Archives for posts with tag: eglinton

Errands_On_Eglinton

Judging by the amount of traffic along  Eglinton Avenue, it’s safe to say that construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has begun in earnest.

Running underground through central Toronto, and above ground at its extremities, this new rapid transit line is sorely needed in a city that has long outgrown its transit system. Fixing the mistakes of the past, when an Eglinton subway had begun to be dug, but was cancelled by Mike Harris in the late 90s, the Eglinton Crosstown will transect Toronto, cutting through culturally diverse neighbourhoods, linking together the six former boroughs of Metropolitan Toronto.

In anticipation of the frustration that will be felt by 8 long years of construction on Eglinton, the Upper Village BIA had a contest for a poster campaign that will encourage residents to shop locally during these hards times.

I entered the contest with my good friend and collaborator, Josh Schendel, a student of Advertising at Humber College. With my spatio-analytic skills as Your Urban Geographer, and his debonair intuition as an Ad Man, we thought we really had a shot.

We didn’t win, but I present you our submission anyways, pictured above, with our biographies and rationale below.

I think we put in a really good effort. What are your thoughts?

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BIO
Daniel Rotsztain and Josh Schendel grew up along Eglinton Avenue West. Daniel is an artist, designer and urban geographer who celebrates Toronto in his written and visual work. Along with freelance art and design, he is employed by Evergreen Brick Works, Artscape, and writes for Spacing Toronto. Josh is a writer and student of advertising at Humber College. He is finishing a novella that follows the residents of a Forest Hill home, chronicling their misadventures.
Recognizing complimentary skill sets — Daniel’s visual communication skills and urban issues acumen, and Josh’s sense of humour, wit and advertising sensibilities — this is Josh and Daniel’s first collaborative effort. At early stages in their careers, the Experience Eglinton contest has been an excellent opportunity to sharpen their design, communication and writing skills. They will undoubtedly continue to collaborate in the future. Josh and Daniel are excited at the opportunity to give back toEglinton West and contribute to the celebration of local businesses in their home Ward.
Josh and Daniel explored Eglinton West as kids, made relationships with its proprietors and frequented its restaurants during school lunch breaks. They continue to live in Toronto and visit the strip when doing errands for their parents. Josh and Daniel understand the essence of Eglinton and are perfect ambassadors to spread the message of support for local businesses during the strain that construction of the LRT will bring to this beloved Avenue.
RATIONALE
Eglinton West is the backbone of the Ward 21 community. Unlike destination streets such as West Queen West and Bloor/Yorkville, Eglinton West is a working street that serves as an important conduit for transportation and services. Eglinton’s charm is in its honesty, serving the purposes of the everyday needs of its residents.
With this campaign, we intend to celebrate one of the pillars of Eglinton West: Errands. The importance of the errands of Eglinton deserve to be celebrated. Highlighting its everyday activities in the form of a playful visualization and ad campaign will remind residents of the value of their street and its importance to their lives.
While acting as a reminder to shop locally during construction of the LRT, our slogan, “Your Errandswill still be on Eglinton” contains within it a secondary slogan “Errands on Eglinton” that is meant to extend beyond this campaign and become part of the way people talk about their main street.
By including pictograms of the now ubiquitous construction fences, and directly addressing them in our tag line, “get beyond the fence”, we wanted our poster to honestly engage with the disruptions construction will bring, rather than ignore them. The disruptions construction of the LRT will bring toEglinton West can already be felt, and it is important to take this opportunity to make a solid call to arms to support local businesses in these difficult times. “Errands on Eglinton” is a poster that will do just that.
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BONUS
Collaborations often mean compromise. I had an entirely different vision for the piece, pictured below, but through my partnership with Josh, let it be and took the project in another direction.
With this version, I was trying to evoke Instagram. My idea was to celebrate what Eglinton is, thinking that an image of a familiar scene on a billboard would cause a resident to pause and reflect.
Errands on Eglinton
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Your Urban Geographer is happy to announce that he is contributing to blogTO!

Read here about his night out on Eglinton West with two pals.

Enjoy!

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