They say "a picture is worth a thousand words".
I was walking home from the Dundas West subway station on Friday evening and decided to take this photo from the Dundas St. side of the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge. I always enjoy the view from here, especially since it contains two of our neighbourhood's most iconic sights: The bridge itself, and the old G.E. Water Tower near Lansdowne Ave.
When I came home and took a closer look at the photo, it struck me that there are many things going on within the frame of this picture. Little bits of history, neighbourhood icons, and changes that are happening rapidly. Here's what I spotted. Maybe there are some things I missed?
- The Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge that connects our neighbourhood to Dundas St. West at Glenlake Ave. was built in 1907, I believe. It's just over 100 years old now and has been a major visual and physical symbol of this neighbourhood since it was built. It's the only railway crossing on the west side of the Junction Triangle between Bloor and Dupont Streets (well, only "legal" one, anyway). Some historical photos of this bridge from the City of Toronto Archives are posted here.
- The former General Electric water tower on Wallace Ave. between Campbell and Lansdowne is visible from many parts of the neighbourhood, and is a well-known symbol for this area. The current owners of the building next to the tower even named their new business after it: Tower Storage.
- The controversial Metrolinx Georgetown South Service Expansion project, is happening right here. The rail corridor is in the process of being expanded to accomodate a major increase in GO commuter trains and a new airport rail link service.
- The former Glidden Paint and Varnish site at 370 Wallace Ave, now a grassy field, has been cleaned up of its former industrial contaminants. This site was a source of pollution and jobs for residents of our neighbourhood in the past, but now it's uncertain what the site will be developed into. This spring it has turned into a sort of unofficial dog park.
- The West Toronto Railpath officially opened up last year. This pathway and linear park along the rail corridor forms the western border of our neighbourhood, while acting as an active transportation corridor for walkers and cyclists, a meeting place for residents, a playground for kids, and so much more. A truly excellent new feature of this neighbourhood.
- The Brownstones on Wallace townhouses are currently under construction after many delays. You can see some of the construction hoarding on Wallace Ave. on the right side of the photo. This is another example of former industrial lands in our neighbourhood being redeveloped into residential spaces. However, even this brings up controversy, regarding density and provision of services.
- The Seventh Day Adventist Church at Perth and Wallace has recently gone up for sale. You can faintly see this church through the trees just below the water tower. Will another church take it over? Will it get developed on condos like some other recent church conversions in this city? It will certainly be interesting to see what happens there.
- Artwork and graffiti, ranging from legally curated, to unofficially installed, to downright destructive can be found along the Railpath and Wallace Ave. bridge. Some of these bright pieces of art really add a strong splash of colour to the rail corridor.
Anything else interesting in this photo? You can see a larger version here.