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In Toronto

By Ryan Feeley

Snowballed on Way to Work

On 15, Feb 2007 | 6 Comments | In Toronto | By Ryan Feeley

When Julia and I left the house this morning, a woman new to the building next door walked past and unleashed on us a venomous torrent of curses and insults. We waited for her to walk a half a block ahead and then followed behind her. She cursed the entire time but eventually she turned left and disappeared from sight. After Julia and I parted ways on College I ran into the neighbour again. The cussing continued and much to my surprise it became physical. The neighbour hurled snowballs and even kicked my foot as I walked away!

Now some background to make it interesting… About a week ago, I remember leaving the house to go to work. Departing her front door at the same time was this new tenant from the neighbouring building. As we both approached our own gates, I coughed. When we passed each other on the sidewalk, she faced me and coughed repeatedly as if I had coughed directly in her face.

For the rest of the day I replayed this scene in my mind and to my colleagues. “Did I imagine coughing an entire house away or is she just disturbed?”.

So this morning, as we emerged through our front door I noticed that the neighbour was walking past. She did not notice us, and oddly coughed unprovoked. Very funny. So to catch her attention I coughed from my front porch. She looked up and that’s when the cursing began. During our second encounter which became physical she actually said “I know where you live.”

So in short, what should I do? I would say something to her landlord, but honestly she doesn’t come across as a stable person either. She is a senior that dresses and sounded like a 6 year-old scouring the streets for garbage which she then displays on her front lawn. I think the two of them might even be related.

And the larger question is: why does Toronto have more mentally disturbed people walking the streets than any other city I have lived in, or even visited? If the ambitious move to New York, do the ones that need to silence the voices of their heads move to Toronto? If they are, it ain’t working.


  1. Wow, crazy. I think it is amazing the number of mentally ill and homeless in our downtown core. I think this is a result of the surrounding regions having an absence of community-based programs for people with mental disabilities and mental illness which draws to the centre where programs are available.

  2. NONE Ofyourbusiness

    DON’t you dare talk about me like on the Interrnit. Din’t I tell you I KNOW WHERE YOU Live. Beaucease I AM Your Neigbor You know.

    YOu are the rudist Cockidoodie BUMhole FUCKYMANAss EVER.

  3. Very funny Steve. To make things stranger, this woman actually speaks accent-free english.

  4. Geoff

    Roses are red Violets are blue I have Schizophrenia And so do I

  5. Joe

    I have decided that there are far too many crazy people in the world and have taken to remaining indoors with the shades pulled. Everyone just leave me alone. Even you reading this, stop reading it and leave me alone.

  6. I used to live next to the Queen Street Mental Health Centre (when it was still called that), and got the impression that many former inpatients and outpatients liked to be in the area even if they no longer went to the place. I speculate that since governments decided to save money by abandoning mentally ill people who aren’t dangerous, many of these people like to be somewhere that they have some connection to, even after they’ve been dumped on the street. They have nowhere else to go anyway.

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