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nightlife

Homeless

  • 28th Jan, 2005 at 10:48 PM

It's rather warm in Toronto right now. With the windchill, it only feels like –12°C.

I walked past Nathan Phillips Square, which is right outside Toronto City Hall. There was a big party going on, called the WinterCity Festival. There was a live band on a stage, and people skating on the rink. Everything was bathed in a cacophony of brilliant coloured lights.

American Express was a sponsor. They had this "ice maze" which was actually a crappy art gallery, with walls made of blocks of ice. Inside, they had framed photographs between the ice blocks. Amex logos were everywhere. Next to the gallery was a sponsored "warmup pavillion." This was meant for ice skaters who wanted to get out of the cold. How did I know this? I asked the two burly security guards standing outside. What were they guarding? All througout the square, the regular homeless were sleeping on benches or on hot-air vents. You know there are people there, because there's this big pile of coats or sleeping bags huddled together.

The pavillion was empty, and the people who needed warmth weren't getting any. It made me realise that no matter how sad I've ever been; I've never died slowly of hypothermia.