On the Beat

No sails needed for this nautical jaunt

With all the citywide post office closures, why not remember where snail mail got its start in a much younger Hogtown?

Aground before the Starbucks at the northeast corner of Yonge and Davisville I set sail to spy John Davis’ old postal digs.

The curious thing, as I rode the concrete waves, there were no historical markers to affix my inner sextant on.

While the Wallflowers ordered everybody out of the water, I kept right on going east along Davisville, lacking a compass point for John boy’s old home.

Instead I cruise along. To my south stacks of apartments with barnacle balconies over looking Yonge, north, Kids were darting around the Davisville Public School yard like fishing terns over the ocean.

Further along, the Salvation Army’s Meighen Retirement Residence had folks looking out the windows, dreaming of freedom.

One lady, chatting with an elderly woman, waved to me from her window seat. I waved back with a smile, feeling like I was being seen off on my maiden voyage.

Along the shores of asphalt seas, semi-detached homes sat close to the curbs, the din of sirens in the background.

A young boy rode his skateboard up an incline while Robert Plant spoke to me of going over the hills and faraway.

Speaking of things off in the distance, the sign at June Rowlands Park is reflective of yore.

“Back in da days” was written. I drop anchor to steal a few visuals, and continue on. But caution tape sticks out like a yellow buoy, and several tweenagers, fresh from a day of class murmur, “That wasn’t there earlier.”

I hit a busy intersection and notice an apartment building balcony has a bright red telescope sitting idle — hopefully it’s used to follow the stars.

Steering myself north along Mount Pleasant Road, the tennis courts are brimming with rackets and those brave enough to work their tired sea legs out.

On the east side of the road, a pack of young pups ogle an Alice in Wonderland costume in the display window of a shop.

I laugh to myself when I see one boy jokingly lean to look up the mannequin’s skirt. Somebody’s been on the briny too long.

Mike Hutchence muses about being “Elegantly Wasted” on my voyage where a rare midtown gas station makes its presence known at Belsize Drive. The Longest Yard promotes a week of lobster, and to meet some Catholic’s Good Friday needs, Penrose Fish and Chips lies wanting.

As I pass a smattering of spring flowers, I hang a left onto Manor Road East, entering an inlet of boxy homes.

A man pushing a baby carriage glares at me suspiciously with the eyes of an aged mariner. I make like I’m doing something constructive, stopping short of swabbing the deck.

An old stone church makes me want to stop one of three wedding guests and tell them my old rime. The old stone façade and copper roof reminds me of Anglican churches back in England.

Folks are tending to yards blooming with crocuses, snowdrops and petite little buds in shades of purple and gold.

Afar, twin Mintos tower like the Colossus at Rhodes, but I catch the wind south, back to my starting point on Yonge.

On my path, I witness a lady breaking out into dance across on Glebe Road East. She notices my gaze and grins Cheshire before halting her impromptu performance.

With that in mind, Paul Rodgers’ note, “Let’s move before they raise the parking rate”, gives me the perfect ending, as I disappear into the horizon, ready to discover more neighbourhoods to be spoken erelong.

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