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The mastermind behind the Toronto Tunnel is a hero for our time

Toronto authorities have identified the man who built a mysterious tunnel in a local park, and it turns out that he is a goddamn hero for our time.

Has any human ever been as self-actualized as "happy-go-lucky" 22-year-old construction worker Elton McDonald, who explained to the Toronto Sun that building the tunnel was "just something I always wanted to do"? (Who among us could even identify the urge to build a giant, room-size underground chamber in a local wood, much less actually carry it out? I feel no shame in admitting that I could not.)

But Elton McDonald knew. And Elton McDonald had the skill and confidence to make his dream a reality. "I knew I could do it," he told the Sun, describing himself as the "main digger" on the project. (Do we not all yearn, in these soulless modern times, to be the "main digger" on something? On anything? Do we not all secretly fear, deep inside, that we will never amount to more than an associate digger in someone else's tunnel?)

"My mom was proud that I was able to build it." (We all read those words and burn with shame that we have never inspired such pride in our own mothers, and never will. In the dark stillness of the night, we lie awake in the knowledge that our own accomplishments will never compare to a secret, structurally sound tunnel large enough for an adult to stand up in. Never. Because we are no Elton McDonald.)

"It wasn’t really a tunnel. I was going to expand it to have a couple of rooms," he said. "I was hoping to put in a TV." (Elton McDonald, giant among men, could never be content with a single underground chamber. He was reaching for the stars, that he might miss and grasp the moon.)

"It was fun," he said. (Have the rest of us ever truly had "fun"? Or have our tunnel-less lives been filled with a mere simulacrum of joy, a pale shadow of happiness flickering on the wall of our dismal existence?)

"My boss was not mad" when he heard about the tunnel on the news, McDonald said. "He had lent me the equipment and knew it was something I always wanted to do. I learned a lot about construction from him and knew about water developing in basements because I work on houses, and how to drain it." (The rest of us could work on houses from now until the end of time and would never be able to do what McDonald did. We are mere mortals; he is the spirit of structural integrity made flesh, a drainage elemental that has taken temporary human form.)

For his part, he said it never occurred to him that there was anything wrong with what he had done or what he was doing. (There was not. There was never anything wrong with anything that Canadian Hero Elton McDonald has done. Not ever.)

Elton McDonald, everyone. Main Digger. Hero. Example to us all.

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