I lived in Toronto for about 40 years yet never got my butt over to Fort York. This week I remedied that. It was a warm, sunny day, and I dodged school groups successfully. Start of Toronto began on this location. During the War of 1812American troops attacked and burned the fort. In revenge, British troops attacked Washington and burned the White House.
From 1912, Port McNicoll was home port of the CPR‘s passenger and package freight steamships, SS Keewatin and Flagship SS Assiniboia. The steamers would take on passengers from the “boat train”, arriving from Toronto, upbound to Port Arthur / Fort William to connect with their trains there. Downbound, the steamers would carry passengers back to Port McNicoll, returning to Toronto, via Medonte and Midhurst.
During the depression of the 1930s, the rail connection between Orillia and Lindsay, was abandoned. The CPR’s older steamers, SS Alberta, SS Athabaska and SS Manitoba continued to run from Owen Sound until the mid 1930s when the Alberta and Athabaska were withdrawn from service. With an increase in the handling of package freight, these two ships were pressed into freight-only service from Port McNicoll, until the end of the war. The SS Manitoba was retired in 1950, following the SS Noronic disaster.
The SS Keewatin and SS Assiniboia continued operating until the cessation of passenger service in 1965, when they too were reduced to freight-only service. The coal burning Keewatin was withdrawn from service in November 1966, while sister ship Assiniboia, with boilers converted to burn oil years earlier, was likely the reason she lasted longer. The SS Assiniboia retired November 26, 1967
photo resurrected from an old family photo album no details on the back of the 2.4 inch by 3.3 inch print.
I had an appointment at 130pm at St. Michael’s Hospital in the downtown core of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I lived in Toronto for 42 years so I have some experience in driving in its clogged traffic, but I have lived on Georgian Bay for ten years and I am used to the lighter traffic up here. What’s more Toronto traffic is widely believed to be worse and getting worse each year.
The weather was poor, fog and rain all the way down and most of the way back up. Around 7 pm I had reached Barrie on the return drive and decided to stop to unwind over a coffee and having finished it I walked out to get back on the 400 north and encountered a sharp drop in temperature and a strong wind. The day’s drive had been bad with the fog and rain and all the vehicle spray especially the treat of having a tractor trailer pass by at 120km per hour.
The wait was medium for the Ontario health care sytem, 90 minutes. I was there about the diabetic ulcer slowly healing on the back of my left ankle, my glacially healing heel. My care at this appointment was from a chiropodist and a student nurse specializing in wound care. The nurse’s accent place him as originally from eastern Europe. His English was flawless. The treatment last about twenty mninutes. The wound is better. It will still be several months before new skin forms a complete covering.
I have a return appointment next week at which I will see the plastic surgeon. At the moment a skin graft does not seem to be in my future. They seem to want me to heal this on my own. Which makes sense. If it takes months to heal the wound, the new wound from the incision to harvest skin for the graft would also take months to heal.
I have been wearing an aircast to off load the left heel. I find I am tippy with this the air cast. I wrap a small plastic retail bag around the open toe and tape it to the cast to keop my foot from getting soaked and freezing in the winter weather, both the rain and snow we have had this season.
I am also using a wooden cane with a flip down winter claw foot to snap in place of the rubber tip, for ice and snow and for balance. Curbs and stairs are more interesting these days.
I walk well on level ground, but on uneven ground or bumpy and patchy snow I do less well. I follow my instructions and shorten my stride and take it slow.
It is hard to judge when this all began for a sore started on my other foot first but healed on its own. This heel has been almost six months. Perhaps another two to three months to go to get it well.
“Fantastic,” said the plastic surgeon looking at the healing of my heel, excuse the redundancy of that. A ferociously difficult drive through the steady rain down from Georgian Bay to downtown Toronto to St. Michael’s Hospital. It was like driving through a 100 mile long car wash. I really detest that dull silvery grey low visibility look like the inside of a dirty fish tank. With so much rain there was a ton of spray being whipped around by cars and trucks. I managed to pry my fingers off the steering wheel in the parking lot and schlepped over to the hospital with my aircast on soaking my open to the elements socked left foot. Must think of a plastic bag cover one of these days. A bit of slough (dead tissue) removed and a follow up appointment for the 2oth just five days before the big red suited guy lands. Clinic staff exceptionally upbeat, cheery, and energetic without being at all annoying about that, which was refreshing.
From 1958 (age 5) until 2000 I lived in Toronto. I have never been arrested. One of my few interactions with the police took place around 1990 in The Beaches. I left my basement apartment and found just outside my door in the alleyway a police warrant card on the ground. Turns out it belonged to a young constable who was visiting his grandmother and dropped it in his haste to get on his way to work. I turned it in at a Division in the East End. Another interaction took place one Saturday afternoon on Jarvis just below Bloor. A man in a car was trying to force a woman into his car. I got out of my car and two other men got out of their car and we moved to stop the takin of the woman. When he saw us move at him, he drove off and a few moments later about ten cruisers caught him further north on Jarvis which turns into Mount Pleasant Road. I was lucky that day, the man might have had a handgun, but I was determined not to just standby. It turns out the woman was a prostitute and the man was her pimp.
I live 100 miles north now. For many years I wanted to visit New Orleans, a perfect city for a photographer to point his camera at, but never went because its police force had a dreadful reputation. I have to got to Toronto for medical appointments and if I get a kidney transplant it will be done there and the many followup appointments will be there as well. My thoughts now are that I will never travel to Toronto again unless I must for medical reasons. I do not want to run afoul of the police, who seem to have the potential to do whatever they want to without regard to the law.
I visited the cathedral on Tuesday January 18th, I was in Toronto for more preparations for a kidney transplant surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital. It is early days. There is a 5-7 year waiting list for a transplant. I have been on the list for two years.
The cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1845.
A few years back I heard the male alumni of the St. Michael’s Cathedral Choir School sing some lenten hymns in the cathedral. A wonderful time.