Simcoe versus Simcoe  

Fall / Winter Toronto 2015

The United States and its consulates and embassies worldwide have many issues.  I have seen these consulates in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Dubai, Oman and Korea and none quite resemble the contretemps that is 210 Simcoe versus 225 Simcoe. Its a small street in the heart of downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada. Where American Oblige is taken to new heights. The US consulate has “taken over” the perimeter of the Property that is 210 Simcoe St.. After several attempts to get access to the US powers that be.  The issue became a stalemate, as the US Consulate staff refused to cooperate despite, there being video  recorded and residents reports existing of the directing of the hordes from 225 Simcoe St. – not only onto the sidewalks but up against the walls of the building as their visa applicants vandalize the building, in the name of the US Consulate.

Despite the attempts that 210 have made to stop, or block these US visas applicants who believe that the terminology, is a reference elixir,  a magical phrase that allows all doors to open on  210 Simcoe Street. I am not sure what part of a Private residence does not enter the trespassers minds nor that the act of trespass and stating – “I am with the US consulate”  being the open sesame  of trespass. The confusion began with the Consulate security offering up 210 as a lounge or waiting area  and still this practice continues to today. It unfolded slowly as the building first opened its doors in February 2015 and the marks of trespass and vandalism began to occur. The issue is diplomatic immunity. The Consulate operates as a fiefdom in all its applied glory. Ignoring its imminent threat level to the 210 Simcoe property.

The Consulate may deny any or all of this, but 210 has video of the  Consul guards pointing to the 210 property as well as video of the Visa security staff conducting business 5 feet from the doors of the condominium on 210 property. Heck, the US consulate has all the same video and records the same POV.

The hubris and contention is the danger that the US consulate brings directly to the property of 210 – Its publicized list of what not to bring inside the Consulate, is the very items that their visa applicants want to bring into the Lobby of 210. This wish list of real potential  bomb threat material by vagrants and trespassers implicates the Consulate as the resonating source of imminent threat.

Its quite galling that the US Consul allows the innocence and safety of 210 to be so severely compromised. US staffer – Alphonso while attempting to deny to a 210 staffer, that they were any shenanigans as reported seemed unaware its all recorded. This 210 staffer vetted by the man, Alphonso itself,  had to clean up the Consulate after 210 building debris blew on to their site. So Intimate is the air space and in fact, all space that  we are very aware of the incredible threat that has materialized on the doors of 210 Simcoe St. 210 Simcoe cooperated in the 225 clean-up. A gesture of  neighborhood courtesy, but the rampant disregard to the safety of the residents of 210 Simcoe and the building is a heinous act of contempt.  When will it stop? the day something awful punctuates this already compromised situation. Simcoe versus Simcoe continues. 210 has inherited a nemesis with a reputation of being a bully.

The Consulates and embassies of the good ole US of A are very involved with regional state protectionism vis a vis US-Homeland Security. Yes there is always a threat level and a sense of tension. Except at Simcoe versus Simcoe this lavender oh so Disneyland-esque version, where the Visa throng line up dissolves on the 210 wrong side of the street.

210 Simcoe is a straight up, private condo – brand spanking new and in the unimaginative minds of the US consulate staff  this new property provides for the consulate an urban amphitheater. It provides illicit seating, on a very expensive Piedmont sculpture  on which the derrieres of the worlds masses are drawn to relax, eat, text, get lots of selfies and pose as beleaguered souls of the American Visa applicants.  Some pick their toe nails and the sight of the clippings falling around the Piedmont is much to intimate an act on a Monday morning. What is more alarming is the acts of vandalism that these aggressive people do to the walls of 210 on behalf of the US consulate, And yes they do utter the damning words as they trespass, loiter and vandalize, “We are with the US consulate”, proudly defiantly and the vandalism are the footprints of these hordes leaving their marks on the walls of 210. The gauntlet is thrown and Simcoe versus Simcoe has now launched new strategies in the skirmish  of the US Consulate to dominate and subject its will  to the buttress of the building. Who indeed is the US consulate to inflict its will? These migrants chant we are with the US consulate.  They use colloquial  broken English, “We want into your building” and use any ruse to enter. Now the piper has to be paid. The US consulate will now have to pay to repaint the walls of 210 – they are sending the migrants over. Wishful thinking indeed.

These wishful us-visa-bees are composed of all of mankind’s multitudinous cultures who may have encountered huge difficulties accessing the US embassy / consulate in their homelands are seen wandering outside of 210 in arrested states of development. I see many races reflected in the invasion that try and do enter the 210 lobby and as we residents and workers watch them do the spider dance of”I gotta to Pee”, let me in, as they slide their hands and body parts all over our clean foyer glass. To the more insistent that KNOCK,  if you will,  come in and demand, the warmth, a place to fill out their visa forms, put their backpacks in a safe place and ask us to provide a free service or even a bribe of cash  to hold on to their electronic equipment, their food and clothing. We have a constant ever-changing kaleidoscope of humanity gathering on our threshold, all feeling some weird entitlement to enter and to share their bodily needs and humanity on behalf of the American consulate.

