Much of the Toronto waterfront is built upon the rubble of the city. You can see this clearly at the Scarborough Bluffs where bricks and concrete blocks litter the water's edge. They've become an accepted part of the landscape because they form the foundation of the shore and help to prevent erosion.
When I find a beautifully eroded brick I can't help but think of the day it was made in a brick factory that's probably now defunct. I think of the brick layer (long gone) who slathered mortar on it one day. I envision the building it was in that overlooked the city, until it didn't. I wonder how the brick made its way to the lake and rolled around for decades unnoticed until I picked it up to appreciate this piece of history in my hand.
One of my favorite things about taking my dog to the dog park in the Beaches is looking for beach glass. If you stare at the sand along the water long enough, the bits of eroded glass stand out like gemstones. It's like panning for gold, excepts bits of glass aren't worth much to most people.
Just like with the bricks I think about how they got there, when they fell apart, how long it took for their edges to become smooth...
and how lucky I am to have found them.