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.

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - story of Mysha from Pakistan

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Solomon from on top of a basketball hoop

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Alan working at a desk, tulips and a woman sitting in the park are in the background

People were out enjoying the morning; school kids were playing basketball at recess.

kids playing basketball on an outdoor court. The wall behind the basketball hoop has been painted with a mural of hands making a heart shape with the fingers, by Bruno Smokey and Shalak Attack.

Flowers were blooming.

close up photo of red tulips in full bloom on a sunny day

tulips in a garden in a park, orange and yellow tulips, with some greenery. Grassy area with trees behind, and people walking on a sidewalk in the background.

below: Looking towards Lower Jarvis Street and downtown Toronto.

at the corner of The Esplanade and George Street, looking west towards downtown and St. Lawrence market. Playground on the left with children playing.

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.

looking west towards the CN Tower, with the railway tracks to the left (but they are elevated and behind maintenance buildings so you can't see the tracks). Parking structure to the right, with city buildings behind it.

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.

a downtown Toronto lane, very clean, no graffiti, taller, newer buildings on either side of the lane. CN tower in the distance,

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

historical picture of the old COnger COal Co wharf at the bottom of Church street.

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”

Shoreline Commemorative by Paul Raff, an art installation on Church St., south of King, that marks where the shoreline of Lake Ontario used to be. It involves words on a brick wall and a model of the shoreline of Toronto showing the different elevations of the land.

below: Continuing the lake theme, a little fish out of water, jumping over the entrance to a condo.

bas relief sculpture of a fish, square stone on a brick wall above the entrance way to a condo building.

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.

workmen redoing a park, Berczy Park in Toronto, with a digger and another piece of equipment, cityscape behind with a tall condo building under construction. A red and white crane is on top.

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.

Front street constrcution, behind a greenwire fence is a rd truck and piles of construction materials. Between the fence and a stone building is the sidewalk on which some people are walking.

a shirtless man in sitting on a stool at the corner of Front and Union streets. He has four signs (behind, above, in front, and beside him) asking for spare change or for you to buy his novel that is well rated on both Amazon and Goodreads.

A man is selling Black History newspaper to another man in front of the TTC subwayentrance at Union station.

 

 

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