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There's a new book about a peeping Tom in one of Toronto's favourite neighbourhoods

A new novel tells the story of a lonely window-peeper, and it takes place in Toronto's beloved Little Portugal/Brockton Village neighbourhood. 

Called The Bank Street Peeper and written by Erma Odrach, the book tells the story of Reginald Rutley, a lonely outcast who has no life of his own so he begins spying on his neighbours.

His window-peeping habits allow him to live vicariously through others, and they also reveal his neighbours' many secrets. 

Throughout the book, Reginald witnesses two sisters plotting murder, a cheating husband getting his comeuppance, a Cabbagetown jazz band moving west, an anniversary party gone horribly wrong, a husband leaving his wife for a man, an armless painter painting an armless nude, a basement bootlegger and more.

"But Bank Street is more than just about a window peeper," the author says. "It's about the spirit of a people and their love of a neighbourhood and how that neighbourhood brings them and holds them all together."

"It's also a sort of social critique and documents the various waves of immigrants over several decades and their impact on the community."

And while the book is fiction, Odrach says much of the novel is based on actual events. Not to mention Bank Street, where Reginald lives, is a real Toronto street located near the Dundas-Dufferin intersection. 

The book is available for purchase on Adelaide Books or for loan at two Toronto Public Library locations.

Lead photo by

Marcus Easton


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