A Dose of Reality
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A Dose of Reality

Photo by Val Dodge/Torontoist.

Wanted: a good home for a down-on-its-luck newspaper box for a defunct newspaper. It’s been living on the streets for five months and deserves to reside inside a warm house with a loving family during the coming winter.
When Dose ceased print publication in May 2006 (it continues to live online), all of its newspaper distribution boxes were swept off the streets and, we assume, junked or recycled. Except one. Shortly after Canwest abandoned hope that young people would ever read newspapers—even super-hip free ones—a salvaged Dose box appeared on the rear deck of a house near Broadview and Danforth, having been scooped up by a lucky staffer or fan. The box remained visible to passersby for years as a monument to a failed experiment in giving stuff away.
And that’s where it remained until this spring, when the distinctive box was unceremoniously dumped at the curb with a load of trash one evening early in June. You can guess the story: who among us hasn’t held on to a peculiar memento for so long that you look at it one day and wonder why that big hunk of clutter is taking up so much valuable space? The Dose box was a victim of changing taste in deck decor, a lack of nostalgia, or—worse—simple cold-hearted abandonment.
But a strange thing happened on the way to the dump. The plucky newspaper box wasn’t collected with the garbage that week. Nor did a scavenger scoop it up. For three weeks, it stayed fast at the curb in front of its former home. And then it vanished. Or so it seemed. But instead of disappearing, it merely moved a couple of blocks away to the corner of Broadview and Pretoria. And there it’s sat since June, remarkably unabused and in surprisingly good condition. It hasn’t even been covered with graffiti or filled with garbage in its five months of abandonment on the street, a notable achievement considering the condition and contents of many Eye and Now boxes every Wednesday.
And still it sits patiently by the curb, as if awaiting its daily load of newspapers for eager commuters. Won’t you give it a good home?