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Psychogeography Portrait...44. The ESPLANADE * 2024  
  Street Art 2024  
 

 

 

Why I am so obsessed with The Esplanade? We moved here back in 2006. The area was just revitalized under very heavy influence byJane Jacobs, the famous urban enthusiast. It was populated with mainly co-op buildings, mainly low-income families in affordable housing, and did not with great reputation. Our building at 222 The Esplanade and condominium at Scadding were only two condominium structures. Now many more large condominium buildings are appearing all around.

Let’s talk about maps. The White dotted line is the lake shore around 1800. Lake is some 300m south of it now. Red dotted lines are my frequent paths along The Esplanade and where most of the photos, that will follow, are taken. Numbers #1 - #5are spots where VR Panoramas were taken.

     
   
 

 

 

This VR panorama is taken at the spot marked with #01 at the map.

David Crombie Park is named after the late city of Toronto mayor from 1972 to 1978. David Crombie along with John Sewell and other urban reformers like Jane Jacobs, [she relocated to Toronto from the US in 1968 protesting the Vietnam War], became a leader in a grassroots movement that favoured curtailing development in favour of improving social services and prioritizing community interests. The Esplanade was among those selected for redevelopment. Crombie Park stretches along half of The Esplanade, from St. Lawrence Market to the Distillery District.

 

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On June 21, we participated in the celebration of the Ingenious day. Little bit of dancing, spoiled by the rain, and sacred fire with good wishes.

     
   
     

Even our locat political representative, Krystin Wong-Tam was present.

     
   
     

Whole family in the indigenous drum round dance, a time for the community to unite to heal, honour, feast and celebrate. What is more respectful than to participate in celebration.

     
  The Esplanade, Toronto  
     

May 9th, 2024, noon - The Esplanade doesn't look good at all today :(- water main replacement is going on for the whole street.

     
  The Esplanade, Toronto  
     

May 10th, 2024, Joy In The Park!

     
  The Esplanade, Toronto  
     

One of the highlights of this event was the unveiling of Jamii’s new photo exhibition “Placemaking“, curated by Sabrine S Hakam, with artistic advisor Sarah S Ahmad, and showcasing the talent of seven local photographers. One of the selected photos is mine, “Beware of Artists, they mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous“.

     
   
     

This VR panorama was taken on the spot mark with #02 on our map. Mural is on the dividing wall between extremely well used basketball court on the other side. This side is exclusively used by Market Lane School during the school hours and days. On other occasions this stage is used for music and various other performances.

The weather was cooperating, our granddaughters were enjoying themselves, Brazilian music was excellent, dancers everywhere, it's JOY IN THE PARK today!

Some info was posted on Resilience2:1 blog, and 26 more photos are also on our photoblog.

 

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May 26th, 2024 - The Esplanade looks even more messy, hopefully by the end of the year it will look better :(

     
  Street Art 2024  
 

Click on the image for the map of the what was whole city of Toronto in 1879.

 

Previously called Palace Street The Esplanade, was created around 1850 with the idea to become a pleasant promenade along Lake Ontario replacing dirt roads connecting industrial facilities with wharves stretching to the lake. Very soon after, need for more industrial places,. the railway and later highway expanded the area to the south of the Esplanade by filling up the lake with all kinds of rubbish and materials from demolitions and moving the edge of the lake some 300 meters to the south.

Crombie Park along The Esplanade was the location of the rail yard with numerous tracks, a few abandoned manufacturing structures and oil tank storage until the 1970s.

 

 

 
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In the photos above we are at the intersection between Parliament St. and Pathway, the field where the first Canadian parliament stood until 1813. It was burned to the ground after a very short war with the Americans. After 1813 it was repaired but it burned again in 1824. There was a plan to build some kind of memorial museum here, but... ???

We already have The Esplanade, as it looked in 2015, in our collection as a special project. Pay attention to the VR panorama taken from the roof at the 222 The Esplanade, view towards downtown is quite different.

     
   
     

The natural starting point for this street is Gristmill or Distillery Lane, in the Distillery District, named after numerous mills that stood there for a long time. It is actually in the straight line continuation through the pathway on the east side of Parliament Street.

     
   
     

The Esplanade, The Esplanade - Old Town Toronto, St. Lawrence Market, The Esplanade- St. Lawrence Neighbourhood.

     
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The corner when The Esplanade is curving to the Berkeley Street, the actual end of the street, is home of the newest addition to the neighbourhood. Extremely well-used space occupied by the Jamii Esplanade non-for-profit arts organization, making a very significant contribution to the improvement of the community's reputation.

     
  Urbansquares, manholes in Toronto  
     

On this occasion we were enjoying Flamenco Music in the Jamii.

 

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  Esplanade 2024  
     

Pan-Africanism is theme for this month. This extraordinary person, professor at The University of Toronto, is presenter.

     
 

 
      1970-2024. Same corner, The Esplanade and the Berkeley Street, significant improvements.
     
   
     

Those two photos were taken by my granddaughter on her way back home from the VIS School located in the Distillery District. No additional words are necessary here.

     
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Street is quite colorful, anyway you turn your head - up, down or sideways. Even our dog Jara is enjoying herself.

     
   
     

These three images above are what we are facing walking along and around the street. Lively space full of good wishes.

     
   
     

Drone images were made in 2020. Navigator and person showing us what early drones are capable of, was our son in low. Vista is towards the CN Tower and the downtown Toronto.

     
   
     

Whenever there is a chance, of course depending on the weather conditions, people use this street and the park for observations and pleasure. It is still spring, you should see The Esplanade Walk in summer months. Walkway is hardly wide enough to accommodate all pedestrian traffic.

