Don’t worry, they’ll be gone soon
Toronto is going to be tested during the next week. The GTA will becomeincreasingly difficult to move around and by the weekend our home willfall under the world’s attention.
Toronto is going to be tested during the next week. The GTA will become increasingly difficult to move around and by the weekend our home will fall under the world’s attention. For a few moments the planet is going to switch its focus from football matches to politicians playing serious economic games.
If past global summits are an indication, there will also be images of police and protesters — plus the occasional profile story about an orderly, multicultural city in a northern land.
Beyond the TV screens and headlines, Torontonians will go about their daily lives‚ or try to. The world will not care if Highway 427 or the Gardiner is closed down for a motorcade, but commuters caught in gridlock will.
How we deal with the disruptions to our daily habits will say a lot about us. Are we going to grumble when told our train is to be delayed … indefinitely? Snap at each other as we exit a bus or streetcar that is suddenly taken out of service?
Possibly, but there are also those moments when strangers are forced to share unexpected difficulties — and the normal, cold boundaries between people briefly drop away.
So instead of fleeing Toronto for the week let’s continue to enjoy our city, including the core. Despite an insane amount of money being spent on the G20, downtown businesses are going to hurt. The rest of us can help reduce the financial pain by intentionally frequenting restaurants and shops in and near the security zones.
The possibility of encountering an angry demonstration is more likely than we have ever experienced here, and a lot less fun than witnessing jubilant soccer fans take over the streets. However, in both cases you will likely hear the noise from far enough away to avoid being caught in the middle.
We can continue to live our lives, but with a bit more awareness.
For example, transit riders have been warned to bring a snack in case of delays. A good pair of walking shoes may also be a good idea, particularly for Lakeshore West GO train users.
You never know when you’ll have to get off at Exhibition station and hoof it the rest of the way.
Keep a close eye on ttc.ca and gotransit.com — but don’t expect delay info to be as complete or timely as desired.
– Toronto-based transport writer Ed Drass covers transit issues every Monday; firstname.lastname@example.org.