The Garden City Refugee

Musings from around the Niagara Region and elsewhere

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Canada Day in the Core

July 1, 2021

This installment of doing more in the core begins on St. Paul Street, where many restaurants have their patios set up after People’s Commissar Ford so graciously allowed them to open. Let us pause for a moment to sing his praises and thank him for his eternal benevolence. One of those restaurants has a loudspeaker with music blaring. At eight o’clock in the morning. Who is the proprietor is trying to impress, I ask? But farther down the street, I am impressed by the number of Canadian flags I see flying, as I did throughout my travels on this day. Mayor Sendzik and his fellow left-wing extremists who indulge the mob by canceling Canada Day celebrations clearly do not speak for the majority. So I extend a happy Canada Day to all readers. And anyone who is offended, well, you know what part of my anatomy you can kiss. Just because you are offended doesn’t mean you are right.

Near the farmer’s market, which, again, People’s Commissar Ford has so graciously allowed to open, is another of our community residents bums. With him are two shopping carts full of all his worldly possessions, including a suitcase. Perhaps he plans on traveling in the near future. On his head is a brand-new Boston Red Sox cap. Nice to know he can afford such things. He is busy reading something. Not a newspaper, but some big fold-out instruction manual. Maybe it’s all part of some skills training. Or maybe not.

Over at the library, a community resident bum lights a cigarette as he saunters by, mumbling gibberish to himself the entire time. A slightly less disheveled community resident bum follows behind. She has tattoos up and down her arm and is also puffing on a cigarette. She says hello to me as she passes by. Even the community residents bums are polite around here. A short time later, a somewhat normal-looking guy passes by. “Nice around here, eh?” he asks. While there are some nice flowers around the courtyard, there is the usual quota of trash scattered about.


All I can answer is “Sort of.” He goes on to say that they should hose down the area because of the virus before moving on to talk about the rain we’re supposed to get later in the day with another guy seated nearby.

Here, a squirrel digs into the remains of one of many discarded food containers. Bon appetit!

Elsewhere on the grounds, there is a prescription receipt. The prescription for 16 8mg tablets of hydromorphone was issued to someone on Queenston Street and filled by a pharmacy on Welland Avenue. It’s good he has five refills coming because, judging from the cracked pill bottles nearby, he’s likely gone through them already. The instructions on one of the bottles clearly state that he is to take the pills by mouth. Just in case he has an inkling to shove them up his backside instead.

Heading down Church Street is another of our community residents bums. He leaves his bike, loaded down with all he possesses while hauling a thick metal stick along with a plastic pail and an orange towel a half block down the street. He then turns around, passes his bike and leaves the pail and towel at the end of the block before going back to retrieve his bike. While there, he digs into his pile and pulls out another metal object. It’s hard to tell what it is, but it’s curved and has a serrated edge. Perhaps it’s some kind of homemade machete. Though he looks a bit slow, don’t mess with this dude. With the metal objects in hand, he wheels the bike across the street and another half block before stopping and going back to retrieve the pail and towel. Apparently it’s too complicated for him to haul both at the same time. He repeats this a couple of times before changing course and turning down Carlisle Street toward the bus terminal.

Here, another community resident bum is fast asleep on just outside the office of our uber-obnoxious MP, oblivious to the passing traffic on Geneva Street. When he/she is ready to get up to begin the day, there is half a loaf of Wonder bread and a tin of salmon he/she can dig into. The breakfast of champions.

Not far away is this bench. Perhaps it is wash day for a sanitation-conscious community resident bum, who is leaving his/her clothing out to dry. For abandoned street clothing, it looks in decent shape. It’s a wonder they haven’t been stolen. But then again, maybe there’s a code of honor among the street urchins.

Finally, I see signs like this all over town. Lost cats. Lost dogs. If people put half the effort into keeping their pet at home as they do in trying to find it later once it gets out, there wouldn’t be such a problem. But I digress. What strikes me about this one is that someone who lives on Queenston Street is offering a $100 reward for the return of their cat. Take a drive through this neighborhood and ask yourself who has a spare $100 to dish out for a lost cat.

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