Sketch Park is a park in Toronto, properly known as St. Patricks Park, it is the primary hang in downtown Toronto for the Toronto rave crew and hoodlams of all sorts. Located just North of Queen Street W. and just West of Nathan Phillips Square. It helps provide cheap houseing in the downtown core, as it is surrounded by cheap houseing. It also allows for a good place for dealers to hook up before a rave. A dis-proportionatly high rate of robbery and assult give the park a rather bad reputation considering the location. As well, last I check at least, it was a 'hold' of the North American Posse, known as the Bloods.

Sketch Park was a transient concept - the nomenclature of a counterculture that rose from the dust and remained active for about a decade before declining into obscurity. The name can only be understood in the context of its relation to the nearby Sketch Corner, usually considered to be the north-east corner of Queen and John. This was the primary meet-up location for Toronto ravers, likely due to its proximity to public transit and Numb, a well-known rave shop and ticket outlet. Though many efforts were made to dissociate (heh) the rave scene from rampant drug usage, by now it cannot be fudged that illegal substances were a huge part of the raving counterculture. While Sketch Corner began as a place to innocuously meet-up, it soon became a captive market for drug dealing. Rather than make actual handovers on the street, those who were engaging in business would walk a short ways and enter the system of alleys to the north that run parallel to Queen. Sketch Park, or St. Patrick's Square as it is more formally known, was a very short distance into the system, and acted as a fine place to make the deal. Often drugs would be consumed on the spot, as the park was out of sight and seldom frequented by the public. Dealers taking some time off would chill with their colleagues, street kids would hang out open to the possibility of freebies, and thugs would be lurking aboot, making for a volatile combination of dodgy elements.

Since then the park has lost its seedy charms as the revitalisation of Queen Street moves inexorably west. The whole area seems to experience 20 year cycles of prosperity and poverty, and right now is riding the first crest of the new economic boom. Hipster specialty shops have been replaced by brand name boutiques, aging buildings demolished and replaced by flashy big chains. The building that faces the square has been fixed up and remarketed as a somewhat more upscale food court, with gourmet pizza shops and bubble tea stands. All summer long the park is now visited by corporate types, yuppies, downtown professionals and office workers, and other chaps wearing slacks for their falafel and 3-bean salad lunches. Street kids who once used the park as a home base seem to have been chased off, and one seldom sees a raver down at Sketch Corner any more. While the night time may still bring dodgy elements to the park, it is no longer the Nexus of Sketch it once was. Such a passing phase will not be missed. Times have changed, and St. Patrick Square has shucked off the title of Sketch Park.

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