     
   
     

We are happy to share visuals with you. We are collecting them over time, so check our latest two, Street Art in Toronto and second one Visuals during our last visit to our birth city, Beogrard, Srbija.

     
   
     

The corner with Frederick Street is used for baseball and cricket fields. Most often though, it is occupied by dogs running around. A fenced dog park to the south side of this large field is promised, but...

     
   
     

This Panorama was taken beside the wall of the Community Centre [number #03 on our map] with the recently finished mural, an indigenous street art project. It is called Mashkiki, [Ojibwe word meaning a medicine], created by Darwin Peters. This is what he has to say about it: "Everywhere I look in this community (The Esplanade), I see different faces, races, cultures, languages and religions, and that makes me happy.

 

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The most important fact about the street is that our granddaughters are having great fun inside and out. Check out their happy faces. As Dalai Lama said in his book Art of Happines, happiness is a basic human right!

     
   
     

New fancy, expensive condominiums are appearing all around, changing the atmosphere in the neighbourhood dramatically.

     
   
     

Spring is dough making everything brighter and colorful.

 

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Even when it's raining we are expecting [hoping] that numerous dog owners will pick up after they relieve themselves.

     
   
     

This is enough for this first half of The Esplanade, from Berkeley to Jarvis Street. The Esplanade east of Jarvis is quite different.

     
   
     

Here we are. Corner of Jarvis and Esplanade. I am 100% sure that you are puzzled about the street painted red. Well. City officials to reduce motorized traffic first introduced bicycle lanes and then divided streets is block segments. First block one way westward, next block closed except buses, next one way eastward, next one two ways, next one half completely closed half one way. Red paint on the pavement is for those segments closed except buses.

Confused? Imagine those driving here.

     
   
     

On this is 3D map we are again marking spots where panoramas are made, all five of them.

     
   
     

This Virtual Reality panorama is marked with #4 on our map. It is on the intersection of The Esplanade and Jarvis Street. Just on the south side of St. Lawrence market.

 

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This is the view from the inside of the St. Lawrence Market. A white horizontal line with an arrow is view true the windows along The Esplanade, of course, if you come closer. When you step out on the surrounding terrace, with all available sitting areas occupied, you will see The Esplanade left and right in the whole 650m to the left and 500m to the right. To the total length, I would always add a walkway true Parliament Park towards the Distillery, a total of 1.1 km.

     
   
     

The west portion of this street is quite different, you'll see. Some of the buildings on the north side have heritage designation. Most of the south side is occupied by very tall condominiums and Hotel Novotel. Novotel accommodated homeless people during the Covid pandemic and was extremely controversial turning this otherwise very quiet and safe area into a very problematic one. But wait...there's more?

     
   
     

North side is full of very popular restaurants and bars, just across the street from the Hotel Novotel.

     
   
     

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Cathedral, Scotland Yard, Goose Island. Shoeless Joe's, Eggspectation, those are just few of the signs you'll see.

     
   
     

Pedestrian Walkway along Novotel is having it's charm, now when it is once again very popular and safe place.

 

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The entrance to the courtyard at 55 The Esplanade has its secret. Mural byShalakattack and Bruno Smoky is a real gem. This couple is also the author of the beautiful mural, mentioned before, on the deviding wall between Market Lane School and the basketball court in Crombie Park.

     
   
     

I did not mention the names of the side streets. => Younge St., Scott St., Church St., Farquhars Lane, Market St., Jarvis St., George St., Frederick St., Sherbourne St., Princess St., Berkeley St. and Parliament St. All of them with historical significance, being in the first ten blocks of the City.

What first ten blocks, check it out.

     
   
     

Few street art visuals are never too much.

     
   
     

We are almost at the begging of the street, you of course noticed that we were going in the reverse order, from the end to the start. Directions might help.

     
   
     

Eagle V.1 created in 2018 by Dean Drever is at the very corner with Younge Street, scroll further down for more clarification.

     
   
     

The only attractive thing on this corner now is this eagle. The intersection is under construction, and the replacement of the water main is making a real mess. The street is continuing on the other side, is it going to be called The Esplanade, we'll see.

 

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Let's look it up. Very tall condominium buildings touching the sky. But also let's look down from the CN Tower. The light-bluish area on the left side is where Lake Ontario used to be. It was until some 10 years ago occupied by railway and highway and heavy industrial buildings. Now railway and highway are still there but the industry is gone replaced with quite expensive luxury living.

 

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With this last panorama #05 on our map, we are wishing you good buy for now. Very often we add more images, so expect addition to those 5 panoramas, 3 maps and 75 photos already here.

 

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This is actual starting point of The Esplanade, stretching in the straight line from the intersection with Bay Street, and still unnamed. On the left and way above is new portion of the CIBC Bank new office building, addition to the one already finished to the south, across the rail truck. We'll see how this will look when it's finished. So welcome back soon.

     
  esplanade  
     

These last two rows of photos were taken last year when the yellowing of the leaves started. Enjoy!

     
  esplanade  
     

We are strongly recommending those other >psycho<geographical> walks listed bellow, all of them in the very close proximity.

 

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  ~ 27 ❖ Nicholson Lane, Toronto2020 ~  30 ❖ Taylor's Wharf Lane, Toronto2021 ~ 32 ❖ First Ten Blocks 1793, Toronto2021 
~ 34 ❖ Church Street Walk for 4thWCoP, Toronto, 2022 ~  35 Fifth Block Gardens, Toronto, 2022 ~
 
  ...........  
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