The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Tomson Highway (1951- )



Dublin Core


Tomson Highway (1951- )


Tolerance, for me, is sitting on a subway train in the middle of the day right here in Toronto, the city of my choice, and to look up from my reading and realize, out of the blue, that everyone in this car is of a different colour, of skin I mean, of a different race, from a different part of the world. There are, I swear to myself, people here from at least twenty countries on six continents - not bad when you consider that there are only about -fifty people, in total, in this particular car. And I can hear the muted ebb and flow of at least a dozen different languages. Music to my ears. Music to my soul.

And all these people? They're not killing each other, not like they are in so many countries the whole world over. They're not shooting each other, not chopping off each other's limbs with machetes, not blowing up each other's pubs, cars, or children with bombs, grenades or land mines. They're standing and sitting right here together, respecting each other's sense of privacy, each other's differentness. And me, as a Cree-Canadian with very brown skin? I fit right in. I'm just a regular, ordinary part of this fabulous tapestry. And I love it. This is my home, I say to myself, my city, my country. It may not be perfect. But it sure is pretty darn good. Hey. Know what? I think they should re-name "Toronto" "Tolerance". Wouldn't that be neat? I mean, think of it. As you travel the world, whenever you are asked where you come from, you could turn to them and say, "Me? I come from Tolerance. Tolerance, Ontario. Tolerance, Ontario, Canada." (Tomson Highway, Tolerance, Ontario, May 24, 2000 Induction Statement)

Dramaturge, romancier et musicien.


Stephen Yeates


Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives




Medium: watercolour

Dimensions: 25 x 39.5 cm (W x H)




Stephen Yeates, “Tomson Highway (1951- ),” The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions, accessed December 7, 2023,