1999-2001 Spreads Temperance Street City 

I still had my membership at the Y. Frank appeared out of the mist in the steam room. ” Where are you living now?” Frank inquired. 

“I’m living in my art studio on Temperance. ”

“You wouldn’t catch me dead on a street named Temperance. ” Frank roared and threw his head back into the mist. 

Frank was a writer and we had drinks together on several occasions before I chased him down the street after taking offence to one of his opinionated  observations; he fleeing for his safety, at least in his mind.

I admitted I didn’t know the meaning of the word temperance. It turned out that a former owner of the land around Temperance and Young donated the land to the city of Toronto on the condition that no alcohol ever be sold on Temperance Street. 

My art studio was on the 2nd floor above Spreads, a bar that catered mainly to bike couriers and you’d be hard pressed to find an establishment that put out more in the way of alcohol and drugs. 

It was while I was here that I discovered Streetcity, a government funded crack whorehouse at Front and Cherry.

I ran into Jill on Young Street, who reeled at my appearance… I’d forgotten that I had a hairstyle and perhaps an attitude designed after Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver fame.

At some point the art studio outgrew its purpose and I was spending more and more time at Streetcity feeding my addictions.

I broke down at one of those meetings and said those awful words.

“My name is Dennis and I’m an alcoholic.”

That was the bottom. 

Dennis Mantin 

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