Spacing contributor Jessica Hume wrote an account in today’s Star of her experience last Friday night walking home through Riverdale:
Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in the heart of Toronto the Good, but dark alleys, empty schoolyards and parks have never been places I’ve avoided — day or night.
So last Friday night when my male friend and I left the bar, even though it was dark and getting close to 3 a.m., we decided to take the shortcut home, the one that goes through the track field beside Eastern Commerce Collegiate, south through Phin Avenue Parkette and across an unlit alleyway heading west toward Riverdale.
It wasn’t long after we’d entered the schoolyard when I heard shuffling behind us. I turned around and saw three stocky men walking toward us, each wearing a black sweatshirt, hood up.
I’ve been walking around Toronto for 7 years now, through alleys, deserted parts and pitch black ravine paths, and nothing like this has ever happened to me. A few pushes on Yonge street with a group of teenagers once, but I pushed back and it was over — an isolated incident, just as Jessica acknowledges in her opening paragraph here. Still, reading this you almost understand how a Bernard Goetz type might find some motivation, because I can viscerally imagine taking a crowbar to those three stocky men, though I’m not sure I even know what a crowbar is. And the more I imagine it the better I feel.
Hope the police catch these assholes — but let’s keep walking anyway, and Toronto the Good will endure.