Yesterday I was walking around the University of Toronto's Robarts Library when I caught a sense of motion by one of the windows. Another glance and I saw this enormous red metal superstructure swinging past the other side of the glass. It formed an interesting contrast to the sedate atmosphere inside the ninth floor library stacks. And it was exactly the same level as the ninth floor. And close! The tip of the crane closed to within three metres of the windows, which seems extremely close when you're nine floors up.
The crane boom rotated on a plane exactly parallel to the ninth floor. With such an unusual frame of reference it was possible to see the way the wind swayed the crane and the boom. The thing rocked even when it wasn't doing anything. At one point the operator came out of his cab for a break. Shirtless in the heat, alternating sips from his coffee mug with drags of his cigarette, he leaned on the railing above the city and watched life happening below. At one point he looked over at Robarts. I waved to him, but maybe he didn't see me. Soon he wandered back into his cab. He was still working when I left the library at 7 p.m. Interesting job.