Monday, September 12, 2016

Sticky Step Eleven: Dufferin Street Tunnel & Parkdale Amphitheatre, 1258 Queen St. W.

Alerted to trouble as he walks past Alexandria Falafel and Motel Bar, Lucas Barrett continues down Queen St. West, only to discover the intersection at Dufferin St. completely destroyed by a huge spiky-skinned creature rising up from beneath the city.

The Pitiful Human-Lizard running for his life on the first cover of his own series.

Emerging from the street, the enormous monster actually reflects a city-planning oversight that had plagued Toronto motorists since the dawn of the automobile, and which had only recently been corrected. For over a century, traffic along Dufferin had been forced to detour around the CP Rail line that also intersects at Queen and Dufferin Sts, resulting in what had come to be known as the "Dufferin Street Jog."

Trouble rears it's ugly head at the corner of Queen St. West and Dufferin St.

The jog was first seen as a problem during the 1960s, when traffic picked up to such a degree that Dufferin St. became a much more heavily used artery into the city's core. In the end though, it took the city nearly fifty years to correct the traffic flow snag in 2010, by completing the 72-meter-long Dufferin Street Tunnel, running under the railway line and directly adjacent to the Queen Street underpass.

Phone booths are a rare thing nowadays, so Lucas resorts to changing in the bushes.

While Lucas is off getting changed behind some nearby shrubbery, Mother Wonder rockets down Queen St. West like a TTC streetcar, ready to tackle the titanic beast. The Human-Lizard quickly enters the fray, but no sooner does he leap up on the creature's shoulder than things take a turn for the horribly unexpected.

Mother Wonder's got this, while Lucas is still tucking in his shirt.

The sudden jolt from a Wonder punch causes one of the creature's spikes to slice through Human-Lizard's arm, cutting it clean off and sending the now critically maimed Lucas hurtling to the street. While he lays bleeding out, thinking his super-hero career is over before it's even really begun, Lucas is shocked to see his arm reattach itself and heal at incredible speed!

The Human-Lizard looks around for a helping hand next to Parkdale Amphitheatre.

Meanwhile, Mother Wonder makes short work of the rampaging menace and, checking in on the now-completely recovered Human-Lizard (minus the bloody sleeve of his uniform, of course), thanks him for the assist in taking the monster down before heading off to her next super-heroic feat: Taking care of the family back at home.

Mother Wonder giving the beast a taste of it's own medicine.

Before the Dufferin Street Tunnel was completed, the area where Mother Wonder and Human-Lizard tackle and overcome the giant, spiky monster was nothing more than a few unkempt trees and a large, unsightly billboard.

Parkdale Amphitheatre with, and without, giant spiky monsters.

Shortly after though, it was revitalized into a more neighbourhood friendly green space with wheelchair accessible terraced seating, surrounding the pocket park now known as Parkdale Amphitheatre.

Parkdale Amphitheatre at 1258 Queen St. West.

Next up: A trip down memory lane with Lizard-Man . . . on top of the Fairmont Royal York hotel!


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