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psychogeography portrait... 35. fifth block gardens, toronto, 2022  
  Toronto, map, 1793  



Within the fifth of first 10 city blocks as set up By Lord Simcoe in 1793, in the city of Toronto there are three hidden spaces/gardens. I mentioned Nicholson Lane (see how all the lanes in St. Lawrence Neighbourhood got there names) cutting along the half line of this block in my previous psychogepraphical walk so check that out and then come back to explore these gardens. First two gardens are accessible from Nicholson Lane. First one is hidden behind fancy fence surrounded with heritage buildings from the middle of XIX century.

  Nicholson Lane, Toronto, Garden #01  

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Garden #1 is most exciting one. This place is hosting back entrances to Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre consisting of Canadian Opera Company and Canadian Children's Opera Company. As a quite surprise to me this time I noticed that main, monumental, entrance to the garden is having inscription, "The Max Tanenbaum Courtyard Gardens" visible once you are inside. Who is he? Max (1909-1983) and his wife Anne (1909-2009) were notable philanthropists in Toronto, and Joey Tanenbaum is their son. Toby is his wife. Joey unfortunately died earlier this year. From the outside Canadian Opera Centre is engraved. Large letter T is everywhere on the fence.


Garden is now mainly used as a secret resting and relaxing place, usually quite deserted. It was for two years closed for public during Covid19 pandemic, maybe visitors will come back soon? Obviously in the past it was imagined with the different, probably more exciting usage.


I just found out that this bronze sculpture of St. Michael, posted in one corner of this garden, is created by famous French artist Emmanuel Fremiet (1824-1910). He was most famous for the huge statue of Ferdinand Lesseps, main canal engineer, erected in 1899 after Suez Canal was finished and open. It was destroyed in 1956 after the war between Israel and Egypt, but now it is restored and waiting to be posted again in Port Said at the entrance to the carnal.

Of course everything is connected in our website. We have very intensive Psychogeography Portrait of Plaça de Lesseps. Can you guess where it is? Not in France and not in Egypt. Curious ? =>


Exciting details all over and nice gazebo in the middle in case of the rain. Lets move now to the nearby Garden #2 also accessible from the Nicholson Lane.


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Lets check it out. This one is on the south side with back entrances to two theaters, Canadian Stage Company and Le Théâtre Français de Toronto. Both are located in a similar industrial structures built probably around same time, late XIX century, as an Opera Company. Let's see few more photos from this courtyard bellow.




Third garden is sharing a block with two previous ones but walking along Nicholson Lane you will not find it. There are two tiny entrances from The Esplanade, it is, if this is possible, even more quiet and secluded, but in my opinion attractive in a different way, probably because these buildings were relatively recently adapted for the various office use.


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Few more photos are included bellow to round up this experience. Just to remind you again, this is happening within area of 10 city blocks as set up By Lord Simcoe in 1793 where you can find much more information about this area.


This garden is also having name: "Berkeley Castle" on both entrances. One more thing worth noticing. Old fashion Bell telephone booth is placed here and it is still surprisingly functional, I checked it out.

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  ~ 21 Praça des Flores, Lisbon, Portugal, 2017 ~ 26Funchal City Centre, Madeira, Portugal, 2019 ~
~ Bascarsija, Sarajevo, BiH, 2018 ~ 27 Nicholson Lane, Toronto - February 2020 ~ 30 Taylor's Wharf Lane, Toronto, 2021 ~
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  Last time updated on March 24, 2024  
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