In Toronto: Escape from Suburbia

Peter JonesHuman Values

OK, first of all Toronto IS our escape from Suburbia – We leave the Dayton area and spend a week or more of every month working in downtown Toronto. I have collaborative projects that have developed over the last year or two, and Patricia works on her book projects. A small-ish work/live studio in Liberty Village suffices for now. Our next door neighbor at the Fraser Studios happens to be Greg Greene, director of End of Suburbia and cinematographer for the Yellow Springs-based (our other neighborhood) project on Community Solutions (How Cuba Survived Peak Oil).

Greg pre-screened the second documentary in the trilogy project, Escape from Suburbia, last night at the No Regrets restaurant in Liberty. Escape from Suburbia shows us the committed, seemingly “early” responses of people followed from New York, LA, and even Portland to their new lives in eco-villages and rural farms. Notice that we, and Greg, remain in the city for now.

Toronto is a wonderful place to live and work, and our future location of choice. But the facts are that the GTA is the 5th largest metro area in North America, and much of it is sprawl. The regional food supply is very limited – as with much of the US, the food is flown and trucked in with about a 2-day supply. Transportation to the city and in the city is problematic – although better than most US cities.

Regardless of how your frame the phenomenon, resource costs and diminished supply are here now. The cheap oil-subsidized illusion of progress and pereptual growth is crashing, in parallel with Peak Credit, Peak Debt, Peak Consumer/Housing, leading many of us to Peak Anxiety. The documentary forces the realization that we are on our own, the governments and corporations are not here to help. We each have to create sustainable communities, wherever we choose – and we have to choose very, very soon or the choice will be made for us. See the trailer – its a witty fist in a reality glove.