Kristin’s Big Box

The French Fry Truck at Canadian Tire, Leslie & Lakeshore Blvd East

Okay, I know how the good citizens of Leslieville are in a kerfuffle over big box stores. The idea of a big, fugly Walmart killing all the cute shoppes along Queen Street doesn’t thrill me either. Besides I actually enjoy my drive to the suburbs to hunt for sold-out game systems in the land of Best Buy and Future Shite. But I hate when people say something bad about my Canadian Tire, the one in Leslieville. Please do not refer to it as “Crappy Tire”-it was funny in 1991, (like when people call Target, Tar-jay, ho ho ho). I don’t care what anyone says, I get my car serviced there…I do not have an “in” with one of those little mechanics on Kingston Road and I never know what you’re talking about when you say he’s east of Main on the North side behind the flower shop, I will not go there. Canadian Tire has all my info in their computer, your mechanic doesn’t even have opposable thumbs much less a proper address. And I love the Pit Stop. The name conjures up something romantic in my imagination. The last time I was there, the young, ginger buck at the desk had lips so chapped they were bleeding. I went to the Shopper Drug Mart while I waited for my wipers to be replaced and I bought him a CHERRY CHAPSTICK! How grateful was he….sigh! Also I love the smell of Canadian Tire….intense rubber. It`s the same exact smell as the Canadian Tire in Beloeil, Quebec that my Dad used to take me to when I was a child. I would wander the aisles, intoxicated by the smell and pretend the hoses were snakes and I’d run and try and find him. He`d always buy me ball at the checkout…that kind you put in pantyhose and then knock against the wall, remember that game? Why don’t kids play that anymore? Oh yeah, because they are all inside playing video games FROM BIG BOX STORES! To me Canadian Tire isn’t a big box store as much as a tradition…hoses and balls and rubber…okay it’s also a bit of fetish. And another thing as a child, we used to hit the french fry stand called Patateville for the world’s greatest fries. These are the fries that set the standard for the rest of my life, by the way. In all my years in Ontario, all (except the ones at Prohibition…future post) have paled in comparison until today. As though the gods of nostalgia were smiling upon me when a saviour, known for now as the fry man, opened up a french fry truck a couple of months ago that is permanently parked in the parking lot of The Canadian Tire on Lakeshore. I’m telling you, these fries are little golden slivers of heaven…LOOK AT THEM:

and yes, that’s a little tub of gravy…so what? Sometimes a lady needs gravy now and again.

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