Register Saturday | July 13 | 2024
Nowhere to Rest Illustration by Clea Christakos-Gee

Nowhere to Rest

A new wave of bylaws sweeping Canada threatens to make public space more exclusionary.

“What is the intended purpose of a sidewalk?” It’s a question I pondered as I wandered city streets with my son this past winter. In Montreal, I hold his hand and dance wildly down the sidewalk in the rain, still buzzing from the frenetic energy of a DJ spinning in Place des Arts. In Toronto, we squat on a curb outside Union Station after dark, waiting for my dad to pick us up and drive us to the suburbs. In our home city of Kingston, Ontario, we linger for a lengthy snack break on a downtown bench outside a health food store, my tired son reluctant to make the walk home.

I started considering whether my use of sidewalks is appropriate after I heard the question uttered by Joe Hermer, associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). Hermer had been speaking against a proposed Community ...

Subscription Required!

Already have a subscription? Try logging in.