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Psychogeography Portrait... 37. Voices Of Resilience - 2023  
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Gneiss is a high-grade metamorphic rock, which means it has undergone more heat and pressure than schist. It is generated when granite, or sedimentary rock, undergoes a metamorphosis. Gneiss doesn’t really fracture along foliation planes because only about half of the minerals generated during metamorphism are oriented in thin layers. During the final retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, ice blocked the St. Lawrence valley causing meltwater to flood the Lake Ontario basin and create glacial Lake Iroquois.

That is where we are now. Original shore of the lake Ontario. Check on the map bellow, where we found this sight, uncovered after re-doing side walk along The Esplanade Street. Blue dotted line is original shore line, before settlment of immigrants from Europe, red dotted line is shore line around 1800. Today Lake Ontario is some 500m to the south? [More info here].

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But why we are
even loking in
that direction?


But why we are even looking in that direction?

I am since 2015 Board Member of the Resilience 2:1, non-profit organization focused on the issue of resilience for Canada.

Few days ago on our regular Board Meeting we talked about next steps in our activities, very encouraged by the passion and interest in helping solve the problem of support and education for our younger generation as they deal with the ‘dread’ of climate change. After reading few books about Eco Anxiety I figured out that we are also part of the problem. Stand point in our research should be that we are all in this together and concentrate on helping each other in making us more resilient, emotionally.

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So I decided to walk around and look and listen for "Voices of Resilience". A few steps south of where we live [go back to the map above, we live two blocks west of the X on the map] and we noticed below ugly on-ramp to the highway some encouraging artworks, or "Happy Castaways" by Demers-Mesnard just a block away. I am very seriously thinking that state of the art, particularly public art, is a very significant omen of things to come. [See my article in the Resilience 2:1 Newsletter #02].



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Here it is, first encouraging sight. This is Queen's Quay East, T3 Bayside Building, an almost finished 10-storey office and retail building designed by 3XN Architects and WZMH Architects for Hines just north of Aitken Place Park and contemporary lake edge. The encouraging part is that it is constructed from Mass Timber, promising new building material. More about the value of the mass timber can be found in issue #03 of the Resilience 2:1 Newsletter.

Following is a quote from the article by professor Oruba Alwan: "Why Mass Timber? "Because building with wood sequesters the carbon in it in the material in the building for as long as it stands". For more info follow this link =>

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Following Queens Quay East to the west for just one block you will notice one more surprise of the same kind. Construction is underway on Limberlost Place, the latest addition to George Brown College's Waterfront Campus. This mass timber, net zero carbon emissions project will be the first institutional building of its kind in Ontario. Very appropriately it will be the new home of the School of Architectural Studies, the School of Computer Technology, and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI), a community learning hub dedicated to research and innovation around sustainability.

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Next sight, right between those two samples another excellent example: Sherbourne Common. It is one of the earliest parks in Canada to incorporate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility into its design. The project consists of a 240 meter long water channel featuring three art sculptures that rise nine meters, called "Light Showers", by artist Jill Anholt. The stormwater treatment facility is located in the basement of the park’s Pavilion designed by Teeple Architects Inc. The plant treats the water and returns it to the park through the three art installations. Excess purified water is released -meter- the Lake Ontario.

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Way to many words are said about Brick Works Park, just few kilometers north from our residence, one of few places where you are in contact with regenerated nature. In 2010, Evergreen [tirelessly working to make cities more livable, green and prosperous], transformed a collection of deteriorating heritage buildings into a global showcase for green design and an award-winning public space.  It deserves lot of visuals, so visit a page on our site specially dedicated to this space.

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This image above is one more from the Evergreen Brick Works Park. See what I am talking about?


Back in the downtown, in Market Street, we noticed two more examples. If you carefully think about what you see, as the cold season is coming up, organic waste of dry flowers is picked up. Useful? The other example is again the re-use of items needed in this person's life. Notice that there is a waste basket as he is making inventory and enjoying the last warm days.

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We live here and these kind of social and community issues are raised everyday. Are they voices of resilience?



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Rose Avenue Junior
Public School


Six months ago, as Covid19 distancing was slowing down, we made a psychogeography walk in North St. James Town or as I am calling it Little Filipino Town. A particularly exciting area in front of Rose Avenue Junior Public School is the newly added, Pollinator's Garden. And it is working, notice the real insect on the info panel above! Another positive voice of resilience.

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Welcome to Artscape Wychwood Barns. Discover a century-old streetcar facility, redesigned and transformed. The converted heritage building was built as a streetcar maintenance facility in 1913. Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for. It is also known as recycling and conversion. We found it by accident looking for a Theatre with programs for kids. Such a smart usage of the space. Loud Voice of Resilience!


... and now something that I dislike. On the corner of Front Street East and Frederick new condominium building is under construction. Notice facade leftovers pretending to be saved heritage buildings. How awful is this try? Even more shameful is the city of Toronto's urban authorities that are allowing this kind of fraud! Three images below are taken along King Street, the same shameful usage of facades or parts of the protected heritage buildings as camouflage.


Well after so many bad exhamples we have find something better. Art is always helpfull, predicting or remembering "good times". Last photo bellow right is properly revitalizwed structure, home of Young People's Theater.


Another art exhample found in Bathurst and St. Claire area is also reminder, this time of no long exhisting plants and trees.


Let me finish [for now] with this ideal city created by my granddaughter. It has everything needed, she is an optimist, I can tell.

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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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