugh uhuh huh huh . . .
Until I start to cry when I think about myself
And my folks and the children.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

There in those pleated faces
I see the auction block
The chains and slavery’s coffles
The whip and lash and stock.

My fathers speak in voices
That shred my fact and sound
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

They laugh to conceal their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could an did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

 

Wear your mask!  The COVID one that is.

I have been looking for places to find autumn colours and one idea I had last week was to visit Pinehills cemetery in Scarborough.  I didn’t find many colourful leaves but I did find a few things.  The most noticeable was the mix of names on the stones – Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and more, all mixed in together.  In Toronto we often live side by side and it seems that we are also buried side by side –  as in the three people below: Baffa, Rajamohan, and Gutierrez.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery with flower arrangements on top of them

below: Black stones with crosses on the top seem to be the prefered headstone for those in the Greek community who are buried here.  Sometimes the name is in English, and sometimes in Greek.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery
below: Cemeteries are fascinating in that they give us a glimpses into cultures and traditions.   The decorating of grave sites with flowers and figurines adds a bit of joy to an otherwise somber setting.  You know that these people are remembered and their lives celebrated.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

decorated monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

below: A large shamrock.  Beneath it, a Miss Kitty doll in purple and a pair of boxing gloves with the Irish flag.   Doesn’t it make you wonder why?  Was Frank Murphy a boxer?  What will my descendants leave by my grave?

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery including one with a shamrock etched on the front

below: I assume that the red tape covers an inscription that is already on the headstone for the spouse of the departed?  Perhaps a name and birthdate?  Written vertically in Mandarin…. and I wish that I could read some of them.  Is there something written about the deceased? Is there an epitaph?  I’ll have to be content to look at the lotus flower, bamboo, and dragons that decorate the stones.

Chinese tombstones in Pinehills cemetery, in Manadarin, one red tape over part of one stone

below: As I was leaving, this coyote came sauntering across the grass.  It wasn’t the least bit afraid of me (in my car).

coyote lying in front of monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

light brown coyote

 

… even though it was the end of September!

below: Up, up, and away… not!  The woman in the middle doesn’t seem to interested.  Perhaps she’s too busy taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity to sun bathe on the beach one more time.

two men with large kites are trying to get themselves up in the air, a woman in a bathing suit lies on the sand between them.

two women and a girl paddling in a yellow boat, a sailboat is in the background

below: Walking past Leuty Lifeguard Station.

three couples on the boardwalk, one couple is walking their dog

below: He decided to stay and relax a little while people watching.

a man lies on the grass and watches people passing by on the boardwalk including a woman in a bathing suit and red shoes while talking on her phone, in front of Leuty Lifeguard station

a family sits together on the beach, the youngest is a baby in mother's lap. stroller is beside them, empty lifeguard station too

a man pulls a wagon with a child in it through the sand towards Lake Ontario leaving ruts where the wheels have passed

people walking on the boardwalk at Toronto waterfront, including four kids on their bikes, four aside, blocking traffic

a couple sit on low chairs in the sand at Woodbine Beach, others are in the water swimming or on paddle boards

a group of young people in bathing suits and summer clothing having a picnic at the beach, some under a striped umbrella and some standing and sitting around an large inflatable pink flamingo

young people playing volleyball on the beach in the sane

a couple sits near the water, their bikes are parked on the sand beside a large piece of driftwood

an old woman in a long purple and white skirt and a scarf over her head walks along the boardwalk with her walker

below: … and (almost) last, a wedding party in the park… finding ways to have celebrations in the summer of Covid-19.

a wedding party in the park, other people sitting in the park and looking out towards Lake Ontario

below:  That’s one way of getting to the beach!

new blue Mclaren sports car parked ina parking lot at Woodbine beach, beside a white car and in front of a TTC bus stop

Instead of pictures of this year’s Pride Parade, I am posting some photos from previous Pride weekends from my archives. I have tried to use pictures that weren’t chosen for prior blog posts. As you know, the fall out from Covid-19 includes cancellation of parades in Toronto this summer. There was a virtual Pride parade online this year (so I hear) but that doesn’t lend itself to photography. We miss the social interactions that normally occur. We miss the atmosphere and the fun. This collection is a poor substitute for the real thing but maybe it will bring back a few memories….. See you in 2021!

