My Toronto

This has not been a good week for Toronto.

In fact, it feels like there has been a cloud over the city since the beginning of year.

It started early in the year with the arrest of a suspected serial killer. With 8 confirmed murders and many more suspected, the full extent of his crimes is still unfolding.  This city has been in horrified shock as each new victim is identified.  How could this be possible?

Then this week, the senseless murder of 10 people on the streets of the city by deliberately mowing them down with a vehicle.  Over a dozen people hurt, many of them critically.

It is rare for me to use my social media space for personal commentary on events in the news.  It’s not that they don’t deeply affect me emotionally, but I choose not to share these personal feelings … my sadness, my grief, my worries, my anger.

I had planned a Thursday Doors post that was just photos.  No words, no stories, no background … just images from this city I call home, but somehow it didn’t feel right.

It angers me that almost immediately after the attack, the trolls were already out in force online spreading their hate and intolerance.  Enough already!  That’s what gets us into these messes in the first place!

While some of us use our social media platforms to share the beauty and wonder in this world, others prefer to promote division.

So, today’s Thursday Doors is special.  This is My Toronto – the highly multi-cultural, all-inclusive, peaceful, safe Toronto that is my city.

The Wealthy, and The Modest

The Fanciful

The Temporary

The Historical

I could post dozens and dozens of doors, each showing a side of this interesting city, but you get my point.

Hate does not belong here.

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton from Norm 2.0.

102 comments

  1. I agree with your concerns, Joanne. Yet, I worry that more we talk about events like this online, and read/watch all the details, and share it on our social media, the more we give them just what they are looking for — attention.

    Jude

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly my concern too! This is a topic my husband and I argue about all the time. He’s on the side of ‘the public’s right to know’. I think that more often than not, there is over-exposure and interest that crosses the line into voyeurism.
      Like you, I think that voyeurism fuels the crazies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful post Joanne! I am so saddened by what happened in your city. It’s an unfortunate commentary on society that people would feel the need to perpetuate hatred through social media.

    Keep spreading light! Sending big hugs.

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  3. Joanne what a horrific time. I can only imagine the shock and sadness of those who live in Toronto. Our hearts go out to all affected. We love your city and visit regularly. This is not what defines it.

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  4. A beautiful post, Joanne. And a suitable way to honour your wonderful city.
    We had a similar attack in Melbourne last year. Six people died including a three-month-old baby. To try and stop it happening again, the government installed big concrete blocks around the city. They were an ugly reminder of the tragedy. But Aussies being who they are, people got out there and started decorating them. One even has a crocheted cover. Now they look like an art installation. We need to never let the haters win.

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    • I love you Aussies! Of course it’s a brilliant idea to decorate the concrete blocks and make them look interesting 🙂

      I remember the attack in Melbourne. These stories are always very sad. They’re never just statistics – they are people with families and friends. Even the bystanders are impacted by the trauma.
      You’re right, we must never let the haters win.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally understand your way of dealing with conflict, I do the same thing – try my best to avoid it. Some people thrive on it. You are so right about the abusive way some political leaders speak to and about each other. I brought my children up to have respect for other people and to show it by the way they spoke and treated them. Your photos are beautiful, Joanne. Lovely and colourful and great doors, too.

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  6. I certainly share your outrage, Joanne. That we can’t condemn violence and show compassion with a shared sense of solidarity is frightening. When I heard Yonge Street on the news, I was saddened because I have such wonderful memories of that street from earlier visits to Toronto. May we all somehow get through this terrible period of senseless and tragic acts. – Marty

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  7. Yes, hate does not belong anywhere. I appreciate you stepping outside your usual blogging format to say what needs to be said. Maybe all of us personal bloggers need to do that more often? I like the old red door. Those hinges are cool.

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    • My default setting is to say nothing when something bothers or annoys me. In fact last night my husband and I were joking about my tendency to go into avoidance mode whenever any potential for conflict arises.
      … but every once in a while, it feels wrong.

      I really appreciate that you and all the other commenters on this post have been so supportive of my need to state the obvious.

