May 1st, 2012 § 0

Everything around me here reinforces the idea that the lake is a negligible entity.  I bike through the fabric of downtown streets which conceal combined storm and sewer drains, channeling crap to the lake when it rains a lot.  I try to hold my breath as I pass through the wall which separates me from the water.  As smelly, impatient traffic gets pulled along Lakeshore Boulevard through the Gardiner’s sculptural undersides, I think of the motto: “Ontario is great because it was engineered that way”.  Out of the city’s ripped backside, I emerge into a different airspace.  A jumble of condominiums line the discontinuous waterfront, whose mostly-hidden treasures are saved for people who already know.  I imagine tourists must wonder what is going on in this town.

My first Toronto lake dip was in early June, around midnight and icy cold.  The satin black water reflected a furtive full moon.  Propelled out by my quick, erratic breathing away from the bonfire and drums, I was glad not to see what lay beneath.  I looked back at the unfamiliar skyline, the sparkling towers romantic castles of banking braving the empty sky.  I didn’t get an infection.  Heartened, the weather warmed as I made my way from the Scarborough Bluffs to the Humber River.

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