Exploring Neighbourhoods

Like many people, I’m sometimes guilty of not taking advantage of sights and activities that are relatively close to home. We often think of travel or things we want to do as being distant when in reality that doesn’t have to be the case. I’m always quite amused, and maybe a bit embarrassed, that although I grew up in northwest England, other than changing flights at Dublin airport, I haven’t yet managed a trip to Ireland! I’ll have to fix that even though I’m now thousands of kilometres further away….. 

 Even more to the point, I think we often don’t take the time to really explore our own town or immediate area as much as we could. I lived in London many years ago and at the beginning, with little money and no work, my friend and I would buy a day pass for London transport, pull out our A to Z (essential tool for getting around a massive city in those days), pick an area of the city and go and explore it street-by-street for the day. Great learning, entertainment and exercise and at very little cost! 

 There are plenty of areas of Toronto I’ve been to and not really explored in great detail, so there’s something else for my “to do” list! The Junction in west Toronto is a mere 20 minutes drive from home, and although I’ve been there lots of times I always feel like I’m just scratching the surface of this very busy and vibrant area. It’s a place with a diverse population and economy, now rich in an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants. An area where four railway lines meet, and various industries have thrived and waned. The look and feel of it now highlights that industrial past with many old buildings and their mixed architectural styles lodged tightly alongside each other, some renovated, some not. Many of the industries have died or left, leaving their mark in names of the area. The Stockyards, for instance. Once a major livestock and meat-processing district it’s now home to a shopping centre, various big-box stores and residential developments. Now I think about it, I used it live quite close to that area and remember that on certain days, depending on the direction of the wind, we’d get the smell from the abattoir incinerators wafting in our direction. Not the best memory. 

 Anyway, I drove over to the junction to have a wander about on a quiet Sunday morning to take some photographs. Here are a couple and there are more to come. I’m working on a few versions of the one at the top - "For Rent"-  including a square one, which the image seems to suit. For now though, you can find this version in the Urban and Industrial gallery here, if you’d like a closer look or would like to buy a print. 

 Remember what I said about just scratching the surface? I still feel like that with this area so I’ll be heading back there again soon. Watch out for further posts!