Pride parade, rainbow wings, dancing woman

women dancing in the street, pride parade

women dancing in the street, pride parade

carrying a big polka dot umbrella

pride parade, woman, this is a good sign

group, drag queens, pride parade

high fives, pride parade

young people posing for pictures outside store with happy pride balloons in the window

two women kissing, on sidewalk, outside, pride

two people dancing, pride parade while spectators cheer

woman doing limbo dancing, pride

man in pink shirt and straw hat dances while squating while people passing by slow down to stare

man with rainbow mask

naked people in pride parade, backside view, bums,

you can be naked too, sign held by nude people walking in pride parade

older person walking with walker in pride parade

pride parade, man in some leather

pride parade

purple parasol, pride weekend activities

3 people on roof watching pride parade

one man sitting on another man's shoulders, rainbow flag

man in uniform in pride parade

Singh, leader of federal NDP at pride parade, in pink turban

Rocky Horror theme group at pride parade with sign that says let's do the time warp again

flowers entirely converng back of person's head and neck, one on nose too

underwear

3 people on top of green container watching pride parade

truck pulling float down Yonge Street for Pride parade

woman in Waterloo Engineering society t-shirt high fives with crowd watching pride parade

on float at pride, in long turquoise dress and platinum blond hair

woman watching pride parade

getting ready to make bubbles

blowing bubbles, pride parade

A long weekend in May (Two Four Weekend) + the first sunny warm day in a while + two months of “shelter in place” = people out enjoying Tommy Thompson Park’s trails and waterfront.

a couple sit on a rock by Lake Ontario

below: Flow Like a River

bikes parked against a fence with signs on it, with graffiti words that say flow like a river, in the background a mound of dirt with two young men standing on top of it.

below: Keep ur distance

a girl in a red bike helmet walks on top of a yellow concrete barrier

cyclists on a bike path, seen through tree trunks and long grass

below: Three people, three positions – up tall and straight, flailing legs middle, and collapsing feet at the end.    Also notable are the mounds of tangled rebar that dot the shoreline.

three young people trying to do headstones on the pebbles at the shore beside Lake Ontario, Tommy Thompson Park, with old rusty rebar in piles on the shore two, washed up old trees and roots,

father and child standing on rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario

below: She’s sitting on some very rounded rocks that have been shaped by the waves and water.  Are they chunks of man-made concrete and not the more solid  rocks formed by nature?

a woman looking at her phone, sitting on rocks by Lake Ontario, her bike is on the ground behind her

The park has come a long way since construction of the Leslie Street Spit started in 1959.  In the beginning, it was to be an area for “port related activities”.   In the early 1970s, it was decided that Toronto didn’t need an expanded port.  Since 1973, the focus has been on developing the area as a park but keeping as much “wilderness” as possible.  If you are interested in the history of Tommy Thompson Park, they have an excellent website with aerial pictures that show how the park has grown.

tall smokestack in the distance, a park in the foreground, with a bike path and cyclists running through the park, early spring

below: Nature slowly takes over, and the piles of rubble and construction waste that were used to help build the foundations of the park become grown over and buried.

grassy, rocky part of Tommy Thompson Park in spring with shrubs and trees just starting to bud

below: Late afternoon fishermen on their way in.

people walking on a trail in Tommy Thompson Park, early spring, trees just starting to form leaves

below: If you look closely, you might see that one of the bikes has a bell in the shape of a skull with red eyes.

