Black Lives and boarded-up buildings in Toronto

Here we are at Church of the Holy Trinity, Trinity Square- We are now surrounded by boarded up buildings, windows, doors- in fact all of downtown toronto is boarded up, banks, lobbies, outlets.

Church of the Holy Trinity never closed, when COVID hit we worked together to figure out how to adapt to a rapidly changing world, and to support all of our communities in downtown toronto. Folks on the street are the most visible, but our outreach extends to women, children, older people, people in condos, people in apartments, people searching for meaning, people wanting hope.
We stayed open because we are part of the community and we wanted to be with our friends and our families.

Here we see the Toronto Eaton Centre, now completely shuttered. I say this as they are one of the vast businesses and buildings that are boarded up, and are our neighbour. This is white flight- the opportunity to leave, to not have to be present, to be a part of the community when it’s convenient. The duality of scenes here is incredible, we have now at least 50 residents here in makeshift shelters, at least double that continuing to come to our daily program for the essentials of life.

The cost of boarding up downtown must be immense, this is the cost of fear, the fear of black lives, of indigenous lives, Trans lives, womens lives, of drug users lives, of mental health consumer survivors lives, of lives outside of convenience of whiteness.
Their very survival is the threat,
justice is the threat.

As they board up we remain here, unwavering- we arent afraid of justice, and we stand in love. Church of the Holy Trinity stands in prayer with all of you, in love and in action, with all who will take the streets this weekend, all who work for justice in their communities and all who commit themselves to survival.

Black lives matter,
Zach