The Hot Dog Lady


I moved to Toronto from a little town in New Brunswick, it was a huge adjustment to say the least. Making friends and trusting others didn’t come easily. When I started working in the downtown core I met a wonderful middle-aged lady who tended a hotdog stand at Queen & John close to Much Music and she became my saving grace. I felt so lonely and out of place but everyday at lunch I would sit with Mary. 

She was amazing and so caring. Each day we chatted about our lives and she told me about her children, her husband who had passed away and about her Mother who was still in Greece. I talked about wanting to meet someone special and about my daughter. When money was tight Mary would give me a few hot dogs to bring home, she gave me clothes from her daughter who was older than mine but most of all she gave me advice and provided a friendship at a time when I felt so alone. 

I have been so blessed over the years to meet wonderful people like Mary, she is always in my heart and I can’t thank her enough for her kindness and generosity. I’m always amazed at how many people view the world through “status eyes”. When you look at everyone through the same glasses you find the rare gems. What I remember most about Mary is her strength and character and her commitment to family. I cried on her shoulder on bad days, laughed with her through the good ones and when I think back to my first years in Toronto she was the reason I stayed.

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