As the caravan arrived at the edge of the Town of York, the townspeople looked on, and they shared a collective expression of worry on their faces. It was rumoured that she was amongst the members of the rag-tag band. Further, suggestions had started to circulate that she had intended to take root in Hogtown, specifically in the Yonge and Eglinton ...Read More
neighbourhood. No longer content with wandering, she was to settle in with none other than The Society, as if The Society wasn’t a source of concern as it stood. No direct evidence was necessary, as we all know how rumours begin their lives, grow past their infancy rapidly and eventually become fully formed and as real as you and I…at least in the minds of the audience. But now it appeared that the earliest reports were correct. That she had arrived. That she was saying farewell to her quasi-family unit and that she would soon reside amongst the citizens of Toronto. What was to be done?
She, of course, was Sinead Stewart. I won’t, at present, delve into the details of her purported crimes, as I am confident that you are all aware of their nature and aftermath. That no charge would ever be upheld is a travesty, but we will set that aside for now, as I feel that some history and context will shed some light on information presented the following chapters of this book. For now, let’s compile a profile of this young woman, attempt to map her movements, and (perhaps most appropriately put) draw a picture of her arrival in the City of Toronto.
Born to an Irish mother and a father who would intentionally shroud his origins in mystery, Stewart (aka Brinsley Schwarz, aka Carmina Hellenova, aka the Scourge of Streetsville…and a host of other names we will be introduced to in coming pages), began life in Edmonton. Several addresses can be linked to the Stewarts as they made their way to Hamilton and Burlington, where Sinead spent her formative years. Neighbours and landlords along the way now report gaps in their presence during these short residencies. There is speculation form a former landlord that the family had even spent time in a Kibbutz in Israel during a particularly long hiatus.
School records indicate interest in the arts, and there are some documents that prove that Stewart attended the Academy of Arts known as Sheridan College for a brief time. But at the age of 21, Sinead was instructed in the art of the tattoo and education took on a different definition. She began to spend time in the parlours on the outskirts of York. She held stints at Kreative Kaos, Great Canadian, True Grit and the Shop That Shall Not Be Named, all the while honing her skills at adorning people with the colours of the world. But she would frequently be swept away by the raucous ensemble that seemed to follow her wherever she would land, and subsequently she would disappear for long periods (including ports in the west Coast of Canada, Australia and the Carribean, if eyewitness reports are to be believed). Conveniently, as we now know, these absences would forestall attempts from law enforcement to interview her as a person of interest.
Sinead’s longest period of rest (two years, all done) was with the parlour Skintricate Tattoo Company. During this time, she developed an art style that was attracting clients from all over the region, despite the swirl of rumours surrounding her and the mysterious band of strangers that seemed to sweep her up when things would become uncomfortably hot with the authorities. It was toward the end of this stretch that whispers could be overheard about her appearance in the Yonge and Eglinton back alley associated with the Society of the Seven Crowns.
Initially, this was considered by the general populous to be speculative and the stuff of tabloids and bar room blabbery. It was doubtful that the people of Toronto would stand for it, and surely law enforcement knew how to handle the situation. But the festivities at the bonfire on the precipice of the city’s limits seemed to confirm all. And if that wasn’t enough, as the light grew even dimmer over York, several of its citizens witnessed the young woman’s entrance to the barely visible door that led to the Society’s belly, bags and little dog, Bronx, in hand. Sinead Stewart had arrived in Toronto…and had, in fact, joined the Society of the Seven Crowns.