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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 139 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Toronto is not scary enough  (Read 2057 times)
fig
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« on: February 25, 2008, 11:02:07 AM »

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lachek
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 11:37:39 AM »

Yeah, TO's not all that scary, even as big cities go. One of my groups in the Greater Toronto Area is getting ready to start a Conspiracy-X game set in Toronto, focused around what Canadian media called "2005: The Year of the Gun" by virtue of the 52 victims killed by gunfire that year. To put things into perspective, New York City had almost 1,500 shootings that same year.

I would point at two things, though. First off, the PATH/subway complex. A big chunk of Toronto's downtown core is crisscrossed by underground tunnels and shopping centres, at least one level deep. These underground areas are also connected with the subway. During business hours, the PATH is crowded and bustling with activity. But as soon as the storefronts drop the security gates, everyone clears out. Your footsteps start making an eerie echoing sound. You're chillingly aware that the mean-looking stranger casually leaning up against a wall you have no choice but to walk by has no real business there anymore. Anyone could be waiting for you around the corner or in the shadows of an elevator alcove. The frequent maps are confusing and cover far too big of an area to be useful. There are narrow tunnels intended for service personnel use that you can find yourself in by accident. Everywhere you look are unmarked, gray steel doors. What lies, or waits, over the threshold?

(Yeah, I'm overdramatizing on purpose, but it can get actually get pretty freaky at night - the absence of people in a big city is disconcerting)

Secondly, I'd focus on the juxtaposition. The fact that it's hard to imagine anything scary or evil in Canada means that revealing the (fictional, I'm sure) scary and evil parts of Canada that are hidden behind the scenes gets so much more terrifying.
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northerain
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 07:24:37 AM »

Anything can be scary. In fact, ''safe'' locations that are actually sinister are usually more scary than exotic and weird locations. Like lachek said, it just means that it's well hidden.
An easy way to lend some creepy to a city is to talk about the parts of it normal people never see. At night, things are very different on the wrong side of town. Maybe even outside of town, in woods, mountains, whatever.
You should check out if there is any stuff online about urban exploring toronto. You can usually find really weird things that you didn't know about.
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lachek
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 08:34:23 AM »

There is, in fact, a Toronto Urban Exploration and Adventure Meetup.com group.

http://urbanexplor.meetup.com/12/

Quote
Come on out and explore in Toronto and beyond. TUEAM is equal parts urban exploration and adventure. We've been to abandoned buildings, old cemeteries, ghost towns, old auto wrecking yards and many more places off the beaten path.

If I were you, I'd post a message on their board. They might well have some great insights.
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MKAdams
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 09:38:04 AM »

The only thing I know about Toronto is that sometimes film makers use it to substitute for New York (it's cheaper than shooting in NY), but when they do that they have to bring trash to spread out or the city looks far too clean to be NY.  gSo, basically, I know Toronto is a very clean city.  Which isn't very scary.

Canada as a whole is pretty unscary.  I mean, it's Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north.  Other than the big flopping heads, it's pretty mundane.
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epweissengruber
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 12:41:13 PM »

Canada

Sure, it's no Detroit/East St. Lois/Sao Paolo

But move "Fargo" a couple of hundred miles north, and you could have made "Winnipeg" instead. 

That said: here are some notes about the grottier parts of Toronto.



http://www.torontosun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Haines_Max

Max Haines was a sensationalizing crimewriter for a local tabloid.  He has some historical crimes on the newspaper's site.

http://www.torontoghosts.org/

Contemporary occultism and spook hunting.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/88361455@N00/pool/

Photos of urban decay around the GTA

- We have some drug violence, a few psychopathic slayings that could inspire you (check out the Homolka thing)
- Toronto is a multicultural city so you can have cultures rubbing up against each other in interesting ways, along with their various occult and religious beliefs
- Southern Ontario Gothic: the staid WASP early settler culture is the kind of social mask under which all kinds of repression and deviation can grow (see Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findlay, Alice Munro).  This is way, way in Toronto's past so old crimes from the straightlaced times could be having delayed repercussions in the po-mo multi-culti now.

Do a google search on
"Parkdale," "St. Jamestown," "Regent Park," or "Cabbagetown" and you could learn about the tougher neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Around Moss Park you can see the continuance of old Anglo-Irish slum life into the new millennium, with hard-core addicts and traumatized homeless.  (So Moss Park/Sackville would be a locale to research)

The Docklands/Film District has some alienating architecture, perfect for feral beings to hang out in.  Also, 52 Division was a notoriously tough police district.  Popular legend has it that trouble makers were taken for a ride on the "Cherry Beach Express" and clubbed into submission out by the lakeshore.

There are some nice "French Connection"-type overpasses down by the lakeshore.  Car chases, nosferatu homeless, all kindsa stuff could go down here:

http://i.pbase.com/o6/04/463304/1/72982578.cFAoXEzu.CA_160_1091_1.jpg

"Kensington Market" is another bo-ho zone, were the arty meets the scrabling for survival recent immigrants.  A punk band called "Bunchoff***ing Goofs" used to roam around here.  They might make fun NPCs.

We have the well-off moving back into the city core and driving up prices, so you could push gentrification tensions into freaky areas of extremity.

The old mental asylum (and TB asylum) out on 1000 Queen East has some stories to tell.  Queen East is our Greenwich Village.  It's where the art students and the fashion designers meet the rock clubs, arty book stores, junkies, etc.  Perfect place for Vampires to hang out.

There was recently a huge fire at Queen and Bathurst which a) produced some cool images, b) could be an interesting mystery to investigate.

* There is the monument to the Irish immigrants who died while in quarantine. 
* There were the Christie Pitts race riots
* Recent school shootings
* Recent shootings in Chinatown
* an investigation into corruption in Toronto's drug squad just collapsed due to prosecutorial incompetence
* an investigation into an alleged pedophile ring up in Cornwall Ontario was revealed to have been a social-panic witchhunt.  Or was it Huh??

And, what?  You didn't find Forever Knight scary?
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fig
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Posts: 23


« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 12:17:29 PM »

epweissengruber, that was a lot of good stuff. Thanks for the hook up.

Quote
And, what?  You didn't find Forever Knight scary?

LMAO. That was probably the least scary vampire show I have ever seen. They might as well have made it a musical. Tongue
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