1.24 Construction Revolt!

TORONTO, ONTARIO: The main road outside my house has been under construction for almost two years now. They dug up the street, removed streetcar tracks, replaced the water manes and repaved. They were digging again, this time to restore the streetcar tracks. The entire process essential, inconvenience unavoidable. We had to suck it up or move. Long-term construction wears people down. Frustration sets in, businesses suffer.

In order to lay the tracks, they suspended the beams and paved around them. Down the middle of the road was an area that dropped about a foot. The construction workers built wooden bridges across to the other side of the street.

The problem on this particular day: You couldn’t cross the street. A bunch of large, tattooed, cigarette smoking construction workers were paving between the tracks and removed the bridges.

An old woman carrying shopping bags stood on the other side of the road, neglected. She looked forlornly down the street one way and than the other. The closest crossing was blocks away.

She had no choice, really.

She jumped down into the gulley between the road and the suspended tracks. Between the tracks was freshly paved concrete, still wet. They hadn’t noticed yet. She stepped right into the concrete, her shoes sunk.

Halfway across and one of the construction workers alerted the others. But it was too late. They started shouting at her to stop, so she did. They then started yelling at her to get off the wet concrete – she was ruining it and they’d have to pave it over again.

She snapped.

I can tell you this: I have never heard the kind of expletives that came from this woman. I will not repeat them here. Using more colourful language than this, she basically told them that the construction has gone on too long, so hurry up. By the time she was finished, the workers were stunned into silence.

Other people walking along looking for a place to cross had stopped and gathered around the woman. She inspired them to revolt. They followed her lead and jumped down off the road, stepped over the tracks, walked across the wet concrete and on to the other side. It was quite the sight.

It’s an unfortunate position for the construction workers. They’re just doing their jobs. They were caught between the city dragging its feet in the construction and an old lady that was fed up.

They had to go back and fix all the footprints.