A city is a fluid space, a meshwork of unique stories. It constantly changes and interacts with the people in it. How we perceive it depends on the fragments we get to know in that certain period of time we’re a part of it. It has to do with the interplay of the places we visit and the social interactions we have. A city can’t be defined properly, it can’t be clipped. So what to look for as a tourist, as a wayfarer, as a discoverer? How to authentically explore a new city without getting lost? Where to start? How to pick a route? What to look for?
Being new in Toronto, having those questions in my mind, I wanted to set up a system, which adapts the fluid and open character oft the process of exploring. Some kind of interactive tourism that is asking for involvement. Tourism that creates unique memories, conversations and paths. A system that tries to understand the open space of a city by taking a la closer look at a selection of its places. Places that are connected to the people that live around it and make it a part of their stories and experiences. An individual discovery route should be created, so I began asking for peoples favourite places in the city and their own personal reason for liking it. I started my journey at one of my own favourite places in Toronto, the coffeeshop White Squirrel and was lead to another place, where I asked a person I met there for another place. Like that I started some kind of chain, that made me discover a lot of beautiful spots and brought me some great conversations which helped me to start to understand, what this city is about. Toronto Places is a project in progress, an ongoing adventure, an invitation to participate, to pick another route, in another ciy and share it. It is the trial to discover a city as a lived space, as an urban environment, that is defined by the people that live in it.
Kako: Ella's Uncle, 916 Dundas Street, because they have great espresso and heart warming people. It's my favourite oasis in downtown.
Rebecca: She Said Boom, 372 College Street, because they have a great selection of used books and treasures.
Carlos: 4 Life Natural Foods, 257 Augusta Ave, Because it's a gathering place and I'm a chef.
Jessica: Ewe Knit, 585 Markham Street, because I am friends with the owner.
Claudia: Coco & Lily, 590 Markham Street, because I love flowers and I collect orchids.
Xander: The Ritz Carlton Hotel, 181 Wellington Street, because it's a great place to do some people watching.
Lorraine: Tiff Bell Light Box, 350 King Street West, because it's great fun for movie lovers and a nice place to escape the cold.
Sandra: Trinity Bellwoods Park, because it's a gorgeous place to picnic with friends.
Neil: Nadege, 780 Queen Street West because of the coffee, the amazing sandwiches and it's a good place to use the scetchbook.
Felize: Cherry Beach, because it's an open space.
Lauren and Wade: The Evergreen Brickworks, because we love the nature and the community feeling of this place.
Sue and Doolittle: The Beaches Boardwalk, because you can walk very very far.
Ian: The Leslie Spit, because my cat Clearance is buried there amongst the swans, jackrabbits and canadian goose.