he·ro, a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
Since starting this blog I have made the attempt to photograph and write about as many different events as I could. From some of the most spectacular festivals to the everyday things that make up the life of an incredible city. I learned long ago that the buildings and events aside, what truly defines us as a community are the amazing people that I keep having the pleasure to meet and learn about. I have met this incredible group of people some time ago and decided to drop in for a visit on Thanksgiving Sunday. Allan Gardens is probably one of the most historically important parks in Toronto. From a playground for the elite, in the mid 1800’s, to a place of refuge for the weary and downtrodden it is a history rich in the social fabric of Toronto’s past, present and future. I sat on a bench here once, after taking pictures of a protest march, and shared a smoke and a chat with an older gentleman that lives in the park. He spoke of his thankfulness to be accepted into Canada as a refugee and pointed to a table from which some volunteers were serving anyone and everyone a hot lunch. He said ” These are good people, sometimes we don’t know how good we have it here.” The group he spoke of were here again on Thanksgiving doing just that. Jaswinder Singh Khosa and his amazing group of volunteers had come all the way from Brampton, as they do every Sunday, to offer a delicious hot meal to several hundred people. When I met Mr. Khosa he spoke of the hurdles and obstacles they have had to overcome just to do this. What became obvious was the passion and resolve this group had to simply provide a hot tasty meal to those that need it the most. A table of previously loved clothing is spread out also and as the weather gets colder a good place to get a decent coat to fend off the winter. Mr. Khosa said I was a bit late, had I come earlier I would have seen the hundreds of people spread throughout the park enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. What I did see was a lot of smiles and perhaps one of the truest expressions of “Thanksgiving” I have ever seen. This is my first piece, in what I know will be many more, of tributes to local heroes. People that make a difference and display truly noble qualities. To Jaswinder Singh Khosa and his troop of amazing volunteers, Thank You! Thanks for restoring an old man’s faith in the brotherhood of mankind and thanks for those incredible Samosas!