Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Altar on Sunday

   Last Sunday I had a bifurcated day where I spent the morning at my local parish in an upscale suburban environment having communion plus a thanksgiving luncheon and the afternoon downtown at the St. James Park Occupy Toronto encampment. You can see from the pictures in this post and the next that there was quite a contrast.
Thanksgiving lunch

  Lots of food at the luncheon including poached salmon, ham with pineapple, pork tourtière (a Quebec dish consisting of a pie with a minced pork or beef filling), broiled potatoes with rosemary, rice and other dishes plus a choice of red or white wine.


  A variety of deserts were available with coffee or tea. I was certainly full when I finished.


 Nice harvest décor on the dining tables.

Two 75th birthdays

  Contrast this with delivering garbage bags as well as disposable utensils, cups and plates to the encampment via the public transit because many  of the roads downtown were closed due to the Toronto marathon which was also happening on Sunday.

St. James Cathedral from park

   St. James Cathedral is the seat of the diocesan bishop in the Toronto Anglican diocese and the park which contains a cemetery where many of the early Ontario luminaries are buried lies on the east side of the building. This was once a very prosperous part of the city but declined over the years into a relatively poor area which has recently been gentrified by new arrivals. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip attended a service at this church last summer. It`s a good place to attend if you like Anglo catholic pageantry and rubbing shoulders with the local elite.

St. James Altar

   The original church was built in 1807 but was damaged and robbed by American troops in the War of 1812. After a number of replacements burned down, the current church was built in 1853 with the bells installed in 1865 and the spire completed in 1875.


  This church was the preserve of the Family Compact, a small group of plutocrats who ran Ontario between the War of 1812 and the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 which makes the Occupy Toronto having its encampment beside the cathedral ironic since there are many similarities between the current economic environment and that of the early 19th century including the collusion of the government with the plutocrats.

  Below are the park gardens which were off limits to the encampment and in return the church supplied electricity to the occupiers.
St. James Park gardens

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