No More Business As Usual.

Last Tuesday evening I went to a meeting about lobbying city council to build a 4 km extension of a cycle lane on Bloor Street in Toronto’s west end. 4km of cycleway in 2019 sounds like such a puny demand but it’s also an indication of the level of consciousness that exists in Toronto that, as one of the more progressive city counsellors (who is a daily cycling commuter) put it, is a demand that is most likely to be rejected by council.

By the time I came out of the meeting, I’d been clearly reminded me of why I avoid them; the tactics, calculations, envy, ambition, the coldness, professionalism, manipulation, lack of sensitivity; all the alienation. The feeling that rather than toppling the status quo, you’re being disempowered and only strengthening it. Is it any wonder that most people disengaged long ago?

Now that’s not to say – well let’s not do anything, there’s no point, it all doom and gloom. I’m definitely not saying that. If there is a positive it is being reminded me of why the grassroots matters. To treat each person I meet for who they are – as friends, as neighbours, as authentic integrated individuals – not by how they can serve my interests.

We need to help each other to develop our understanding, to not be afraid of developing our critical faculties. If we’re not willing to wake up each morning with the realisation that today is an opportunity to grow and change as a person, then what’s the point? You’re already dead. Your just walking through the motions, a zombie, a dinosaur, the living dead.

Somehow it seems we’ve become so attached to things – ideas, opinions, beliefs, values. How are we going to listen to each other if we can’t let go of these? And if we’re not listening to each other, we don’t have much of a relationship do we?

So let’s discover the quality of our relationship. Is the need to understand (and necessity of change) a life or death situation for you or not?

Abandoned Bikes Series.

In case you missed it in a previous post, I’ve been taking some pictures of derelict bikes that are locked up all over Toronto. They are such an interesting reflection of urban decay – look out for more in the coming weeks.

Abandoned Bicycles in Toronto

The other day I was walking along the north side of Dundas street, heading east towards Ossington Avenue, and I started noticing a whole bunch of locked up but seemingly abandoned bikes, a whole bunch of them. It was a strange sight.

There always seem to be derelict bicycles dotted around the city, but there was a whole cluster of them here, and when I crossed over Ossington there were even more there.

Who knows how long these bikes have been there? They seem pretty conspicuous now that the spring weather is coming in. Pretty soon the council are bound to notice these – maybe somebody will phone in, and the bikes will get notice of impending removal tags and then be gone – who knows where? Perhaps they’ll be donated to Bike Pirates or Bike Chain or another Toronto Bike Collective. Hopefully they are not going to end up in landfill!

Different people locked them up and walked away. Different reasons, different stories, that we can only guess at.

I decided to take some pictures – an art project. What are these telling us? Look out for more of these in the coming weeks.