160521 City Building - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Generations of city building ideas and a skyline that constantly changes.

The is looking toward the city from under the elevated highway that is best-loved by those who live nowhere near it, and across the rail lines that once served industry but now form the core of a commuter rail network. And of course there are construction cranes, as new residential buildings wall off the old guard of the financial district.

Just slightly to the south we have a snapshot of Toronto's waterfront.

To the right and left there is old industry and newly created and self-conciously urban public spaces – in this case a beach that doesn't touch the water, criticized by those who don't live here and see costs long before they understand benefits. Across a short distance of water there are the Toronto Islands, which had an outstanding land claim held by the Mississaugas of the New Credit that was only resolved in 2010.

And, of course, there's the plane coming in to land at our downtown airport, which continues to prove that there's no way that transportation in the city centre can't be controversial. 


But I make the mistake of thinking that these scenes, that are close to my home and easily reached by public transit, bike, or on foot, are the city itself instead of just being one small part of it. In the same way that city councillors from where I grew up don't understand how my chosen neighbourhood can value bike lanes over car storage, I stay where I'm comfortable and don't venture beyond my boundaries without a sense of unease and superiority. 

That needs to change. The city is so much bigger than my part in it.


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