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As someone who’s half-deaf, I’ve always moved between two Torontos—the surface city and the muted, shadowy one beneath it.
When my father died, heading downtown was a way to escape my grief. Now, under lockdown, I see him everywhere.
For years, I’d been craving the community and intimacy of small-town life. Then the pandemic hit and I found that it had been around me the whole time.
For the millions of Torontonians with family overseas, COVID has meant not just navigating our own lockdowns, but living through theirs as well.
I never thought I’d own a car. Now I’m stockpiling groceries and driving through the zoo, locked safe inside my vehicle like the Pope.
The ferry is empty. Beavers and mallards rustle through the bush. Without visitors, life on the Toronto Island is quiet and peaceful. It all feels terribly wrong.
Every hour is a hundred years long, and each day is over before it’s begun. In a pandemic, everyone has their own personal theory on the passage of time.
The broad emptiness, the desolate streets, the deadening sameness—it turned out my parents’ suburban neighbourhood was the ideal place to live through a global pandemic.