'Come to Your Window Sarah'
is out May 1st
Spadina Avenue is a historic Toronto boulevard, and the spiritual heart of the city. Diverse neighbourhoods make up Spadina – from the ‘Castle on the Hill’ (Casa Loma) at the northern edge, to the working class ethnic neighbourhoods further south. Waves of immigrants have settled here including Irish, Jewish, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Indian, and Caribbean newcomers.
My parents, escaping WWII and the brutal Greek Civil War lived and worked in and around Spadina Avenue. My father’s first job was washing dishes at Grossman’s Tavern. My mother worked in the garment factories ‘on Adelaide’. On Sunday the family would go to Sunnyside beach with all the other migrants and refugees for a few hours of leisure.
In my imagination, the song takes place in the early 1950’s. The singer is a traumatized refugee boy, likely a WWII orphan (…"the ghosts who haunt us still"…). He sees the castle on the hill… (Casa Loma), but his sympathies are with the dagos and the kikes, and all the other outcasts.