Dear Urban Diplomat: I find the skateboarder memorial outside my building upsetting. What can I do?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
A skateboarder was killed by a cab outside my building, and six months later, the sidewalk memorial is still there. I realize that this is not the politically correct thing to say, and I’m not a heartless troll, but I don’t want to be reminded of the awful event every day. It’s public space, not a graveyard. Short of dismantling it, what are my options?
—Death to Death Memorials, King and Jarvis
Technically, you can call 311 and ask that the street cleaners take it down, but technically, that makes you a heartless troll. I went to check out the memorial, and it’s barely noticeable—just a sign and a small skateboard leaning against a sapling. You’re right that it’s public space—that simply means that every taxpayer owns a little piece of it, and I suspect most Torontonians would happily grant the family and friends extra claim to it while they grieve. If it brings you down, here’s a tip: avert your eyes.
Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at firstname.lastname@example.org