4 bikes parked on the shore, among leafless shrubs, beside Lake Ontario

piles of rock, concrete bits, rebar, construction waste, forming parts of Tommy Thompson park

below: There were lots of noisy redwing blackbirds as well as many other kinds of birds – orioles, grosbeaks, goldfinches, robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows.  During spring migration, up to 300 different species can be seen here.

a male redwing blackbird in a tree, making noise

long droopy buds on a tree, dark red on top and golden yellow on the lower parts, out of focus trees in the background

In the foregeound, trees and stumps in the water at the edge of the harbour, looking across the water to the Toronto skyline

two sailboats exit the marina harbour and pass by the Toronto skyline (seen from the east)

below: Construction on the east side of the park.  This is the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project scheduled to be finished in 2025.  Three shore connected breakwaters and a headland/beach system are being constructed.

filling in part of Lake Ontario, walls of rocks with dirt between them

Getting used to this “social distancing” thing but not the “stay at home” part.   A walk in the park seemed like a good way to mix the two – get a little exercise without running into too many people.

below: Keeping his distance

a man sitting on a bench in a park

It’s close to March 21st and the beginning of spring.   Actually this blog post started to take form after I parked my car and wandered aimlessly a few yards.  I was standing on a path in a ravine wondering which way to go… but why was I here?  I heard a bird, and then I heard another.

below: A robin snacking on sumach

a robin perched on top of a cluster of sumach buds and is leaning over to eat one

below: A female downy woodpecker

female downy woodpecker on a small tree

below: A little chickadee

chickadee sitting in a red dogwood, early spring, bright red branches, no leaves

below: It’s not a bird nor is it a sign of spring,  but it sat still enough to let me get my camera focused through the branches.

black squirrel sitting among tree branches, holding something in its mouth

below: The red dogwood branches have started to become more vibrant.

bridge over creek, sumach and dogwood bshes, winter to early spring, no leaves

below: Pussy willows have opened up their fuzzy white buds.  A definite indicator of spring.

a few thin branches of pussy willow

below: There weren’t many tree buds but this tree (and others of its type) were an exception.

small clusters of pink buds at the end of branches and twigs on a tree

below: There was a train too!  A different kind of sign of life.

park and trees in the foreground, early spring, with train on bridge in background

young birch tree

a purple graffiti heart painted on the concrete support at the bottom of a large metal trestle

Spring, and a walk in the park.  Sometimes it’s just the little things….  including someone to share your space.

a couple walks together over a small pedestrian concrete bridge

below: Reflections in the Wilket Creek

reflections of lifesaving equipment beside the Wilket Creek

This weekend saw the temperatures rise high enough draw people outside.  A lot of the snow melted and there was hope in the air – hope that winter won’t last too much longer.  This being Canada, winter can last as long as it wants!…  And that’s often into April.  In the meantime, it was great to enjoy the weekend.

a family of three, mom, dad, and toddler, walking on snowy path at Wilket Creek, with toddler in middle

below: A quiet sunny spot to sit

a young woman in a red jacket sits on a bench at Wilket Creek Park and reads a book in the sunshine.

mostly frozen creek with snow on the banks and rocks in the shallow water

below: Taking selfies on the rocks at Edwards Gardens.

two women standing on the rocks in the creek at Wilket Creek park, taking selfies

below: Watching the ducks on the partially frozen Wilket Creek.

ducks on partially frozen river, small bridge in the distance, a mother and daughter waiting to feed the ducks

puddle on the path and reflections of part of the people close to it.

forest of trees in winter

young trees on riverbank, snow, and frozen water in the background

a couple sits on a bench, from behind, in winter clothes, snow on the ground in the park

This year’s theme at the Yorkville IceFest was “Awesome 80’s” and the feature ice sculptures were all things 80’s.

title ice sculpture for Ice Fest

below: Fabulous red heart embedded in the ice!  The ice made the red shine.   Needless to say, these two women weren’t the only ones who did this!

two women make a heart symbol with their hands in front of a red heart frozen inside an ice sculpture

below: Leftover red balls from Christmas added to the festivities.

