Alas, I am officially convinced that the iPhone takes the lousiest photos ever. But I feel compelled to show you a little Toronto gem: Wychwood Park.
Its most famous inhabitant, Marshall McLuhan, the media theorist who defined our understanding of modern communications, lived at No. 3, a seriously happening hot bed of intellectualism. And fucking gorgeous. (That would be the neighbourhood, not Mr. McLuhan, whom I never met.)
I've written of Wychwood before but, finally, allow me to present some substandard pics.
Opulent little cottages (above) mingle with opulent mansions (below)! C'mon, how democratic.
Residents even have their own nature preserve swamp...
...complete with quicksand!
Toronto has never been known as "easy". By this, I don't mean loose - which it most definitely is not - but inclusive. Friendly people abound (well, they're out there), but many new Torontonians, which is to say residents of less than 15 years, often feel strangely looped out. Don't get me wrong, they know their ways around, they have equal access to all the cool things, but there's an element of club to TO. There are things you can't possibly understand until you've been assimilated. And you do not assimilate until you've earned it. Don't ask me why. It's just the way.
It's one of the things I love and loathe about this city. So utterly bland in so many ways, and yet so richly subtextual. You'll never see homogeneity convene more perfectly with diversity, each sect keeping its own secrets, giving a little, then a little more.
The first thing you ask when you want to get to know someone here is, "where do you live?". It says everything (unless the person in question is new to town).
There are more affluent spots than Wychwood, but none so discreet. Perhaps a mere 40 houses display themselves beneath a canopy of trees the likes of which you'll rarely see elsewhere. (Finally a group of frickin' trees this city can't cut down!)
When you say you live in Rosedale, it tells people you are wealthy, probably WASPy, likely indigenous, and on weekends you leave town. When you say you live in Wychwood Park - and btw, I've never known anyone, in 35 years, who's actually lived in the gated enclave, only in the surrounding area which is sometimes given the same name - it speaks to a kind of exclusivity the Rosedale inhabitant can only imagine.
For what it's worth, I'd settle for Rosedale.
So tell me: Do you live in Toronto? If yes, do you agree with my take or do you think I'm high on drugs? If you don't live here - do you feel the same way about your town? Or do you live in a bastion of newbie inclusiveness? Let's chat.