Sherbourne Subway

Inside Sherbourne Station
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The Sherbourne  Subway station is on the Bloor-Danforth Line of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).  It was opened in 1966 and serves 25,000 people a day.  That number isn’t surprising at all since it serves St. James Town, which the largest highrise district in Canada.  St. James Town houses over 20,000 people in one area making it the most densely populated area in North America.

Sea of Buildings in St. James Town
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There are 19 high rise buildings in one area, some of them rising 34 stories up (yes, I counted them).  Four of the buildings are Public Housing and are home to new immigrants to Canada.  St. James Town is also statistically the poorest neighbourhood in Toronto with the average income less than $20,000 per year, but the northern portion of Jamestown is Rosedale  (see “Rosedale” on my blog) which is one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto.  


Bike racks, phone booths and dumpsters
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I stood there in the centre of a sea of buildings around me, and felt small and insignificant,  though people were friendly.   It didn't take long before I struck a conversation with some.  One person asked me "Oh, you don't live around here?" I replied, "No, I haven't seen anything like this before."  They laughed and said, "Well you haven't seen anything yet.  People jumping off balconies..." I didn't catch the rest of what was said.  I thought it strange they laughed about it but it was the way of life they grew accustomed to.  
In front of some buildings were racks and racks of bikes for those unable to afford cars and a collection of dumpsters. 


The Ongoing Construction in St. James Town
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St. James Town Park
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In every zone you could see ongoing construction signs, notices to amend, fences up, gates across and unfinished works always in progress.  Priorities are least here, I suppose.  The St. James Town West park was more of a walkway or a grassy clearing and then when the snow falls, it will become more like an ashen blanket.  One might think this all would become so uninspiring, but I noticed immediately such a strong sense of community.  


In large cities around the world, there are always the poverty stricken areas and Toronto does its best to offer the less fortunate a hand in opportunity to work, to live with dignity, shelter and food, regardless of race, religion or financial status.  Instead we embrace all our differences in way of food, culture, music and religion.  There are over 240 neighbourhoods in the GTA, each with its own identity and this is why Toronto is called, "the city of neighbourhoods."