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joy sighting in hogtown

This Magazine Staff

I hope everyone read R.M. Vaughn’s hilarious piece in the weekend Globe about how you all hate Toronto only because our shiny surfaces reflect back your own inadequacies. It warmed my heart. Brilliant writer, Vaughn. You should go buy his books. If it makes it easier, think of him as a Maritime author like that other Torontonian David Adams Richards.
Anyhoo, one of my least favorite Toronto slights is the suggestion that we are an unhappy people — that we cannot experience joy like they somehow do on the prairies, or beside an ocean. Being mostly joyless myself, I’ve always had trouble defending Toronto on this point, but now a bunch of local blogs and papers have come to my rescue. Below you see the remnants of the Joy Oil & Gas Station (thank you BlogTO for the photo), built in the 1930’s and a longtime landmark on Toronto’s western shoreline (corner of Lakeshore and Windermere).
20070415_joyoil01b.jpg
The gas is all gone from that corner, but the joy remains, or did anyway, until recently when the City of Toronto officially moved its joy across the street to serve as an ice cream stand. So there. Toronto’s joy will now pump out ice cream to little kids and old people walking by the lake. Stick that in your latte, Vancouver.
p.s. I’m very pleased they’re doing something with this structure. It’s been covered with white tarps for two years at least, and my kids now love it, screaming out “Ghost House!” when we pass it every day.

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