Tag Archives: City

Saskatoon is a city, too.

I’m currently in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the university for a little over a month. As I’m…3000km away from Toronto, things are slightly different here.

– There are a lot of mosquitos…and they come out in the early afternoon. They’re also mutants and leave bigger-than-average marks on you.

– Everything is so dry. The air is dry. The ground is dry. There is dust everywhere. Wearing contact lenses has become a dangerous game.

– Street sweepers do not seem to exist in this magical city. Nor does the notion of “sidewalk repair.”

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“Meh, good enough.”

– The sun rises at about 4:30am. I forget what sleep feels like.

– Lots of bikes here. Great. Lots of bikes on sidewalks and I have only seen one person use a bell. Not so great.

– There are so few bars in this city, everyone knows them all. This is convenient, unless you’re trying to avoid some guy you saw last week and accidentally tell him some vague description of where you’re going.

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Plenty of places to watch the Leafs lose during game 7 when they’re up 4-1 with just minutes to go. Let’s just not talk about that.

– The Ukrainian residence we’re living in has lovely meals that remind me of what my grandmother would have cooked if she wasn’t too emotionally unstable to leave the house and go grocery shopping. The cafeteria ladies will also make you a plate and put your name on it if you plan to miss dinner. Awww.

I really like Saskatoon. It’s beautiful here. I was picturing some flat, GTA-like wasteland (yeah, Ajax/Pickering, looking at you), but there is this picturesque river that runs straight through the city and a quaint downtown area.

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LOOK, NON-DEAD TREES GROWING BY SIDEWALKS. HOW DO THEY DO IT?

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From the first day of an accidental 5am wake-up. That was painful.

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and churches, because pourquoi pas?

 

No one is debating for the millionth time about subways vs. LRTs, and I don’t even know who the mayor is but I’m pretty sure he’s not on crack. (and yes that is a link to the google search because this story gets worse by the hour).

There are also unlimited cookies in the cafeteria for us. CAN’T STOP ME.

What a nice city, and a well-needed break from various frustrating Toronto things.

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A Story of Awkward Clumsiness: Subway Edition

As I had mentioned about a week ago, I got a contract position with a marketing company to distribute displays in small businesses. Literally “field marketing distributer,” which looks beautiful on a resume compared to “display hander-outer.” Again, it’s for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, so check it out!

Today was training and I headed down to the office at Richmond and Bathurst for 10am. For any of you who know the TTC well, this means I left at like 8:30. Whatever, not a big deal.

However, for some reason I wasn’t expecting to collect the marketing materials at that particular training session. I’m on board to distribute 500 units in 4 weeks at the very least, which is not a big deal. I took home 50 today, doesn’t sound like a lot, right? Each one has three separate cardboard pieces and a brochure to put in the top. They provide a little bundle buggy, but, well, here is where the fun begins!

After the 100lbs or so of material was loaded into the cart, I was set free upon the city to somehow make it back to Scarborough. Without the cart, this would have easily included a streetcar, a subway, and an RT without any hassle. With the cart, however, well..

I decided to skip the streetcar and try to find a subway where I could manage to get down the stairs. The streetcars are extremely narrow and there are three very steep steps to get on, so yeah, not a great idea. It probably would have been different if it hadn’t felt like the cart would implode every time I went over a subway track or bump in the road, or if I could actually pick up the front without it collapsing, but hey you can’t have everything, right?

I walked to University. So thirsty. All the Tim Hortons I passed were full, and the cart had no turning capabilities at all. Running over old ladies on the quest for an iced tea wasn’t on my priority list, so I skipped it.

And then I stumbled upon Osgoode. The most beautiful sight for my eyes. Is it…was it…could it be? A beautiful blue handicapped sign, meaning there would be an elevator? Yes, yes it was! For reference, here is the TTC subway map. Note the amount of handicapped-equipped stations vs. non handicapped. The fully-equipped ones have a little blue square beside their names. Depressing, isn’t it?

This was honestly the best map on google. I have no idea why.

After my little “praise the lord” moment that I had stumbled upon a station with an elevator, I managed to somehow get the thing on to the subway without taking out too many ankles.

I have to say I wasn’t too worried about the weird looks I was getting. If you’ve been in this city for longer than a week, you’ve seen much weirder than a girl pushing a granny cart full of pink pamphlets.

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Yes, I am that creep who took your picture on the subway. Sorry.

I did enjoy how the elevators in St. George and Kennedy Stations are at the extreme opposite ends of the platform. Nothing like some good ol ‘exercise!

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Beautiful saviour.

The majority of the buttons in all the elevators I took were completely rubbed off. And nonsensical. Apparently, in the TTC world “B” stands for bus aka ground, but NOT the exit. The star stands for the exit!

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Wrong floor. Oops.

After TWO HOURS I had made it home, and now I faced the final frontier. I had  avoided all stairs up until this moment!

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Death.

But it all turned out okay, because…

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SUCCESS.

My thoughts:
I am really goddamn happy I didn’t take any downtown routes to distribute these. Thank god I have a car and it’s easy to find parking on Danforth east.

The TTC is sadly inaccessible if you, for whatever reason, have issues with stairs. The RT doors actually closed to someone’s shoulder because, due to the crowds, they couldn’t get off the car quick enough.

It’s a jungle out there.