Finding Romance

By Michelle Martin
Published February 13, 2011

In my awkward youth, I learned from hard experience to be wary of grand gestures, and developed instead an appreciation for quiet consideration and interesting conversation. And so I came to the most romantic Valentine's Day I ever experienced, back in Toronto.

There was, of course, no limo ride or dinner that would break the bank. Instead, there was a Queen St. East streetcar ride out to the Beaches for a walk on the boardwalk, since the weather was unseasonably warm that reading week. We strolled, in the dark, all the way out to the water filtration plant.

R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

You may wonder what kind of atmosphere a filtration plant could possibly have provided.

It's not just that it is an architectural jewel. There is a view to take in as well: a lake to look across and dream about what life might be like if it were shared with the person standing beside you.

And now I know what it would be like, and what it has been like since that evening 27 years ago.

We never have marked Valentine's Day by re-visiting that scenery. As Toronto got shinier, we became less able to afford to stay there.

But the walks aren't any less inspirational here, and our regular get-away-from-the-house-on-a-weeknight haunts include Gage Park, the Kenilworth stairs, and of course, the waterfront. Some Friday nights, we even make it to the Art Gallery.

I hear you protest, "What? That's all?"

I know. We haven't even tapped out the poetic inspiration lurking under the Skyway, or beside all of the waterfalls. We still have to make it out to the renovated Farmer's Market, and an Art Crawl.

We're working on it.

I adore you
I want to follow you
Make a boat out of this cigarette pack
Watch it float away and hope it comes back
With the water under Skyway Bridge.

-- Melissa McClelland, Skyway Bridge

Michelle Martin lives in Hamilton. The opinions she expresses in Raise the Hammer are her own.


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By rayfullerton (registered) | Posted February 13, 2011 at 18:14:20

Enjoyed musical video "under the Skyway"

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted February 13, 2011 at 20:19:50

That was a lovely article Michelle!

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted February 13, 2011 at 21:14:42

Great song..

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 13, 2011 at 22:15:51

Happy Valentine's Day, Michelle!

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted February 13, 2011 at 23:07:16 in reply to Comment 59712

Back at ya, Highwater!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted February 14, 2011 at 16:01:11

Beatiful story, song, and a great little video. I had never heard of Melissa or seen this video before.

I don't know that I have ever seen anything romantic on RTH, but I will admit I wouldn't be objected to a little romance in the mix myself.

Thanks for sharing this story, Michelle, and Happy Valentines to you and yours. Binbrook Conservation Area is a favorite romantic spot for me. Standing on the dock, looking out into the quiet, calm, fall waters. All the colors of the trees; the peace that can be enjoyed just a few minutes outside of our city.

There are many within the city as well, but that has always been my favorite. Another reason to say no to this Fort Erie to Burlington highway, but I digress.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-02-14 16:05:25

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