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Toronto's Mosaic:
No More Regent by Charita Edwards

Charita EdwardsCharita Edwards (Adonis Huggins/Catch da Flava) External Site
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Originally published by Catch da Flava External Site
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This article contains coarse language.

They're tearing down my home.


It won't be there no more.

They started on the North side last year but every day I realize how much closer they keep coming, gurl.

They called it the 'Revitalization Project'- just another 'project'.

They don't realize that in an environment that was 'make use', they housed people, who have made it HOME.

George's Mini-MarketGeorge's Mini-Market (Dwight Friesen/CBC)
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We made use and you gonna tear it down?

Nelson Mandela School?

Where he came to visit after being imprisoned for 40+ years (I think) because he spoke up?

The store where all the manns chill since they was younginz and the Korean guy who owns it.

The Centre? Where everybody goes and plays b-ball and watch BET so we can gossip and cuss out.

That green thing that says "Danger" that everybody sits on?

Tutoring and that old church that Tom's great grandpa built? My playground and the waterfalls?

Gated corridor in Regent Park (Dwight Friesen/CBC)Gated corridor in Regent Park (Dwight Friesen/CBC)
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The Block @ North - the field is gone - our basketball courts?

Welcome to da hood that's spray-painted on the ground outside the gate, all our murals, the red gate in the south -"They keep tryin to lock us out"?

The way u could jus sit on the stoop and watch everybody get up in everybody else's business.

The way the walls are so thin u already hear everybody else's business before they tell u.

Police cruiser in Regent Park (Dwight Friesen/CBC)Police cruiser in Regent Park (Dwight Friesen/CBC)
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The way u hear ur gurl runnin her mouth outside her door and just leave as u are 2 go out in the hallway 2 c what's goin down, then her brother comes out and this girl from Moss Park's there and the baby brother's there - so gurl just goes and brings out some chairs, the phone, some food and some picture books cuz they're always funny.

The way gurls always got a new weave and manns always got a next bike.

The way the Muslim ladies talk loud and the Black mammas cuss, the Chinese ladies talk sharp, the Indian women sing and white ladies yell and everybody's momma know when u in trouble.

The way we always gotta story 2 tell, even tho sometimes it feels and looks like ur going nowhere.

Regent Park child at time capsule ceremony (Toronto Community Housing)Regent Park child (Toronto Community Housing)
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The way the babies are so cute and oblivious and u learn that it = innocence.

The way u got 2 dress to rep the name cuz u noe RP got the fame.

The way u grow not 2 like the cops.

The way if you rock the same shirt 2wice or ur hair is stale, some-body will tell u.

The way you feel respected when the elevator and the floors are spotless.

The way mann's always chopp you for lookin so fine even tho they watched you grow up and your moms watched them grow up.

The way old people around the block, u pass by them but they have so much history about you and about the only place you've ever known 2B.

Regent Park child at time capsule ceremony (Toronto Community Housing)Children play at the Sunday in the Park event,
Aug. 7, 2008 (Toronto Community Housing)
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All the murder sites u walk pass from back in the day.

All the musicblarin' and water fights.

All the cuss out - rank badwod and the hugs that keep you strong for days after.

All the times you tried to run away from them brown brick buildings that make u hate that people feel you're poor.

All the daps and huggs u got just from callin out them same buildings cuz every body tryin 2 B from RP.

All the looks of dismay and interest.

All the times u blasted up ur music so loud u sang off key and in tune and came out the next day, like u aint say nothing.

Regent park demolition, Feb. 13, 2006<br />(Toronto Public Housing)Regent Park demolition, Feb. 13, 2006
(Toronto Public Housing)
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All dem times momma yelled at the rasta ppl 2 stop banging dem drums so hard and for ppl not 2 push the elevator 2 hard before it breaks!

The way everybody goes 2 university even tho in school they tell you 2 just settle with college cuz its "practical" (cheaper).

The way people's feelings can get hurt easily, even if they're unbreakable.

The way manns look dope when they sellin it but look 'bust-the fuck' when they smoking it.

The way the geography teacher at Rosedale Heights looked at u weird in grade 9 when he handed u that assignment. I had to figure out the best way to demolish the projects of Regent Park and how u didn't know it was a bad thing, cuz u just happy 2 rep your hood until u booked reality outside ur window.

The people I've met and the things I've seen will only be remembered because in a few, Regent Park won't exist.

U realize I won't belong nowhere after that.

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