Where the Pandemic Hit Hardest

“As the minutes tick by, a swell of people flows into the parking lot. Many of them are wearing masks, some have also donned clear or blue latex gloves, while others choose to remain uncovered. A physically distanced line-up builds outside the Tim Hortons, snatches of conversations in Tagalog, Spanish, and Caribbean Patois lingering in the air. While the 35 and 36 aren’t as packed as usual, from the growing line it’s clear the buses will hold far more than fifteen passengers per vehicle, the goal the TTC has set for itself. This working class neighbourhood made up of predominantly immigrants and racialized people cannot afford the luxury of staying at home—even as the Ontario government has extended all COVID-19 related emergency orders until the end of June.”

Aparita Bhandari – The Local – June 2020

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Elderly, Confused, and Under Arrest

 
Alison Motluk – The Local – October 2019

Not Criminally Responsible

“Sualim’s crimes—a series of mid-level robberies, followed by a speedy arrest—were always of limited interest, and the story would have disappeared from the public record had it not been for a series of events last summer that had little to do with him. First, in early June, Kleiton Da Silva, who’d been given NCR status after killing a man in a street brawl, went missing from CAMH and allegedly robbed a bakery. A month later, Zhebin Cong, who’d been found NCR for stabbing a man to death in a boarding house, went AWOL and then fled the country. In late July, Sualim also left CAMH under the supervision of a hospital staff member and then walked off on his own.”

Simon Lewsen – The Local – October 2019

A Park for All, or a Park for Some?

“There’s a stretch of corrugated metal that gives the lower Don River its shape, a retaining wall that separates water from bank. It was mostly dull, rusted green, until a series of blue, hand-painted phrases appeared along parts of the wall last fall. You can see them from the trail that runs parallel to the river, and they read like a guest list of all the people you might find in the Don River Valley Park. ‘A park for artists,’ reads one. ‘A park for the Indigenous,’ reads another. ‘A park for the homeless.’ The installation is titled A Park For All by artist Will Kwan, and it asks, simply: Who are parks like this one for?”

Matthew Braga – The Local – July 2019

Battle at Rowntree Mills

“The Rowntree Mills story is one of changing demographics and messy local politics. At its centre are questions that crop up every time there’s a neighbourhood dispute over common space: What do you do when community members disagree as to how a space should be used? And who gets to call themselves a community member anyway?”

Simon Lewsen – The Local – July 2019

The Emergency Room in the #MeToo Era

Katherine Laidlaw – The Local – April 2018