To whom it may concern at blogTO,

I am writing to offer my midtown Toronto expertise to blogTO’s readers, and am applying for your Eglinton West (International Market) assignment.

I am an avid urbanist, and a proud Torontonian. I studied Urban Geography at McGill, and am thrilled to have returned to my hometown to apply my studies to Toronto’s thriving urbanism. You should choose me for this assignment because you can expect high quality research and deep, easily accesible analysis in my writing.

Since returning from Montreal, I have been truly vibing off the city. I am excited at the opportunity to share my perspective of Toronto’s uniqueness to blogTO’s audience, especially a slice of Toronto that is central to my personal geography of the city.

I grew up at Bathurst and Eglinton; Eglinton West, always just beyond the Allen Expressway, offered an incredibly different flavour of Toronto to my small world as a child. An immensely genteel thoroughfare at Bathurst and Yonge, Eglinton west of the Allen changes dramatically, showcasing Toronto’s fascinating diversity.

As it’s a largely Jamaican community, I’ve often wondered why Eglinton west of the Allen has been pegged as the “International Market”. Perhaps its tight-knit community offers a  juxtaposition with its neighbouring areas, providing an archetypal example of Toronto’s international diversity within its urban form.

Though I now live in the Trinity Bellwoods area, I often return to Eglinton West, purposely taking the Dufferin 29 or the Ossington 63 buses north. I often allow myself a quick jaunt through the Eglinton West streetscape as I volunteer with Foodshare at schools in the area.

I am also intrigued at the arrival of the Eglinton LRT (fingers crossed), which is sure to profoundly transform the street. We often hear that Toronto’s true diversity is no longer found at its core, but rather in its suburbs. Eglinton West, as an inner city suburb, is sure to attract attention, as its accessibility increases and culture makers are priced out of downtown. Its urban form, though undoubtedly built for the car, preserves a comfortable pedestrian streetscape. Documenting Eglinton West at it’s cusp of major change would be a fascinating project for blogTO’s readers, and I am excited at the opportunity to dive into this topic.

I have experience as a contributor at Spacing Montreal and Atlantic, where I explored such topics as How My father Sees the Mile End, Natural Paths, and Guerilla Urban Design on Agricola. I also have my own urban affairs blog, which has proved to be an important ongoing writing and art project, giving me the opportunity to explore the cities I’ve lived in and visited, while continuing to craft my approach to urban affairs journalism. I am also excited for my upcoming internship with the Pop Up City this September where I will be writing blog posts for an international readership of more than 80 000.

Thank you for considering me for the Eglinton West assignment. I look forward to hearing from you soon,

Daniel

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