A Thousand Cranes


crane against blue skyWe were looking out the window together. We were considering, should we stay here? And I said, “When we moved in we could see all the way to the lake – we could even see stars sometimes. Now there’s a crane in the middle of the lake view, and pretty soon an even taller condo than ours will block our view. We went to the meetings, we tried to stop it. Someone said, ‘You bought a condo, you didn’t buy a view.’”Traffic chaos from construction.

I drove past five cranes and three excavations, a huge hole in the ground, just empty space, four streets reduced to one lane of traffic, four closed sidewalks… and that was just on my way downtown today.Swinging cranes Bloor and Yonge.

Here is what really annoys me… when the condo development has spilled onto the sidewalk and traffic is reduced to one lane and we are all waiting and waiting in our cars, watching the cranes, and pedestrians are walking in circles to get to the corner all because someone is building a luxury condo. We have to accommodate while some developer is getting rich.

through the peepholeI love looking through the peepholes seeing a construction site. It’s like a city in motion with people in hardhats operating cranes, driving dump trucks, climbing scaffolding. Seeing the steel beams of the emerging framework before the concrete and glass cover them up.Cranes surrounding old brick building.

I tried to get to your office but I got lost. Didn’t I park across the street last time? I was looking for that parking lot. What happened to the parking lot? Then I tried to walk. Where is the sidewalk? Everything’s blocked off. The flag guy was trying to wave me to the other side of the street, but I wanted to be on this side. On your side, but you are surrounded!Uptown theatre.

At the new condo, over a glass of wine on the balcony…
– What was here before?
– I think it was a bank
– I think it was a restaurant
– Yeah
– I think I ate at that restaurant
– Yes before we went to the movies
– We ate at that restaurant before a movie… there was a movie theatre here.
– It was the Backstage theatre. Or was it the Uptown?
– Well the name of the condo is the Uptown residences.
– Ahhhhhhh…

Stop sign.In line waiting at a local coffee shop…
– How are the kids?
– Well, our son just graduated and started a job. He’s so ready to move into his own place.
– That’s great about the job. Has he found a place?
– Looks like that’s not going to happen so fast.
– Hard to find a place? Really? Seems like there’s a new condo on every block.
– Not sure how hard it is to find a place. But when he figures out rent, bills, a metro pass and groceries … it doesn’t add up.
– Yeah… just can’t see how our kids can afford to live here!
– I know … seems so different from when we started out.

Photos by Schuster Gindin
(unless otherwise credited)