      Hate does not belong and is never appropriate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand your way of dealing with conflict. I think all of us well-mannered people are having a difficult time confronting society’s attempt to normalize hate. It’s horrifying and confusing to know how to stop it.

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        • That’s exactly it, Ally. It seems impossible to have a conversation with someone whose opinions are vastly different. Look what happens with our politicians – the vicious personal attacks, the mud-slinging. I would have punished my children over behaviour like that.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Joanne,

    I really appreciate that you stepped outside of your comfort zone and shared your personal thoughts about Monday’s events. Your words and photos create a little patch of sunshine to blast the darkness of both the tragedy itself and the idiocy of the morons who walk around upright and trick us into thinking they are human.

    Natalie, in her post, made reference to a local florist who was giving away flowers to anyone who wanted to leave one at the memorial site. That touched me, Joanne, just as your post has touched me. By sharing your vulnerability and your hurt and anger, your readers see your goodness, your humanity and we feel the relief that comes with knowing we’re not alone and that there are more wonderful people in this world than awful ones.

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    • Thank you for such a lovely comment, Karen.
      We are each moved differently by events that happen around us. Those who come to the aid of others, regardless how minor the help, are heroes in my eyes.

      This week I happened to be given tickets to the play Come From Away. It is an outstanding tribute to the people of Gander.
      The courage, the caring, and the outpouring of support they provided for all these strangers dropped unexpectedly in their community is proof that there is great goodness and kindness in this world 💕

      Like

  9. Now that I know people all over the world, every tragedy feels personal, Joanne. I thought of you when the van mowed down those people and I shared your sadness. Thanks for sharing your beautiful city. It will continue to thrive. There are tons of peaceful, wonderful people in the world who will pull humanity through. ❤

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  10. I fell in love with Toronto last fall when I got to spend a few days there. We all hate to be in the news this way. Sending good thoughts from another big city with more than its fair share of issues. You don’t always have to be bright and cheery. This was a great blog post. Well written with amazing pictures, as always.

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    • I appreciate those kind words.

      I struggle with the hater mentality. Good grief – the world would be such a better place if only we were a little kinder to one another!

      … but I’m delighted to hear that you visited Toronto and really enjoyed it here. It makes me happy when visitors experience the good stuff we have to offer 💕

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  11. I thought of you immediately when I saw this horrible crime the news. Canada doesn’t often get a mention over here and I have never thought of it as a country of hatred and division. And in all honesty I do not know the reason behind this heinous act. As someone who does not engage in social media other than through blogging, I am not aware of all the ins and outs. I do realise from your post that you are spitting mad and I love the way you have tried to diffuse your anger through showing us the many diverse doors of Toronto to represent the many diverse people of your city and country. We all have to live together and the way the world is today is not good for our health. I call for another ’60s revolution. We need to find a way to accept our differences, tolerate different opinions and make an effort to live in PEACE. All this hatred is not going to bode well for mankind.

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    • Actually I’m still really angry. This is a rather complicated story, but the bottom line is that when people feel alienated from the world, heaping on general comments of hate and verbal abuse doesn’t help. It simply reinforces the opinions of others who feel like him. In fact the online group of Incel (Involuntary Celibates, who hate women because of general feelings of rejection) have been applauding this guy’s actions of mowing down predominantly women on a city street.
      Meanwhile, in the early hours of the incident in the absence of any real facts, the haters immediately go online to bash immigrants and “this is what happens when you have a country that supports multi-culturalism and all-inclusiveness”
      {take a deep breath, Joanne}

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  12. It has been many years since I had the pleasure of visiting your lovely home, but I certainly enjoyed it at the time. One thing I vividly remember is being able to walk around at night and feel safe. Love your doors – each and every one. The dots are a hoot. I don’t have many words for what you have experienced because I don’t understand it. The US is like a shooting gallery, and I can’t figure that out either. No much intolerance, so much hate, so much judgment. Where are the days when we valued differences instead of wanting to obliterate anything that doesn’t fit one person’s mold. These tragedies make me tired beyond my years because I just don’t see it stopping. I applaud you for rising above it the best you can and celebrating the beauty of your city. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I too am heartsick at what happened in Toronto. I don’t know how anyone could do that. Senseless killing has happened throughout the ages – maybe some day we will become totally civilised.

