On Friday morning, my original goal was to find ‘Residents of the Esplanade’, a CONTACT Photography Festival outdoor exhibit at David Crombie Park but it was such a beautiful morning that I didn’t stop there. I found more than just the ‘Residents’.
Forty years ago, May 1976, the site plan for The Esplanade neighbourhood was approved. Since then, it has become home to a very diverse group of people. And it is those people that this installation celebrates on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the neighbourhood.
Crombie Park runs along the south side of The Esplanade between Berkeley street and Lower Jarvis. The installation consists of a number of small white rectangular pillars with the picture and story of person on either side.
People were out enjoying the morning; school kids were playing basketball at recess.
Flowers were blooming.
below: Looking towards Lower Jarvis Street and downtown Toronto.
below: One street beyond Lower Jarvis is Market Street. It dead ends at the railway tracks. The long structure on the right is a parking garage.
below: After a small backtrack up Market Street, I went through Conger Coal Lane to Church Street. I don’t think I have walked this way before. The lane was named in commemoration of the Conger Coal Company whose yard and wharf was nearby. It was one of the many companies that provided Toronto with coal back in the day when coal fueled the city. It was started in 1870 by Mr. P.D. Conger. In 1913, Sterling Coal company bought Conger and the name was changed to Conger Lehigh Coal Co.
below: A very old photo of the Conger Coal Company dock at the foot of Church Street, back when Church street ended at Lake Ontario
below: Tucked into a corner on Church street immediately south of Front Street, is an art installation by Paul Raff called ‘Shoreline Commemorative’. A topography of limestone forms the base of the work. A glass ball representing the line between sky and water sits on top of a tripod that tries to evoke a land surveyor’s tripod. The words on the wall say “For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario’s shoreline. This brick wall stands where water and land met, with a vista horizon”
below: Continuing the lake theme, a little fish out of water, jumping over the entrance to a condo.
below: From the lake theme to another common theme in the city, construction. Spring is the beginning of construction season and here Berczy Park is being upgraded. In the background a new condo is being built but as we all know condo construction ‘season’ never ends. In fact, the challenge might be to find a place in this city where there isn’t a condo being built.
below: I walked past the never ending Front Street construction. Construction in front of Union station seems to be finished, but this stretch of Front Street just west of the station is still being worked on. There have been fences here so long that I can’t remember a time when they weren’t here.