View from the street of the balcony flag The flag as seen from the balcony
Having secured the Canadian flag on the railing of our downtown apartment, I set out early in the morning on Canada Day to walk along Queen Street West. Within moments, I encountered a large group of Asian teenagers carrying Maple Leaf Flags and wearing t-shirts emblazoned with “I Love Canada.” Proceeding further along the street, I discovered that the scene was not like an ordinary summer Sunday morning. Most of the stores were closed, but the coffee shops were busy. However, because it was a holiday weekend, the city had been deserted by the usual crowds that haunt Queen Street. The people seemed more casual. I wondered if most of them lived in the area and were reclaiming the territory from those that normally arrive from other parts of the city to shop in the eclectic mixture of stores.
Two girls wearing large Canadian flags as cloaks were strolling along the street. I lost sight of them when they entered the Condom Shack. Several young men had small flags inserted into their baseball caps. An elderly Asian couple, sporting “I Love Canada” t-shirts similar to the teenager that I had met earlier, sat on a cast-iron benches as they rested and observed the passing scene. I wondered if the t-shirts had been on sale the previous week in one of the shops on Spadina.
When I arrived at the old City Hall, the Canadian flag was flying energetically in the breezes that were funnelling up Bay Street from the harbour. Crossing over Yonge Street, I gazed northward and noticed how empty the street was of vehicle traffic. It was as if the entire city had taken a respite from the usual hurried pace of life to enjoy a quiet time. It was a great way to celebrate Canada Day in the city.
Happy Canada Day.