Standing at the northern edge of Christie Pits Park early Monday evening, 26-year-old Anni Spadafora was was weary from spending all day talking to reporters. As hundreds of supporters descended on the park for the rally she co-organized—to protest the sexual assaults that have plagued the neighbourhood in the past month—she expressed her ambivalence. “Christie and Bloor is an affluent neighbourhood in a lot of ways, and I find it kind of troubling that this is the moment when people rise up,” she said.
But, she added, “I do think this is a moment, an opportunity to use the recent flare-up to really build momentum.” She stressed that such assaults happen to women in all communities, yet it seems to take a string of incidents in a high-profile area for attention to be paid.*
As hundreds of people, mostly women, filled the grassy hill overlooking the park’s namesake pit to hear speeches, Spadafora added she hoped that the issue’s profile wouldn’t pass when the media spotlight moved on: “This work needs to be done all the time.
CORRECTION, SEPTEMBER 10, 2012: The original version of this article featured a misleading paraphrase of a quote from Ms. Spadafora. The text has been updated. The Grid regrets the error.