Cumberland Ave decorated for the IceFest, red balls hanging from trees, ice sculptures on display beside the sidewalk, a few people looking at them

below: Posing with the rock ’em sock ’em robots (Cool hat too!)

a woman in a winter hat with the Union Jack on it, pointing at an ice sculpture while a man takes her picture

below: A younger version of Elton John made an appearance at the Ice Fest

ice sculpture portrait of Elton John

below: Posing with Garfield the cat

people looking at and posing beside ice sculptures in Yorkville Ice Fest

below: Walking on air, but so cool with the leg warmers on.

ice sculpture of a pair of legs, upside down, with high platform shoes and leg warmers

below: Driving the De Lorean

a woman posing with a large ice sculpture of a De Lorean car

below: Most of the sculptures came already made and were set up on Saturday morning.   Starting at noon, several artists began carving some sculptures – partially as a demonstration of their craft and partially as a contest for best sculpture.

a man using a chainsaw to cut an ice block, bits of ice and snow flying away from the chainsaw

a man is working on an ice sculpture, he has just used a chainsaw to cut a block in half lengthwise and is now carefully separating the pieces

using an electric drill make a hole in a block of ice, outside, kneeling on the ground, ice fest, people watching the artist at work

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice while two boys in winter toques watch

two men stacks slabs of ice together to make a small tower

below: Because it was a cold day, some time was spent warming up inside the nearby art galleries.  I saw this little ski guy stuck in the snow outside Loch Gallery.  Does it look like he’s shivering too?  (artwork by Patrick Amiot).

a tiny metal sculpture in a pile of snow, a little man in a pink shirt and red hat, skiing

below: Another wonderful creation by Patrick Amiot.  I’m not sure that a hockey player (especially a Leaf?!?) should look frightened?

metal sculpture of a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player sitting on a bench outside, holding his hockey stick and looking frightened, by Patrick Amiot

Santa Claus Parade photos

up close photo of Santa Claus's face with white beard and white mustache, some holly on his hat, glasses,

Santa Claus Parade, people on a float

two members of a band, one woman is helping the other with a button on her uniform, both are wearing Santa hats, start of Santa Claus parade

below: What could be more appropriate than a few clowns with shovels to follow the police horses?

clowns in primary colours, big squares on fabric in clothing, with shovels in hand cleaning the street after the police horses go by

large gingerbread man sculpture on parade float

man dressed as a toy soldier in red jacket, white leather straps, black hat and black pants, in Santa Claus parade, greets people in the crowd as he walks

two pictures of men dressed as Woody, the cowboy from Toy Story, with small yellow lassos. Santa Claus Parade

young woman walking in Santa Claus parade with large gold star shaped head-dress on, gold costume, other people dressed as plants in flower pots are nearby

woman in gold costume as Queen of hearts in parade, heart shaped red marks on cheeks, heart on belt and on gold crown,

Toronto mayor John Tory wearing a Christmas sweater and red and white Canada mitts, waves at the start of the Santa Claus parade

three boys behind yellow metal barricade at start of Santa Claus parade,

three women dressed as fat snowmen with black hats, black buttons, red scarves, and red belt buckles, waving to the crowd as they walk in the parade

two clowns in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly green hair, shiny clothing, one is waving at the camera with a white gloved hand

four kids sitting on a parade float dressed as white fuzzy bears with yellow scarves and red mitts

Santa Claus parade, gingerbread character clown holding a large cookie, white gloves, red fuzzy wig

two pictures of kids riding on floats in Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus Parade musician, band member wearing red and white Santa Claus hat

large toys, shapes of toys, on a float in the Santa Claus parade

young woman in black jacket, red gloves, and large reindeer antlers, waving as she walks in Santa Claus parade

a young man from Malvern High School band is warming up before the Santa Claus parade

Chinese snake dancers in Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade, clown waving, white gloves, red fuzzy wig

