Lake Ontario, ON - Hiba Kariem
My Watermark is Lake Ontario.
This story took place five six years ago when I first moved to Toronto from Dubai. I moved when I was 16, I was super young.
I'm here for University, at UofT. A big school, even bigger city, big fears big problems. I didn't really know anybody. It's really difficult to navigate the city when you don't know anybody, when you don't know how to get around. It can be really overwhelming whether you come from a big city or you don't. Since it's a big city, living in Toronto can be really scary and cause a lot of anxiety and it did. It totally did. I had heard how beautiful Ontario was, but I couldn't travel around in it anyway because I don't drive. I wasn't really sure how to get around and I didn't have a lot of friends right at the beginning to rely on to take me around. That's that's part of the reason why Lake Ontario is so important because I figured out the islands existed and I could come to the Harbourfont side. What was even more important was the atmosphere of Lake Ontario or from the islands, because it was like a little get away from the city. It really calmed me and really relax me and then really really eased some anxiety that I had.
I think that's what Lake Ontario provides; an outlet for people within the city. For everybody whether they have accessibility to leave the city area or they don't, I feel like it's important to people who move here who who don't know anybody who don't really have other means of getting around. They can really come and enjoy this body of water. It's so beautiful, it's so clean..we're so lucky to have it. And that's really what it did for me. Going to the islands and being able to go every summer, every fall, and just get away from the city and have that beautiful environment around me was really great. Having such a great body of water around me was part of the reason why I switched from psychology to environmental studies in school. I come from Dubai which is mostly desert and barren and that's beautiful too. But you come here and you realize you're so close to such a great body of water and beautiful landscapes. It really changes your perspective. For that reason Lake Ontario and especially the islands, was a beautiful escape for me.