Coming to You From a Saddened but Strong City

I began this post last Saturday, fully intending to get it up early in the week. I’ve since gone back and rewritten it a couple of times, at one point thinking I would scrap it completely.

It’s a story about a Toronto neighbourhood close to home — a place that Nick and I love, and go to all the time — Kensington Market.

On Canada Day, July 1st, there was a shooting in the market which left a 19 year old man dead and three others wounded. Four men were seen escaping the area.

No details have been reported about the injured, beyond that two of them had minor wounds and the other was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. However, the market is a popular and busy place, so I imagine that at least one of those hurt was an innocent bystander.

The incident was said to be gang related, possibly in retaliation of another shooting the evening before, that was also much too close to home. Two men were killed and an innocent woman was wounded. That one happened on Queen Street West, a mere 100 yards from the front door of the first home I shared with Nick.

Looking at the crime scene pictures taken in Kensington Market in the news, just beyond the yellow tape, I can see exact places I’ve stood. And I can’t help but think how easily I could have been there on July 1st.  In fact, I spent last Canada Day in the market, shopping, having lunch and then drinks on a patio with my friend Meghan.

I realized that it’s been over a year since I’ve featured this unique and interesting part of Toronto, so a couple of weeks after the shooting, I accompanied Nick on one of his regular shopping trips to get supplies for his favourite hobby of cooking, specifically to take pictures.

My goal was to share photographs that demonstrate that bad men with guns cannot stop the beating heart of a vibrant neighbourhood. They may cause things to pause for a short time, while the community deals with the tragic outcome of their selfish, despicable acts, but they won’t scare us into leaving our streets to them. We are strong and we will fight.

That was what I aimed to express as of last Saturday. Then, as everyone in the city and many from around the world know, another, considerably more horrifying, shooting took place in Toronto on Sunday night, when a man with gun walked along a bustling section of the Danforth, aiming, shooting, wounding and killing.

As you can see, I have decided to go ahead with my post about Kensington Market and the resilience and strength of the good people who go there, live there and work there. However, now my message of sorrow, hope and optimism has expanded to include all places, in our community and yours. Life is challenging enough without the horror that accompanies people intent on doing harm.

Oh my goodness, we so love the newly refurbished park in the market! After being closed for about a year and a half while it was being worked on, it had just reopened the week we went. In fact, a construction crew was still there, planting trees and building something that looks like it will be a stage or pergola.

xo loulou