A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “How far is a Montreal mile?”

Writing for CBC News, Montréal writer Sarah Lolley has a lovely essay looking at the issue of subjective distance in cities, modified by weather and mass transit and construction and all sorts of other factors. Lolley’s experience has been mine, too, and I think others’ experience as well.

Back when my husband was still my boyfriend, I used to joke that we lived 13 subway stops and a good book away.

His apartment was close to the Jane Street subway station in Toronto. Mine was beside the Mont-Royal Metro station on the Plateau.

The actual distance was more than 500 kilometres. But with the STM, VIA Rail, a Dick Francis mystery novel and giddy anticipation propelling me forward, the miles disappeared.

My accountant, on the other hand, was just a 20-minute walk away in Mile End, but making the dreaded trip to his office at tax time could take days. Even weeks.

When I wasn’t seeing him (my boyfriend, not my accountant; although both, really), I was typically hanging out with my friends Melanie and Nat, whose apartment two kilometres east of mine was either just around the corner or an insurmountable distance away, depending on the weather.

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm

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