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July 3, 2020

Kiah Quirion

Tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Kiah Quirion, I am a 29-year-old woman, living currently in Ajax Ontario. My parents are  an interracial couple or a biracial couple.  My father is a West Indian Black man from an island in the Caribbean called St. Vincent of the Grenadine.

What neighborhood are you a part of?

Being in Ajax, I associate that with home. I’ve been here, like my family has been here since I was 12 and I am 29 now, so for me, that’s over half of my life. My parent’s home has been located in Ajax, so when I enter into Ajax, there is like a feeling that I get when I cross the 401, the highway to 401  at the exit of Salem road. As soon as I see Salem road at any point on my journey, I feel like I have arrived home. And it is a really comforting feeling for me to see that exit, because it is very close to my parents home, and so like it brings me a lot of comfort.
So, Ajax has been a place where my family could grow and honestly, I have seen my parents’ dreams come true.  You know they wanted to be able to afford a house, they wanted to build family, they wanted to build security.
That was the thing that was so good about that particular situation, it just so happened to be that builder was making the mortgages, they were lending the money, and so it was a benefit just to like lower income families and lower income families happen to be racialized and so the thing was that there were a lot of Caribbean and West Indian people in my community and it felt so much more like home than my first few months in Ajax did when I was living with my grandmother. And I think it felt the same way to my parents, it felt like they could establish themselves in that community.

Place that you miss
Definitely the apartment on Colver Road. I thought so many times about how I could approach that with people up there and just like hey can I give like $50.00 to let me come in and just look around, for literally a minute.

I don’t really know why I go back there I think it was just, I think that a lot of things was just forming in my life when I got back there. But I think myself of self was really being developed, I think that seeing and being conscious identifying things that I like. Speaking for myself I realized that this time in my life I really like this type of music. This is when I realized that I really like this kind of book, because that kind of thing happened at this time in my life. Like being conscious of who I was, and what I liked and what I didn’t like, what hurt me what didn’t hurt me. Like those things were very real for me at that time of my life.

Do you know of any rivers that pass through your neighborhood/area?
So when we first moved to Ajax [...] we would ride our bikes down to the beach all the time because it was only like a 15 minute bike ride really and it was a really nice bike ride, because there was nothing around. So, Beach road is the road where the water is, so we actually spent a lot of time, going there, but like my family, spent a lot of time by the water, like they enjoy the water in general, like they enjoy being near the water. When I was younger, we would always go to like Woodbine Beach, to go for walks on the boardwalk there. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, so there were a lot of free things, we did, and that was one of the things we would do like two times a week, going to Pickering Beach to just walk by the water.  And we continued that tradition in Ajax, we would ride our bikes down to the waterfront and just, like, chill there for a little bit, throw rocks at the water, play with the sand.
Now we live in North Ajax, so we are away from the water, but it’s funny because, right by my house, there is an artificial pond  that the builder made, its actually part of the water systems within our subdivision, but yeah in the winter we go skating on it because it’s not that deep and so it freezes right thorough. It’s not very big, it’s just like a pond, it’s not deep at all. There’s fish and there are frogs and stuff that live in it. There were some ducks that lived over there, and like the Canadian geese they usually build their nest and stuff over there as well. The water is completely filtered, except for that water that comes from the rain, but it goes through the filtration system and it  is meant to serve some purpose for the community.  I am not 100% sure what that purpose is, but things that are not artificial find a way to live in it as well. And it’s literally behind my house, so my backyard backs up on to the pond.  When we first moved in here I was like 15 or 16 and bring like a beach chair over there and sit on the water and read sometimes, or go makeout with my boyfriend over there.