    Great doors.

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  14. Stories about scandals, wars, disease, climate change, income inequality, homicides, and a shaky (and shady) economics dominate the news, giving us a dose of FEAR. But there is good news out there. Among other things, the wold is actually safer than ever:

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-10-23/world-actually-safer-ever-and-heres-data-prove

    That doesn’t make the senseless acts of this week dissipate, but it might keep us from giving in to despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I started pulling out photos, I realized I had so many that I’d never featured before.

      Although I have the material, I hope I never have a reason to write another post like this one.

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  15. Hate does not belong anywhere, Joanna. Sorry and mad this happened in Toronto, as it did in some other cities.
    Love that it inspired you to this awesome post – a great tribute to your city!! Had to smile about those walls covered with colored dots, and those “thingies” (bunnies?) on the floor.

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    • I agree 100% – hate doesn’t belong anywhere.
      As bloggers we often talk about posts going off in directions we hadn’t planned on. This would be one of those 🙂

      I did a double-take on your bunnies comment and had to go back to take a look. The Kusama exhibit with the infinity mirrors includes these funky creations on the floor. I thought they were fabric, but we were told they are made from a plastic.

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      • Hm, I do that posts all the time, Joanne (I may sound very purposeful and controlled, but it’s just the appearance:):)
        I couldn’t quite get “what they were” on the floor – so it was a wild guess

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful post, Joanne. I’m glad you decided to write about your pain and concern, as well as share with us the lovely and diverse doors of magnificent Toronto. I don’t understand the senseless hate that makes some people want to do harm to others.

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  17. SO well written. While the world may have gone mad, we don’t all have to go. Your city is amazing, and I’d love to see more of it in person, but I’m grateful to you for sharing your perspectives of it with us.
    Very fond of the dots everywhere — that’s a great installation.

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  18. Joanne, I am currently visiting the island on the West coast & was so very saddened to hear of the happenings in Toronto this past week. For the most part we live in a part of the world where we are able to enjoy the freedom of living in a place that is peaceful & without fear. Sadly now & again, we are reminded we are not immune to the danger of these kinds of tragic incidents. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this horrible act. Sending you love & friendship.

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  19. Thanks for this Joanne. I’m a proud Canadian and love Toronto. Lived and worked in the city for many years. It is a wonderful, safe city and I’m sad but will work hard, as you have, to not jump to conclusions that only serve to divide us.

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  20. Thank you for this Joanne. The trolls on social media are the worst. I find that the political trolls are so hypocritical and will use any event to blame the current sitting government for what’s happened. Some of these people are members of our family who we don’t engage with anymore. They are well to do, live in big houses, have great jobs and travel the world but they feel hard done by because the cost of electricity has gone up. I digress. Thanks for posting such a thoughtful article in such difficult times. I’m heading out to appreciate this beautiful day and find some wonderful doors in my neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto.

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  21. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for moving out of your comfort zone and sharing your personal commentary on this very tragic event, and the hate and intolerance that led up to it. This is a moving tribute to your beautiful city. Your message is an essential one. We all need to take your lead, and focus on the goodness that exists all around us.In doing so, goodness can only increase.

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  22. Social media is too often unsocial media. I rarely read comments on articles, as people seem to think that they can say whatever hateful things they like if it’s not in person. There’s not room for hate anyway or from any group or political or religious persuasion. Period. I mourn the loss of civility, as the gap yawns wide if we can’t discuss and agree to disagree if we must.

    Thanks for the doors, although I had to scroll past that polka dot one as quickly as possible. 🙂 We haven’t been to Toronto in years but greatly enjoyed it the times we visited. Cleveland is much closer than Chicago, but perhaps we’ll make it back again one day.

    janet

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  23. Joanne, thank you for the positive post in light of the terrible happenings in Toronto the Good, of late.

