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My love in Toronto

Posted by PlayGroundology on July 16, 2008

makyla she was born on a saturday
a saturday, a saturday
when she came out
she gave a little shout
on a saturday, a saturday

Today’s Wednesday and that Saturday was nearly 26 years ago. I remember leaving the Wellesley Hospital in the early morning November air. I had never seen the sky so blue. That blue, blue was washing my eyes and opening them to see a bigger world, a bit of a frightening world with this sweet little baby cradled in our arms and us responsible for her growing and learning and loving.

I fairly floated down Dundas St. West that morning feeling both awesome and awed. When we got together this past Sunday afternoon I told Kyla some parent and daughter and dad stories. She likes to hear how things were before that time she could remember, or have the stories spark her own memories. She particularly liked the story of her birth party.

It was held in the Snowflake Parent-Child Co-operative Day Care just a sneeze away from Queen and Bathurst. The party was a real rainbow gathering – aboriginal friends, rastafari, christian social justice folks, friends old and new. The grandparents came from Barbados and Nova Scotia – first grandchild on both sides. We had a wonderful coloured chalk fresco on a blackboard welcoming our girl to the world. Sadly I can’t find any photos of this huge, spontaneous card.

I’m still in awe and mighty proud of my oldest daughter. At 25, she’s as old as I was when she was born. Toronto is the place she loves, knows and has lived for most of her life. Barbados though has been pulling on her heart strings of late – all of her Mom’s family is from there. When she was just 2 weeks old we all moved down there and she stayed until she was 4 years old. I remember her being put into a ‘skycot’ that fastened into the bulkhead in the front row of seats that starts off sections in the plane. I’ve never seen a skycot since.

Barbados under the Banks Umbrella - Kyla, seated far right

Barbados under the Banks Umbrella - Kyla, seated far right

She was down in Barbados with a group of friends just a couple of months ago. I remember her telling me on her return, “Dad, whenever I’m there it just feels so right”. Maybe there’s more Barbados vibes and liming around the corner for Kyla. Two of the gals on the Barbados trip – Janina and Camilla – are her new room mates in a townhouse in the Jane – Finch neighbourhood. They’re still in the process of moving in and making it home.

They’ve taken the dad in for a couple of days to share their space. They’re all gainfully employed but as Kyla is the only one who works days, I haven’t got to see much of the others. We did all tune in on Sunday night for the spectacular, direct from Vietnam Miss Universe. There are a lot of different opinions on the go about these kind of events. I was watching tongue in cheek. But if you do get pulled in it’s just natural that you root for the home country gal. Neither Barbados or Canada were in the running but Camilla’s Czech Republic was. It was not to be a night for the Czechs and in truth I can’t recall what lithesome beauty took the corporeal crown. I did notice when it got down to the final 10 that height appeared to be a physical attribute that influenced the judges with 3 of the contestants clocking in at 5′ 11″.

I’ve indulged in some nostalgesque memorylaning since I’ve been in the old hogtown. Let’s be honest it’s been more like being a gourmand, wolfing down all I could and then unsated, looking for more. As wonderful and worldified as this bizz buzzed metropolis is I know that the Toronto is truly out of this boy even though it’s been deeply embedded on a couple of occasions – as a kid and young adult. It’s a 365 theatre in the round on every corner, storefront, piazza, patio café, concrete park, green urban jungle. high rise project, residentialized gated community, ttcway – there is always something on the go,

I’ve hit all the cardinal points and crossed the city east-west and north-south on a few occasions. Kyla and I took in Hellboy II at Yorkdale- a classic comic book adventure with good vanquishing evil and lots of action between opening and closing credits. City TV just reported on a Caribana teaser that took place at Nathan Philips Square at noon yesterday. Had I only known I would have taken in some soca and kaiso as I was only a few blocks down the street on Queen West.

The room mates are off the World Electronic Music Festival later this week. It’s the end of the line for this once annual festival that celebrates the best in electro. This year it’s up in the Algonquin Park area with artists coming in from the US, UK and Toronto. There will be a lot of pulsating beats and dance, dance, dancing.

Great Transit

Great Transit

Kyla and I didn’t have a lot of time on this visit but we did have fun. I accompanied her out her door and into the courtyard on her way to work this morning. She’s off to a professional development day to keep up to date on the latest in the veterinarian assistant world. She looked great on her way to work and after a quick hug, we let go and said goodbye.

Off now to see an old friend for breakfast in High Park and then to catch the bus for Montreal. It will be great to see Noah, Nellie and Mélanie and bring them some little prezzies…….


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