Toronto is such a beautiful city with many open opportunities for young entrepreneurs, or for those who just like to explore, but… does anyone ever mention the part of Toronto that isn’t so lavish?
In high school I had the chance to visit Parkdale, Toronto. My catholic school wanted to help the homeless, so some of us students volunteered and made lunches, brought winter clothing and traveled 3 hours to meet some of the people that live there.
At the beginning of our trip we mostly just handed out sandwiches and some hats and mittens to those we saw who needed them.
Later on in our trip we met with a special type of “tour” guide. Our tour guide was honest, he told us Parkdale is a very hard place to live. Half the people who live there are refugees or immigrants who can barely make ends meet, but were hoping to come to Canada for a better life. They live in homes that may not have heat, or inhabit cockroaches as well.
(Source: Google images)
Parkdale is home to many halfway houses.
Parkdale is an area where police don’t come right away if they even come at all.
Parkdale is a place where addiction is an issue, and so is the trafficking of people.
Parkdale is a place where if you are a young person of colour who happens to be male, and you get shot the police might not get there on time, and if they do the news won’t be broadcasted if there is a casualty.
Parkdale is a place where people who have mental illnesses but have no where else to go roam the streets.
Parkdale is a place where there is pimp houses that everyone knows of, but no one does anything.
Parkdale is a hard place to try and start your life.
When I visited Parkdale I saw broken alcohol bottles on the ground, condoms, and used needles and coming from a small town, seeing stuff like that really had an impact on me.
(Source: Google images)
That trip taught me so much about people who are shoved to the back, who usually aren’t given another chance. It taught me that I never want to end up like that, but that I want to help people who have fallen under.
Some people there have met hard times, and I really felt for them.
Visiting Parkdale also showed me some of the nicest people who were also able to tell it as it is. As for motivational speaking, I was told to work hard for what I want and to keep trying.
I think everyone should have the experience I did, and be able to talk to people and see what its like for those who don’t get mentioned or might not get a second chance at their life. It is somewhere everyone needs to see, it only made me value things in my life and the opportunities I’ve had so much more.