2016-12-20 Tue

Union Station

Here I am in the Union Station complex in Toronto. I use the word “complex” because the entire area is a mystery to me. I have previously documented how awkward it is to travel between the GO (bus) station and the adjacent GO (train) station. I have documented delays in construction.

Here I sit, tapping away on my laptop. I caught the #6 Bay Street Bus from home instead of walking through Ryerson University and collecting two free copies of the Toronto Star. One for me, one for my friend who is making lunch for me in Mississauga and, I hope, shuffling a deck of playing cards.

I figured that just for once it wouldn’t hurt if I spent MONEY and purchased two copies of the Toronto Star, one for me to read when I return home tonight, one for my friend to read after I have departed.

You can’t buy a Toronto Star in the Go Train York concourse.

I looked, I wandered, I asked the nice man in the shop that sells expensive chocolate bars and glossy magazines. “No-one sells them down here” he said.

So with twenty minutes to kill, I decided to return to the VIA Rail (mainline) concourse.

You can’t buy a Toronto Star in the VIA Rail concourse.

I looked, I wandered, I asked the nice man in the Information desk and he said “You could try in the Telus building (which is a good ten minutes walk away).

What kind of city sports a large railway station that doesn’t sell the local newspaper?

Let alone major newspapers from around the world (for travelers who arrive by another dysfunctional piece of the complex a.k.a. “The UP Express”)?.


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I scratched my head over this.

I am amazed.

I thought that Canada (and other western nations) had banned all import, export and use of asbestos years ago.

Wittenoom Gorge was closed, what, thirty years ago?

When I arrived in Canada in 1982, the nation was in the process of ripping out asbestos fibre insulation.

It has been illegal to install asbestos fibre insulation for all the years (30+) that I’ve been here. I’m sure.

Or at least, I was sure.

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Asbestos, we are told, continues to be used in HOSPITALS and CONDOMINIUMS. That is, where sick people go to be cured, and where healthy people live and sleep.

Canada still allows car-drivers to spew asbestos particles into the atmosphere.