Sunday, 17 December 2006

Book ~ "Union Station: Stories of the New Toronto" Joe Fiorito (2006)

From ~ Toronto is the city that Canadians love to hate. But they don’t know this city, says Joe Fiorito. Even Torontonians don’t really know this city because it changes every day. It’s not a finished thing, it’s a work in progress. It’s New York in 1900, arms open wide to welcome the huddling masses.

Union Station is Fiorito’s tour of his adopted city, from his own neighbourhood, Parkdale, through corner stores and local bars, to the suburban high rises that are home to new immigrants, and to the shelters that offer a tough bed to the many homeless. Fiorito’s Toronto exists here, on the street, in places where diverse cultures jostle side by side and where mercy is free.

Fiorito’s subtle and detailed observations of life in the city are matched by his precise, sinuous prose. On every page, these talents provide a dazzling showcase for the vivid, tender stories he crafts. In the end, we have to agree when he says Toronto will not be a fine town when it is finished. It is a fine town because it is unfinished.

I found this book slow to get into and, at one point, was going to give up on it. But I'm glad I stuck with it. Now I'd recommend it.

It's not your usual touristy book. It's a book about the people of Toronto ... the homeless, the elderly, the immigrants, even a drag queen. It's about neighbourhoods (I live just east of Parkdale) and the people who live in them.

1 comment:

RennyBA said...

Sounds like an interesting book - thanks for sharing!

Btw: I'm so excited. Come over and check what I've got from Lynn for Christmas - she's so sweet:-)