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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter in the City

One of the nice things about living in the city (Yes I confess to some admiration for urban living) is that on any particular festive occasion there is a wide variety of things to do to participate in it.
As I look over the activities in Toronto this Easter I find things from the Divine to the rediculous (or just fun and playful). The activities are both religious and secular something for everyone. There are sunrise services, passion plays, great musical concerts ( Handel's Messiah and Bach's Easter Oratorio). There are the community Easter Egg hunts for children as well as the very large one of Center Island.

One event I always associate with Easter is the Easter Parade in Toronto. I remember the one along to Boardwalk at Sunnyside, not that I ever experienced it (Maybe once) but because my mother told me all about it. It was a stroll really when people, particularly women, showed off their new Easter outfits and and enjoy the Spring weather. Sunnyside was beachfront amusement park on the west side of Toronto. It was important for my parents generation but actually closed down in 1954 so the ugliest cityscape of Toronto could be built, the elevated Gardiner Expressway, an accommadation to the automobile.

This early Toronto Easter Parade was in the spirit of the New York Easter parade and the inspiration of the movie "Easter Parade".

You know the song. I like this version by Sarah Vaughan and Billie Eckstine. Mainly, because I love Sarah Vaughan and consider myself to have been privileged for having seen her perform live once near the end of her career in Dallas, Texas.

In the early part of the 20th Century amusement parks were a major source of entertainment for urban dwellers, (before the automobile, TV and computers) Toronto in those early days was a small city of about 50,000 people. There were three amusement parks, on the east and west of the city and on the island. They were well used, as few could afford to escape the city in the summer. It was my generation that came to enjoy cottage life in rural central Ontario.

There is still an Easter Parade in Toronto but it is a standard street parade with little regards to showing off fashions. It is sponsored by the Lion's Club in the Beaches area of Toronto.

There was a time that Easter would be a time to only find Christians out in the streets and parks celebrating. But Toronto is a rich multicultural city with almost every religious and ethnic group represented in significant numbers. Today the Sikh community is having their Khalsa Day parade. They have a large parade each year to celebrate the beginning of their religion. Ten of thousands participate. Here is a video of the parade in 2007

The Sihk parade finishes in Downtown Toronto. It is interesting that the leaders of the New Democatic Party and the Liberal Party, will address the the Sikh rally since we are in the midst of a federal election. It seems the Christian's don't merit this special attention.

What ever you are doing this Easter, may you find it enjoyable and hopefully life affirming.
For me, this is the deep meaning for the Christian Easter message that Life should be lived in the fullness of God.


At 3:09 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

There is something to be said for urban living, but I'm not so sure about suburban living. I am thinking in terms of having most of what you need close at hand with good municipal transportation and not a great need to drive everywhere.

At 7:38 a.m., Blogger possum said...

Now that would have been an interesting parade...
Well, this heathen (one from the heath) spent the day planting beans and cucumbers, and cutting grass. John Deere and I had our own parade!
Glad you enjoyed your day in the BIG city!

At 8:49 a.m., Blogger amelia said...

My kids live in the Beach area and they always go to the parade and this year was no exception!!
There are all colours and races at this parade and I think most people go because it is a parade and not for any religious reason.

At 8:36 a.m., OpenID goodnightgram said...

Happy Easter, Philip. I left the city to go to Smalltownville for the holiday.

At 9:23 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I'm glad you had such a nice day and I love the fact that you mentioned Sarah Vaughan. She was my all time favorite singer and I envy you having actually seen her in person.


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