Because I live in the Annex I am well acquainted with the Brunswick House and its clientele without ever having entered the Bloor St. building. It is the scourge of the neighbourhood, an obnoxious den of debaucherous, frat boy-style hedonism that reeks of excess and sexual rivalry. It is usually swarmed by young women in unprecedentedly short skirts and men in hideous brand name clothing, dropped off there by limousines and Hummers presumably from distant suburbs. It is a bizarre sight in such a peaceful, residential neighbourhood as the Annex, made even more conspicuous by its seemingly constant police presence and reports of the violence that surrounds it.
Last night my friend Emile and I witnessed some of this machismo firsthand. We were sitting on the curb (due to Toronto's dearth of benches) on the north side of Bloor slightly east of Brunswick Ave., the aforementioned madhouse being directly across the street from us. At one point our conversation was interrupted by the sight of an enormous bouncer lifting a smaller man who he had just pulled/kicked out of the club and slamming his back into the sidewalk. He then picked him up and smashed him to the ground again, committing this abuse several times (it was almost [but not at all] comical how stereotypically bully-like this bouncer was; he was like a cartoon of a bully, a huge muscular type picking a smaller guy up by the collar to demonstrate his strength). Apparently tiring of this routine, he then pinned the man to the floor until another bouncer came and started punching the man in the face.
Emile and I have stood up at this point and we're frantic about what to do. Emile decides to call the police on his cellular telephone while I feel like I'm going to collapse because of how anxious and upset these situations make me. I look around at other witnesses but it's the typical bystander situation of most people just either ignoring it or passively observing. However, there were two women who were very passionate about how this situation must be stopped, who were telling people to call the police. Two younger (not-so-)gentlemen leaning against the building behind us were (seriously) just watching the events and laughing, and got into an argument with the women about whether the police ought to be called, insisting that the smaller man deserved what the bouncer was doing to him because he provoked him or hit him or something. When they discovered that Emile was calling the police, they started yelling at him to get off the telephone, but fortunately Emile completed the call. The police didn't arrive until we left the area and the fight had apparently subsided.