Ongoing Lockdown in Toronto

I haven’t published a post in a while, mostly because nothing much has happened. Although a large part of the province of Ontario has entered into Phase 2 of lockdown, here in Toronto we are still in Phase 1 as we continue to get more cases. As a result, most shops and services are closed as well as all restaurants, cafes and bars. We can go out for walks and meet up to 10 people outdoors with physical distancing of 2 metres.

At least we are lucky in that summer has arrived and the trees have burst into leaf, many with intense and vibrant shades of green. People are out in the parks enjoying the good weather while trying to maintain distance. This seems to be almost impossible for little children and many young adults are laissez faire about remaining apart which is worrisome.

I have planted lots of pots on my balcony and I’m already enjoying the outcome of my efforts as I’m now able to collect enough lettuce leaves to make a salad for lunch most days.

My apartment is on the 40th floor and I have a view of Lake Ontario to the south. The number of skyscrapers in Toronto has increased at a phenomenal rate in the past few years and practically every city block has a high rise building with more and more being built. A new one is coming up across from me and since it has now risen higher than 40 stories, I can see how it’s being built and observe the day to day progress.

It is actually quite fascinating to see how the floors are constructed. There are two cranes on the topmost floor. The large crane hauls up items like lengths of steel rods and what seem to be wooden forms for creating the concrete walls from ground level. That in itself is a marvel as the precision with which things are picked up and set down in a narrow space without causing injury, or destroying anything, is remarkable. I was able to zoom in on the crane operator this morning and he seemed to be quite relaxed. I hear that high rise crane operators are well paid and I must say they deserve it as seeing the steel rods swaying in the wind 4o stories high is enough to make one’s heart rate rise and they must have to keeps their wits sharp at all times.

Today, the wooden forms were in place and two concrete mixers were at ground level. A metal barrel filled with concrete was raised up by the large crane, set down at the top and poured into the form by the smaller crane. As you can imagine, the process had to be repeated constantly.

Clearly there were moments while the barrel was being raised and lowered when some of the workmen didn’t have much to do. As I was standing on my balcony taking photos, one of them was doing the same and taking a 360 degree panorama of the city. Since I have floor to ceiling windows in my bedroom and living room, it made me realize that my days of walking out naked from the bathroom after a shower are at an end!

I would never have watched this building activity if it hadn’t been for lockdown and nowhere to go. I am now very curious as to how the construction workers get to the top of the building and how the crane operator gets down. I will have to time my observations so that I can figure this out.

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