Homelessness in the Suburbs

Suburban Homelessness

A homeless woman soliciting cars at the red light by Yorkdale Mall, in the suburbs of Toronto.

Homeless Suburbanite Man

Her partner soliciting cars on the other side of the street. His sign says he is hungry.

As I was walking towards one of Toronto’s snazziest malls in the suburbs, I couldn’t help but notice a couple on the intersection stopping cars for money. Their signs that read “HOMELESS” and “HUNGRY” were written very legibly on good quality paper. They undoubtedly looked more well groomed than the stereotypical homeless guy.  But at the same time their looks indicated despair.

Not everyone down on their luck is a toothless haggard.

The couple made me think of the many who are well educated and hardworking but somehow still fell through the cracks of the system. There can’t possibly be jobs for everyone. We don’t hear about those people because not everyone who is homeless necessarily begs for money.

The couple also made me think of poverty in relation to location. Homelessness isn’t a phenomena that only occurs in downtown. You can lose your job in a factory in the suburbs, inner burbs and rural areas.

Of course, there is more factors that come into play on the issues of homelessness. These were just some thoughts that occurred to me as I passed by them.

Homelessness is a very complex issue, and merits very complex answers.

Regardless, when I asked the couple if I could take their picture (shown above), they were very thrilled. This may be because this was the first time in a while anyone had any interest in them…

Banana Republic forgets ‘u’ again!

I wrote a letter to Banana Republic about their front display months ago that included the word “Colour” without the letter “U”. Jennie from Banana Republic’s customer service reassured me she didn’t mean to cause any offence and that the marketing team will look into it. The display was up until the end of the season and I didn’t think about it again until today.

This time it was with the word “Favourite”!

I spent an unspeakable amount on  Banana Republic clothes, so this error really bugs me! Not to mention that I have to walk by this place everyday.

So this is what I wrote to their customer service:

Dear Banana Republic,

It seems that my complaint on your American spelling tendencies on your front display stores in Canada has yet to be acknowledged.

The previous display that spelled out the word “color”, which should have been “colour”, has been gone, but a new display is in BP’s Canadian front display, this time with the word “Favorite” which should be “Favourite”.

Please have this error corrected along with any other grammatical errors in the Canadian branch. Your lack of consideration to Canadian spelling shows how much you respect your Canadian customers.

Once again, I will be posting this story on my blog as a sort of impetus for you to remedy this eye sore.


Maybe they will be quick to fix it- I’m being optimistic. You can judge yourself- you can read how my previous correspondence with Banana Republic was like by clicking here.