By David Dunkelman
Jameson Avenue in West Toronto stretches from the pedestrian walkway at Lakeshore Blvd. to the hustle and bustle of Queen Street West. It’s a wide boulevard lined with walk-up and high-rise apartment buildings. Parkdale Collegiate, one of Toronto’s oldest high schools, is located along this route.
The wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks are lined with street planters designed to enhance the streetscape and return Jameson Avenue to the prominence it enjoyed from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, when Parkdale was one of Toronto’s elite neighbourhoods.
The street planters — over 70 of them — were recently enhanced with over 560 photographs imprinted on their concrete bases. These include black-and-white photos of past and current residents, as well as archival images from the neighbourhood.
This project, known as Impressions, is one of North America’s largest outdoor street photo installations. This street gallery was created by artist Jim Bravo and photographer Kate Young, with enthusiastic participation from local residents.
Impressions was coordinated by Mural Routes, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing communities through public art murals. Support was also provided by the city of Toronto Public Realm Section – Transportation Services. The featured photos are lively and entertaining and bring a sense of community to the streetscape. It is this type of initiative that is helping to revitalize the Parkdale neighbourhood.
David Dunkelman is a Broker and ABR* with Royal Lepage R.E.S.Ltd/Johnston and Daniel Division. David is also the Author of “Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods”. *ABR* The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.