Archives for posts with tag: forest hill

Forest Hill is changing.

One house at a time, the abundance of solid, modest 1940s era houses are being demolished, replaced by bigger, grander, and louder mansions. They tower over the increasingly rare, smaller houses.

Many streets, like the north side of Vesta Drive, west of Spadina, have been entirely transformed — no original house remains.

It is hard to lament the loss of mansions, as in this complicated and overwhelmingly unjust world, there are simply, more important things to spill ink over. As I explored in my first ever post on this blog, however, we cannot anticipate how the city will take itself up in the future, Today’s mansion neighbourhood is tomorrow’s subdivided, affordable apartment zone, as Toronto has experienced with the mansions along Jarvis Street. With this in mind, heritage, even in an exclusive part of this city, is important to consider given the extensions of time and transformations of space.

Regardless of the loss of old, beautiful, heritage and humble homes, and the influx of towering and garish mansions, the effect in the neighbourhood is mesmerizing.

A walk today through the streets of Forest Hill was accompanied by the clang of steel, a constant buzz of power tools, an incessant banging of hundreds of hammers. We are witnessing the metamorphosis of a neighbourhood. It is shedding a new skin, and is doing so rapidly.

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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