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Psychogeography Portrait ... 27. Nicholson Lane, Toronto, ON, Canada  
  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
  Nicholoson Lane is
within first ten blocks
as drawn by lord
Simcoe in 1793
  Nicholoson Lane is running between Princess Street and Berkeley Street parallel to Front and the Esplanade, within first ten blocks of Toronto, as drawn by lord Simcoe in 1793. On the map from 1815, above left, this alley is clearly established. It was in a first block facing the lake Ontario and The Esplanade providing a pleasant walk along the lakeshore.

Red dotted line is edge of the lake as existed at that time. Today lakeshore is some 500 m further south. First stretch of land was stollen from the lake for railway needs and later for the highway and industry along the lake in need for ships arriving from across the ocean.

  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
    This lane, not very well known even to the people living very close, is hosting back entrances to Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre consisting of Canadian Opera Company and Canadian Children's Opera Company. The building that presently houses the Opera Company was built as the Consumers Gas Company´s Purifying House No. 2 in 1887-1888 by the architects Strictland and Symens, who designed it in the style of an early Christian basilica. Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendships Centres and Toronto Fire Station 333 are completing the north side of the lane.

On the south side two theaters, Canadian Stage company and Le Théâtre français de Toronto, are located in a similar industrial structures built probably around same time as Opera Company. South side is also location of Market Lane Public School and St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, built around 1983 when huge underground gas tanks located here were demolished and whole area along The Esplanade, on the initiative by Jane Jacobs, is revitalized. Co-op residential building with popular children playground at the end toward the Princess Street in added later.

  In this lane back entrances
to two theaters, opera
company, school, recreation
centre, fire station and indigenous center
are located
  Nicholson Lane, Toronto  
      What a rich environment with spirit of the space [genius loci] all over. It is obviously deserving much more attention then today.      
  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
  In 2009 my poster with this
theme for the competition
organized by Heritage
Toronto was selected
in top 10 finalists
  I was talking about the need for something to be done with alleys and lanes that are forgotten and neglected in almost every block, especially in the downtown Toronto, for a long time on rants organized by Toronto Society of Architect and elsewhere. The level in which urban space communicate to us transcends every day life. Careful observation and a lot of passion are necessary in order to interpret/translate their messages.

In 2009 poster, my creation, with this theme for the competition organized by Heritage Toronto was selected in top 10 finalists [photo above left].

  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
      Nicholson Lane is maybe named after colonel G. W. L. Nicholson, the only famous person with that last name that I found. He was an author of the book entitled "'We will remember...' Overseas Memorials to Canada's War Dead," published by the Minister of Veterans Affairs for Canada.

If you think that this is not true, please let me know.

  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,
      Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Garden, at the back of Opere Company is hidden jam of this area and wonderful resting quiet spot. It well appreciated by the employees of the Zoom Media advertising agency sharing the space with opera people.

My granddaughter is also, weather permitting, quite frequent here, running around between playground at the west end of Nicholson Lane and this garden with lot of hidden interesting details.

  Max Tanenbaum Courtyard
Garden is hidden jam
of this area
  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
      Last photo above right and all the photos bellow are taken in the summer time when space is full of greenery covering all of the walls.      
      Last surprise was vista toward the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendships Centreswith very impressive recently refreshed mural going over all three floors of the building. That deserves extra special attention on some other occasion.      
  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
  Monica on the moon and Wiishkoonseh Miigizi'enh
are authors of this
magnificent mural
  Image above left is newest addition to this place. Initiative by the Laneway Project
and generous support by Kristyn Wong-Tam city councillor for this area [we were voting for her and as you can see we are quite happy for that decision].

Her initiative led to this magnificent mural created by artists Monica Wickeler or monica on the moon and Miigizi or Wiishkoonseh Miigizi'enh meaning Whistling White Headed Eagle on Chippewas language.

  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
      What is this curious fox looking for? No dogs allowed! Does that applies for her? I am quite sure not, this is just protection for the playground for kids, mentioned before as one of two favourite spots in the lane for my granddaughter.

Red circle is where we live. Is it now understandable why we are so excited about this whole area including Nicholson Lane? It looks that lane system will continue true the newly built block visible in the photo bellow and make pedestrian connection to the other one that we also visited, Taylor's Wharf Lane.

But all is not all that murky, just steps away is this sight bellow right, just little bit south on the Esplanade, of course in the spring time.

This whole visit was performed in the fall of 2020. Following bellow is experience in the fall of 2022.

  Nicholas Lane, Toronto,  
      In October 2022 walking along Nicholson Lane with my second granddaughter Eska is still very pleasant experience. First photo bellow left is reflection of that observation but second and third are spoiling enjoyment and pointing to the unknown future. Building growing in the next block towards Princess Street is blocking the view. Photo bellow right is promised continuation of this back alley, it doesn't look promising for now. I'll keep coming back and let you know what is going on as soon as I know.      
  30 Taylor's Wharf Lane, Toronto, 2021 ~ 29 Little Filipino Town, Toronto, May 2017
25 Jurjeva Luka, Lastovo, Hrvatska, September 2018 ~ 07Koraćica, special village, Serbia - September, 2011
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  Last time updated on October 14, 2022