Community United in the face of Adversity

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; Because it was so COLD without electricity, we had to leave, leave our house! A while back people asked me why we started publishing a community magazine.  In reply I often tell a story of traveling throughout the United States hundreds of days a year for many years.  After so many days of traveling, I observed and learned that there was no greater bond than that of “Community”.  In fact, it was during the era of 9-11 that I too observed like everyone how communities band together to overcome adversity. Yesterday, as we walked through our Community you couldn’t help but feel that sense of “coming together”, people packing up their cars and transporting their lives, their families to relatives and friends lucky enough to still have power and heat. People without power themselves checking on their neighbours, elderly or with young children or simply anyone who needed help. IMG_8396 For families who did not have a place to go, they turned to Hotels and for the most part, finding a place.  It did sadden me to hear of a large Hotel Chain attempting to extort a family with hiked up rates beyond reasonable.  The reply from the hotel representative according to a Hillcrest Village Resident was, “What can I say, it’s an Ice Storm”.  Sad. The sheer force of nature could be seen wherever you turned.  Neighbours working hard to clear the broken branches, with chainsaws in hand they worked tirelessly to help clear the way to make it easier to get the power back when Toronto Hydro workers would finally make their way here. chainsaw_maplewood Beside Humewood School rests a limb broken and reaching down into the middle of the road as if taking root there and not letting cars pass.  It is a sight so unfathomable bordering on apocalyptic, which is the work I keep hearing from people.  In the parks, the devastation is no less with limbs everywhere. road_block_beside_Humewood_School  IMG_8384 As my journey continued it didn’t get much better.  The sheer power of the Ice split trees like lightning had come straight down the middle of the tree or had bent over bushes and trees almost to their breaking point.  So brittle were the limbs that even a brush up against them broke the branches clear off.  For the many whose cars were not spared, our hearts reach out to you as besides dealing with the ice storm, insurance companies can be another storm in and of itself. split_Maplewood audi_broken As we turned the corner to make our way home, lucky enough to have power and heat, we made our way to St. Clair West, it was with a heavy heart to see so much destruction in our communities.  But, just like the reason why we publish our magazines, it is exactly this reason that makes me so proud to live here in this area of the city. The stories of people helping people like that of our very own Design Firm taking in their 80 year old neighbour who was huddled under her covers in the dark cold and powerless reaffirms my faith in people and society and most of all community. Here are a few more shots from around the area and if you have photos that you would like to share of people helping people, or shots that you have from around the community, please share them on our Facebook Wall. Wishing you a healthy, happy and warm Holiday and most of all a fabulous New Year! ~ VL Pinewood_Debris IMG_8401 no_pass_Sidewalks

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