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Every Corporate Christmas Tree in Toronto

by The New Birds of America

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Created for the 35th instalment of Jon Solomon's 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show.

Any sales will be donated to WPRB 1033FM (wprb.com based in Princeton, New Jersey, USA), the station where Jon creates the annual marathon as well as a weekly radio show.

The inspiration for this song and the phrase "Every Corporate Christmas Tree in Toronto" come from a series of instagram posts by Toronto Urbanist Shawn Micaleff rating and commenting on various faux festive trees encountered around the city's corporate-public spaces.


Every corporate Christmas tree in Toronto...

A great city’s a beast with many beating hearts and Toronto’s just the same. Let me tell you about one that pumps people like blood through its glass and concrete veins.

It’s the legacy of one Timothy Eaton the toe of whose statue once was rubbed for luck by all the tired and poor huddled masses wishing to rise like him while shopping at his mall.

High in the Eaton Centre’s vaulted atrium fly a flock of fibreglass Canada geese, the work of artist Michael Snow who once fought the property managers and stopped them from ringing his birds necks with X-Mas bows.

The City News is everywhere so naturally it was there when the heart skipped a beat. I saw it blocked and clogged with holiday shoppers on one of Dundas’ Square’s outdoor screens.

A conical pyramid of struts fuzzed with synthetic fibers suggestive of evergreen needles rose five stories tall from where in ordinary time a geyser fountain spouts for the people, who are now counting down to a screaming white noise zero and when they hit, the structures lights flame on, as a cloak of incandescent blood red bulbs are lit.

It’s the archetype, the very epitome of every corporate Christmas tree in Toronto.

Meanwhile outside, there’s a landscape where the sun isn’t the main source of heat; it’s the exhaust rising from the subways and underground shopping through vents in the streets.

It’s a kind of desert however covered it gets sometimes in wet slush and snow, with no windbreak or shelter. The forest of T'karonto were cleared long ago.

In arctic blast or winter squall when we have to have somewhere out of the cold, we brave the rented guards of the elevator lobbies and foodcourts or else lose all feeling in the hands that hold the bit of charity that’s our claim to be not loiterers but guests.

Until someone makes it hard us on, we can enjoy some coffee in the sparse and cheerful forest made up of every Corporate Christmas Tree in Toronto.

Now Shawn he walks and cycles the streets of Toronto trying to see them for what they are. Not from the city, like so many of us, come from afar, as if drawn to follow some fallen star.

Our common property is full of wonder. Our common property is full of waste. Can we break down enclosures with some common care and urban taste?

The promise of the frontier city never seems so near as when even moneyed interests concede the merry and the bright with prop presents around the bases of steel trees and so many, many multi-colored lights.

Shawn leads us all to be connoisseurs of every corporate Christmas tree in Toronto.

What got me off the street was a building maintenance job. I told the good people at Cadillac Fairview to embroider the patch on my work shirt with the commonplace appellation Bob.

It’s funny to be a Bob but funnier still I’d say to think I now know where all that mammoth seasonal décor gets put away.

My team and I go around to all the dark and dusty spaces where the components wait to be reassembled to make those holidays graces we’ll enjoy again as every corporate Christmas tree in Toronto.


released December 25, 2023
Toby Moritz, guitar, vocals
Beatrice Moritz, vocals (including Swiftian post-song outtake)


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The New Birds of America Toronto, Ontario

The New Birds of America is Blaise Moritz and sometimes others.

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