I'm convinced that pedestrianism and public transit are two absolutely necessary foundations for a city that wants to remain functional as the 21st century unfolds. That'd be a more hopeful statement if the developmental orgy of the post-Second World War era killed it almost everywhere. The demise of streetcars in all but a handful of North American cities, the spread of suburbs like a fungus over prime country land, and a fundamental sense of decoupling between people and the world they inhabit have left us standing in a rather unenviable position, steeling for the task ahead.
I don't get that here, in Toronto. For all of its ills, and for all the complaints that are made by the suburban fringe, I still think that this is a city that works. Its differences and diversity make it strong. Outside of the downtown core and shared-blueprint suburbs of Scarborough, it was not built to the same plan with the same goal. Former towns like the Junction, Leaside, Long Branch and and Port Union all contribute to the shape of the whole.
This photo I took on November 29, 2008, possibly one of the last good days of that year, before the snow had started to pile up. It's at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Indian Grove in the Junction, and there's something about the light and shadows that makes it real to me.
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