The terrible thing that I saw downtown

By Angelina, Grade 5 | Submitted on November 20, 2021

Trigger Warning (TW): homelessness, child abuse


Today, my dad, mom, sister and I all went to pick up my sister’s new desk and for a Downtown tour. We went past many clothing stores and restaurants. We saw mostly Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants. I also saw other homeless adults. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant at 12:10. We had delicious Congee!

After we finished our lunch, we went to drive past the CN Tower. My sister kept on complaining about why she can’t go up the CN Tower. We told her that going up the CN Tower was expensive. We could probably go next month. But not this month. 

On our way back home, I saw something really terrible that made me have a funny, weird feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t what I ate though. Here is what I saw. I saw a homeless child in a pile of old clothes and blankets. There was an old man with a boom in his hand. I didn’t hear what they were saying but I saw that the old man was making the child feel unsafe, uncomfortable and disturbed. The child threw a rock at the old man, and this is what made me have butterflies in the stomach. The old man started to slap the child with the broom. This happened when we were approaching Dundas. On Spadina Ave. I wanted to help, but there was nothing I could do about it yet. I’m only 9. That made me think about the other children out in the streets, homeless, and being bullied by other people. My mother told me a bit about what that man’s life might have been like.

Still, when I grow up, I would want to help the kids with that life. I hope that the world will grow friendlier and more people will help homeless people. Let’s do something about this. Be kind and respectful to people around you. Let’s work together to make this planet a famous and wonderful world!


To learn more about child homelessness and child abuse:
1. Homeless Hub (https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/population-specific/youth)
2. Youth Without Shelter (https://yws.on.ca/who-we-are/youth-homelessness/)
3. Child Abuse (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/fv-vf/ca-me.html)
4. Child Maltreatment (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/prevention-resource-centre/children/child-maltreatment-canada.html)
For youth seeking support (self-guided tools, crisis support, or community resource database):
Kids Help Phone (https://kidshelpphone.ca/)