There’re mothers with babes in carriages, who want to breast feed and where do they want to do that, inside 210 Simcoe.  When the invaders enter, they do identify themselves as US visa applicants.  As if that title will mean anything? You are a complete stranger with no business in a private residence. 210 Simcoe is a condominium residence completely unrelated to the US consulate. We, the collective we,  do not provide any Visa services, nor access to washrooms, warmth, shelter, or a place to hold and keep securely your cell, phones, tablets, computers etc.

We the people that inhabit and or work at 210 watch as this our quiet street-scape becomes filled with at times throngs of VISA applicants, standing in our driveway, inspecting our building as to how to get in. They literally wander around trying doors trying to gain illegal access. That is where the clockwork Orange worlds collide – fiction – fantasy and 2015 reality collides. All this based on a proximity to 225 Simcoe. The consulate is acting as a red light district to attract sailors, soldiers and the ilk to crash up on our very sublime shores. 210 is an oasis for the subdued bacchanalia of 225.

This of course in some by-law parlance is known as loitering, or blatant trespassing or littering or a peaceful protest. The Visa applicants have said, yes we are from the American consulate, some have said the security sends us over here. A quick communique with the consulate and its security staff who reassured us, ” they have nothing to do with these people.”

And ..they do not ever send these unknown people over nor, are they ever responsible for any of the increased foot traffic, loitering or trespass. Video proof and residents and workers contest this obvious attempt at baffle-gag. US consulate security staff, state, “That is the city of Toronto’s concern or the residents of 210 Simcoe”. This contretemps is quite recent as 210 was a parking lot. And the tempest in a teapot, is growing into a gnat’s nest of controversy. It has created the what-if scenario. We, the people, an honorific for those who call 210 home, noticed the visa folk completely blocking the front door, milling in the driveway and stashing their electronic equipment behind columns and inside the lobby foyer.  The residents began to discuss the obvious, as the world has haunting images of atrocities brought to the American embassy or consulates worldwide. We have seen the blood, the injuries, the life changing events and we ponder, is that a fate that awaits us? Or perhaps we are victims of the news and bad made for TV movies?

What if? It becomes another Boston, or indeed if we were to start at the beginning in Tehran, July 18th 1924 where a mob beat the US consul Robert Imbrie in Tehran to death, as it was thought he was poisoning a well. It does not take much to have the masses react. 1958 is another stellar year for Turkish –US bombings, Manila in 1972, Pakistan in 1979, with a total of 5 such attacks throughout the years, Beirut in 1983, Kenya in 1998, Yemen 2008, and finally let’s get to 2015, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Even peaceful cities as Lisbon Portugal and Rome Italy have been scarred. Toronto is no different from any of the cities in the world and nowhere else in the world are applicants loitering in such close proximity to US soil. All bear a physical likeness to the past. Je suis Charlie indeed! For the musings can create the rantings that create the travesties, we have become accustomed to.

If you were just to observe the throngs that are outside 210 you can easily spot citizenry from all these countries that are now mere meters away, using exactly the forbidden technology and recording whatever they choose. At times it does feel you are waiting and watching something that is about to happen.  US -Homeland security has forever embellished in all our minds, look at the optics, be aware, and not in our backdoor mentality has raised our own level threat analysis. Canada lost its terrorist innocence from 911 and in 2014 Michael Zehaf-Bibeau cemented the loss of  Canadian virginity to the causes of the extreme.

As 210 was summarily dismissed by the sires, Barack Obama, Bruce Hayman and Juan Alsace . I forgo their titles as fame has created brand name recognition of these erstwhile politicians. Reasons as to why all this is ignored may be  as arbitrary as to be attributed to Harpers’ cold shoulder to the USA after the Keystone pipeline fiasco. It was noted that Washington – Ottawa relations went into a deep freeze, as is Simcoe versus Simcoe. A stand off 210 vs 225, a chilly essence that will only intensify when the arctic winds descend on the Plaza del Simcoe in winter 2016. As we have learnt ancient rationales are still the muse of disenfranchised cultures which saber rattle the USA and those that confuse the 49th parallel as the good old U Esse of Aye!

So if there is any moral to this cautionary tale 210 Simcoe, is a private address and not a public urinal, warming shelter or a vantage point to plan any act of getting into the consulate. There are coffee shops and restaurants that can fulfill your needs better. At 210 your actions are recorded, your presence a perceived threat level and and your lack of not following the consulates protocols,  its none of the condos business. Yet we are under the same threat level as the consulate, more so as the condo does not have diplomatic immunity nor the staff to handle the hordes that arrive daily. Its strictly the US consulate not being a good neighbor nor capable of being held responsible for any damage that its visa applicants create.

The videos included are amateur videos from the residents and staffers of 210. All official videos  are with the corporation that is the legal entity of 210 Simcoe. And as such cannot be made public. But it does have months of US ambush through the Visa hordes recorded and you can clearly see the role these 225 Security play in creating the madding chaos, Right Barack, Bruce, Juan, Alphonso, we got you covered.

Will the US Consulate address any issues ?- only when and if something sinister occurs. Its sinister in the making as the madding hordes will continue their invasion, stimulated by the US Consulate. Its an intimate relationship and it needs to be addressed and recognized as such. Its seems gone are the days of common courtesy, common sense and civility.

For Indistinct Chatter

Andre Perez

Bangkok, Thailand

More videos that explore Simcoe versus Simcoe


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