Santa Claus Parade musician, wearing red and white Santa Claus hat

woman holding the end of a banner for St. Marys Band

Santa Claus Parade, people on a float

clown in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly pink hair, yellow and pink striped collar

two clowns in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly green hair, shiny clothing

two women walking in Santa Claus Parade, picture on left is older woman with a fancy Happy Holidays hat, picture on right is woman in white fuzzy sheep costume holding a large yellow and white daisy

below: Crazy wabbits didn’t still in one place long enough to let me focus on them

a man dressed as a blue and white rabbit hamming it up for the camera. He's carrying a large stuffed carrot shaped object

clowns in blue wigs and chequered clothing greet spectators at parade as they walk past

two girls dressed as Santa's elves sit on a parade float in front of a large white sign with red letters that says dear santa

below: Mrs. Claus

float in Santa Claus parade with Mrs. Claus waving

below: And at the very end, the main attraction, jolly old Santa Claus himself

Santa Claus in his sleigh, Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus in his sleigh, Santa Claus parade

below: Posters made by “Army of Lovers”, a group organized by The 519 (an LGBTQ charity).   They were in response to a group of “anti-queer protesters, who call themselves Christian free-speech advocates” who planned to march up Church Street last Saturday.

two posters on a metal box on the street, one says no hate in our city and the other says, liberation in our lifetime - the army of love

below: Rev Jeff Rock of Metropolitan Community Church and Rev Cheri DiNovo of Trinity St. Pauls, led a ‘Unite for Love’ rally at Barbara Hall Park this past Saturday. Other faith leaders also talked to the crowd as did several politicians from all levels of government.  Themes of the talks largely dwelt on unity, equality, inclusion, and the idea that we are perfect in God’s eyes.

two Christian religious leaders talk at a rally

below: Mayor John Tory being interviewed by the media after the speeches.

Toronto mayor John TOry being interviewed by the media at a pro-Pride rally at Barbara Hall Park, City TV, CP 24, CTV and Global News were among the media.

below: Also after the speeches, a giant rainbow flag was unfurled.

people helping to open up a giant pride rainbow flag

two men help to spread a giant size pride rainbow flag at Barbara Hall park

below: … and the crowd helped to display it.

people holding the edge of a large pride rainbow flag

below: The rain kept coming and going but that deter the crowd.

a couple wearing clear rain ponchos, laughing, holding signs under the ponchos that say No hate in our city

below: There were a few signs that people had made including this one about Jesus.

two women, one holding a sign that says Jesus was gay. He didn't say Amen, he said Ahhh men!

below: “Church is for everyone” sums up the message of inclusion found in The Village community

two women in yellow rain jackets holding a sign that says Church is for everyone

a man with two rainbow flags in his hair and wearing a large rainbow flag over his back

below: A little levity, a little unseriousness.

a pink sign that says this is serious we're missing brunch

The above gathering was in response to a group called Christian Positive Space and an event described on their website as a ‘Freedom Repentance & Prayer March/Rally’ up Church Street. This group was gathering at Church & Esplanade at the same time as the crowd was listening to speeches in The Village.

Part of the backstory is that this group (CPS) was formed by David Lynn, a preacher who can often be found at Yonge & Dundas (He is also the founder of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries). Back in June he was arrested for disturbing the peace when he and some of his followers tried preaching at the corner of Church & Wellesley (with loudspeaker), just down the street from Barbara Hall Park.

One of the themes of Saturday’s march was the idea of sharing the streets, that Christians should be allowed to do their thing on the streets without being harassed. Part of David Lynn’s talk yesterday was about how Pride gets to close down streets so Christians should be able to as well. There was also mention about some grievance that he had with the people who organize the Jesus in the City parade.

The walk was planned to go at least as far as Wellesley even though one of the conditions for Lynn’s release from jail was that he was to be banned from visiting that area of the city.

below: A lot of left over signs. Questions are being asked about who paid for them (as well as the many T-shirts that were given out).

protest

musicians in a trailer behind a pink up truck, bible verse written on the side of the trailer,

below: Dictionary definition of godly = “devoutly religious; pious”

a woman wears a red T shirt that says make Canada righteous and godly again.

below: The People’s Party had a very visual presence at the march. I’m not sure which candidates were present. There is no mention of the walk on any social media for the candidates for both Spadina-Fort York (where the walk started) or Toronto Centre (where the walk was going to end). The candidate for Toronto Centre is actually from Hamilton (he’s also the VP of the party).

large white banner for the Peoples Party of Canada, in front of a protest on Church street

people with signs and placards at a protest

below: The police didn’t allow the walk to get past King Street.  They kept the two groups separated.

