A Letter to Jan Wong

Re: “Get off the Road” by Jan Wong (September 2010)

Share the Road Sign by Hey Paul on flickr

Who decided that roads were only for fast-moving cars? Roads are connections between people and neighbourhoods. They’re public spaces.

It’s only fitting that roads be used for cultural events, fundraisers, or street parties – even if it slows people down. Engaging with each other in the streets fosters community.

Street festivals also bring in revenue and showcase the city to tourists. Pride week is estimated to bring in $100 million to the local economy. Caribana infuses more than $400 million into Ontario.

Supporting that doesn’t make me meek, or a caricature of a Canadian. It makes me proud that I love my city enough to want people to experience it, not drive right through.

Get over yourself, Jan. Take the subway, ride a bike, walk, or simply stay home and weed your own lawn. But don’t tell me that only drivers have a right to use our city.

This letter appeared in the November 2010 issue of Toronto Life Magazine.

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