    I agree with your comment about hyper-connectivity and would add that the internet gives these lonely, disturbed people a place to congregate, commiserate and feel legitimate in their distorted thinking. I don’t know what can be done because to limit this because any action would also infringe on everyone’s right to free speech.

    There is a price to be paid to live in a free society, I suppose, and this is one of those times when payment is due, unfortunately.

    I really applaud the police officer for not shooting this man. From what I saw on the video, the attacker clearly was looking for suicide-by-cop, and wisely the police officer de-escalated the situation such that the man could be taken into custody with no shots fired.

    If he had been shot to death as he wished, the incel movement would have another “martyr” to worship. It’s bad enough that they are calling him a “saint” already. Sickos.

    Deb

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  24. A perfect post to keep you postive about your lovely city and home. Coming from Charlottesville, I understand and hear you!!! Ignore the busy bodies and those who want to stir the pot. Turn off the news and continue your photography and writing, yours is a voice that matters. The recent event is terribly sad and tragic. May those families and friends of the injured and deceased heal in private.

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  25. Joanne, I’d be delighted to see “a dozen more” Toronto doors. These are spectacular choices. I’m “dotty” for polka dots, and how fun is that mirror house door! But I love the Gooderham Building, would like to see the rest of it. Hugs!

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    • Thanks Teagan. If I had to pick just one building in Toronto that’s my favourite, it would be the Gooderham. To me, it is delightfully Old World with a fabulous trompe-l’œil mural on the back side.

      I deleted my posts prior to 2016, which included a post about this building. You’ve nudged me that maybe I need a do-over 🙂

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  26. Like Lois, I thought of you immediately when I heard the tragic news. This is a wonderful way to answer back to those elements in the world who would use this senseless crime to promote more hate. Thank you for speaking up and for organizing your beautiful doors to highlight Toronto. I very much hope to visit this city again.

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    • Thanks Dan. It’s comforting to know I was thought about when the news first came out. In fact I was out on the TransCanada and didn’t learn about it until much later.

      I have been really struggling with the negativity I’ve been seeing on social media for a while – particularly FB … and these are people I know.
      Don’t they realize that their messages of intolerance and lack of acceptance in contributing to the disenfranchisement felt by many people?
      At what point does saying nothing also contribute to the problem?
      … and yet I know that the ultimate arguments that will result, don’t change anyone’s mind or opinions.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Bravo Joanne! It’s not hard to find beauty in your city – it’s all around you
    You just have to ignore those trolls who want to focus on the worst. It’s best to block them and not engage with those morons; they’re only looking for attention in the most pathetic way possible.
    Sending big hugs and positive vibes to all my friends in Toronto 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Norm. There are those people who are just trying to stir the pot. The only way to deal with them is to ignore them.
      … but don’t you just wish you could grab them by the front of their shirt and give them a good shake?!! As my mother used to say, maybe it would shake a bit of sense into them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois – I really appreciate the caring thoughts from everyone 💕
      Thankfully, it wasn’t a shooting, but as has been demonstrated more than a few times, a lot of people can be hurt and killed with a heavy vehicle used to indiscriminately mow down pedestrians on a busy street 😢

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  28. The entire world seems to be going crazy. You know it’s bad when it is happening in Canada as well as down here… I’m lucky and did not see the trolls. You are completely right, we need less hate. I like the variety of doors here, the different sides of the city.

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    • Thanks Trent.

      It seems that in this world of hyper-connectivity, there is a growing number of people who feel left behind and end up on the fringes.
      There have always been the disenfranchised, but now social media is making it worse.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. Its a sad state of affairs when cowards like the driver of this vehicle had to resort to killing innocent people for his 15 minutes of fame Joanne 🙂 My heart goes out to all of the families who have lost loved ones.

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  30. I was saddened to hear the news of what happened this week in Toronto. Amidst all the things happening in the world, I somehow felt we were safe here in Canada. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into the diverse, vibrant and historical Toronto.

    Like

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