I spent a beautiful day recently hanging out in the ‘Riverside’ area of Toronto. This is an area I hadn’t explored much in the past, and has seemingly changed drastically since the last time I was there.
Once a ‘gritty’ lower income area of Toronto (this area is the ‘vibe’ that the television series ‘Degrassi’ was based on) the neighborhood has been going through a ‘gentrification’ process in recent years.
‘Money’ has been moving in and an increase in shop rents has meant that a number of the old-time businesses have been moving out – though many still remain.
We had lunch at ‘Dangerous Dan’s’ dinner (great burgers and steaks – it has been my experience that oddly, some of the best steaks can be found in ‘greasy spoons’ rather than expensive streak restaurants). Dangerous Dan’s is still hanging-in there, but for how long I don’t know (though I hope a long time). The owner of the 16 year old establishment, James McKinnon, has some colourful stories to share, I’m sure.
Jilly’s, the once notorious strip club across the road has since closed (and the 40 low income rooms above it vacated) with renovations to the building busily underway to make way for a new boutique hotel.
The area is an eclectic blend of old and new, families and hipsters, where occasionally, if you look closely, you’ll catch a glimpse of a ghost of yesteryear, or hear a whispered tale of a stripper and her tiger.
This week’s image was taken with the Sony A6000 and 10-18mm wide angle lens. It shows the 504 streetcar crossing the bridge over the Don River (the division between Riverside and Downtown Toronto). My focus was on framing the streetcar in the triangle gridwork of the bridge. Yet personally, one of my favourite elements of the photo is the pedestrian on the far sidewalk, also framed in a triangle grid, caught in full stride. It can be a bit of an interesting commentary: two different modes of transportation, one leaving and the other entering Riverside. I wish I could say it was planned. That the inclusion of the pedestrian was intentional. But the truth of the matter is… sometimes, you just get lucky.