Saturday, July 2, 2011


Canada Day is almost over… the “pop… pop… pop… boom” …of the fireworks has stopped now; all that is left are the sounds of the city traffic. Sirens blasting as various emergency response vehicles race to someone’s rescue. Car radio’s thumping baselines which rattle the walls or my tiny main street apartment. Basically the night has returned to normal.
An hour ago I sat on the daybed (just me and the cockroaches) listening to the Canada Day celebrations outside of my window. Mostly pops, bangs and whistles offered the only indication of the festivities; but every few minutes one of the missiles would burst open just above the billboard, which provides the vista from my penthouse suite (150sq ft bachelor on the top floor of a 100 year old building struggling not to be a tenement LOL). Though the colourful display was somewhat diminished by the street lights, still there was enough to enjoy and remember previous Canada Day celebrations.
My first Canada Day on the road, I was living at the WEAC (women’s emergency accommodation centre) in Edmonton at the foot of Boyle Street. The staff opened the rooftop patio so we could go up and watch the explosions of colour against the velvet back drop of the night sky. Best seats in the house or at least pretty close and no charge. I loved my time in Edmonton; the city has a great sense of community rivaled only by the DTES (downtown east side) of Vancouver. In all of my travels these two places seem to be best at collaborating with agencies and the homeless populations to build a working relationship and develop some real solutions for reducing the problem.
Last year I spent Canada Day in Ad Sum House in Halifax…although no special effort was made, my room happened to be at the back of the building, facing the harbour… So once again I had an amazing view of the fireworks. Bursts of colour, reflecting in the water, raining down and collapsing into itself. How could you not love this country?
Canada Day has a way of reminding me that for all of our flaw and failings, there is no place in the world that has as much right with it as Canada and no place I would rather live then here among her people. Have a joyous year my friends.


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