Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photoblogging random Toronto neighbourhoods

Steph is feeling kinda down. Air Canada gave her the royal screw with her vacation plans. I hope it's been resolved, but last night Steph was seriously down.

To cheer her up, I told Steph to open Google Maps and randomly pick three places on a map of Toronto. I'd visit those places on my errands today and photoblog them.

Why? Cause it's collaborative content development. Also because I love exploring this city and driving my car (which, thanks to a much better service department at a new dealership, has a clean bill of health!)

So here's where Steph sent me:



Driving to Bamburgh form my place at Yonge and Eg, I took Lawrence and made a stop at Arz Food, this amazing Middle Eastern grocery store with fantastic prepared foods, baklawa, and fresh pitas. Among Toronto neighbouroods, the section of Lawrence between Vic Park and Warden is refered to as the 'Gaza Strip' because of the concentration of Middle Eastern food stores and businesses there.

Driving up Warden from Lawrence I'm in a low density, semi-industrial row of vacant commercial buildings below the train tracks. There's this superboard for Advertising Week (held in late January in Toronto). It seems that the locations for Advertising Week superboards are in the most bizarre locations. Purposeful? Meant to be thought-provoking for marketers, the target audience?

Arrival at
Bamburgh. It's a nice residential street with two story suburb homes on one side and tall condo towers in an enclave on the other side.

I know this isn't the first picture someone took of a suburb with a 'no exit' sign...


Speeding down the DVP. It really is a beautiful roadway when it moves. I like it when it winds and twists south of Eglinton. It feels great to hug the car along the turns of the road as you see the city materialize before you through trees and cuts between buildings.

Queen East at Broadview is Leslieville, a rapidly developing neighbourhood in transition. It's a commercial strip with old world delis, new world espresso bars, chocolate shops, and art galleries.

It's also got a lot of homeless and street kids walking up and down the sidewalk competing for space with the tandem strollers, joggers, and seniors. Truly a mixed neighbourhood.

Really nice neighbourhood for a Saturday afternoon stroll (thanks Steph, this was really one of my favourites!). Thinking of moving here.

Unfortunately I got a parking ticket as I was getting a corned beef sandwich from a Polish deli. Steph, you owe me $30.


I drove along Queen past City Hall

...up through Koreatown

...and along Dupont to get here, and I parked in this messy parking lot for a low-rent shopping mall, the Galleria centre. It's a multi-ethnic, mixed-use, low-income neighbourhood.

It's showing its age too. The whole places looks like a transplant from the 1960s/70s.

This isn't a tough neighbourhood, it's just ugly. Ugly for the grey and brown buildings and enormous expanses of cracked concrete roads.

By this point I was exhausted and going crazy from the other drivers, but I look up, and there, on top of a car wash, was another sign for Advertising Week. Part of me smirked knowing that I was potentially in on an in-joke.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Li said...

oh man Max, so many comments!

1)I live in Scarborough, on Warden actually, and I pass by ARZ all the time because I also do some volunteering at Lawrence and the DVP. ARZ used to be a lot crappier but the new store really seemed to give it a lift. I want to go in now.

Before they had those murals it was really bad there, but that stupid corner is also home to the most inaccessible Tim Horton's ever.

Bamburgh Circle has a lot of decent Chinese food around it!

2) I need to get in on this Jewish food action

3) I am also a huge aviation buff! Amazing!