At the Long Branch loop
At the Longbranch terminal, passengers say the waiting room smells of urine, which is why Ani, a private nurse, sits on a stone wall.
AARON HARRIS/TORONTO STAR
It is the end of the line. For westbound travellers on the Queen 501 streetcar. For the Kingsboro cab drivers, idling without fares. For the vagrant slumped in the waiting room.
There's a blankness in this waiting. The mind wanders. Gaze at: townhouses, a fading wall mural showing the march of transportation through the ages, the traffic speeding to the Mississauga border.
Even the flags near Brown's Line hang listless.
A place for the immortal words of Boyz II Men: "Yes, baby, my heart is lonely."
A moment's distraction. What is that futuristic light pole, with its space-age style and why is it . . . so fresh and forward looking and improbable in a landscape that has faded to despair.
The pole had once stood at the Eaton Centre. Removed during Dundas St. redevelopment, it lay in a public works yard until it was rescued to be a feature of the Brown's Line/Lake Shore revitalization. That was a decade ago.
There is an even more pressing need for revival of this loop. Track repair is underway and earth lies exposed and grey.
The paint is peeling in the shelter. There are holes in the roof. Passengers say the waiting room smells of urine, which is why Ani, a private nurse, sits on a stone wall. "In winter, it's terrible." She shakes her head.
Her commute is 90 minutes from Mississauga to Bay St.
Walk south for 10 minutes and there is another world: million dollar lakeshore houses. Marie Curtis Park, with a sandy beach and gentle waves. And a fresh breeze.
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