Christian protesters behind a line of police bikes

below: Members of the PSU (Public Service Unit) await their orders

member of p s u , public service unit, wait on Front Street in case they are needed at protest

below: The white van was one of a pair that parked by the double line of police bikes that were containing the protesters south of Front Street. PSU officers then lined the intersection to control pedestrian traffic.

members of PSU, public service unit, march into place during stand off between protest and counter protest

below: Most of the intersection of Front/Wellington and Church was blocked for quite a while. Pedestrians were not allowed to cross on the south side.

a police man escorts an older woman in a pink jacket who is using a walker, across an intersection

Overheard at the march: “Yoga is popularized witchcraft”. I was approached by a woman who struck up a conversation by telling me that she loved Trump. She said that one night God look down at her and told her to listen to Trump. So she did and she learned that he’s brilliant, that he loves blue collar workers, that he loves all races, and that he loves Israel. That’s why she now loves him and prays for him every day.

a group of wimen lined up against a wall, on the street, with hands in the air, some have signs that say Civil rights are for Christians too

At this point in time, the words that Lynn uses in these situations are irrelevant; actions speak louder than words.  His views on homosexuality are well known even if he proclaims to love all people, i.e. to love the sinner but not the sin. He can be cagey about the words and phrases he uses but just his presence at Church & Wellesley is a provocation and he should realize that. Trying to preach in The Village is just a stunt – it provides video to support his opinion that Christians are targeted and it gets him followers. There are much better, more constructive ways, to reach people.

David Lynn talks to his protesters, with signs and placards, behind a police line

people talking on the street

a man with his eyes closed, during a protest

a person stands above a crowd holding a trans flag while police hold the crowd back

below: A woman tries to persuade one member of the other side that being homosexual is a choice. She’d be happy to find him a beautiful woman to make him happy both in this life and in eternal life.

a middlw age woman in jean jacket and dark hair, holding a rosary in one hand, talks to counter protesters on the other side of a police line

below: Occasionally there was some dialogue between the two sides. On the protester side there were those who were marching because they honestly believed that they were spreading a message of Jesus’s love for everyone. Others were out to provoke, disrupt, or at least to play the victim.

one woman has her arm around the shoulders of another woman as they stand close to policemen blocking the street with their bikes

two sides of a protest speaking, while police keep them separated. Christian side is filming the conversation, counter protesters are wearing T shirts that say army of love

below: Also aligned with Christian Positive Space was Charles McVety who apparently was at the walk. He posted this on his facebook page (screenshot). Was he hoping for violence? Or was this just just another example of rewriting the story to suit your own purposes. Nobody was attacking anybody; there was no danger. McVety references “Tory’s mob” – John Tory chose to talk at the other rally instead of the CPS one.

a screenshot of a facebook post by Charles mcVety and some of the responses to it.

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

police line of bikes

below: Eventually David Lynn and his group backed down Church Street

David Lynn and another man help to back up a red pick up truck with a trailer holding a stage as they reverse down Church Street during a protest march in downtown Toronto

below: And proceeded to walk up Yonge Street instead.

police man on a bike in front of a group of protesters as they start to walk up Yonge street

two men walk in front of a banner that says Canadian Christians share our streets, walking up yonge street at front street, other protesters are behind the banner.

below: As the Christian group walked up Yonge Street, a group claiming to be Toronto Against Fascism blocked the way at King Street.

a toronto police officer talks to a group with faces partially covered and holding a banner that says Toronto against fascism

below: Once again there was a stand off with police holding the two groups apart. Eventually the “anti-fascists” moved over to the sidewalk. By then it was after 5 p.m. and nothing seemed to be happening. The groups didn’t appear to want to leave and the police didn’t seem to eager to try to disperse them. So I got on a streetcar and went for dinner.

a man on the phone looks out a window of an upper storey, overlooking a protest on the street below including a large trans flag in pale blue, pink, and white stripes

I learned later that the police let the protesters walk a bit farther up Yonge but they were stopped at Adelaide and/or Richmond before eventually being broken up.