Friday, May 16, 2008

Jane’s Walk in the Junction's "West Bend"

Jane’s Walk in the Junction's West Bend with Duncan Farnan, May 3, 2008Jane’s Walk in the Toronto Junction's "West Bend" with Duncan Farnan, May 3, 2008"
Notes & Impressions:
On Saturday, May 3, 2008, a dozen or so “flâneurs” strolled the neighbourhood tucked into the sweeping north-west curve of the CPR line north of Bloor Street West. Beginning at the elegant 1920s Lawn Bowling Clubhouse in Baird Park, named for the late mayor of West Toronto Junction, we made our way to Keele and Dundas, the still-bustling heart of the Junction. Those present shared tales of the Junction’s glory days as a railway town, its theatre district, its long "dry" years and its present resurgence as a tight-knit creative hub. We marveled at the array of religious offerings from the mainstream Victorian edifices to the Tibetan Buddhist temple (formerly the Heintzman Piano Company’s showroom), to the Hindu and African Pentecostal storefronts.
Later, we walked the undulating, leafy neighbourhood streets with their eclectic mix of Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian architecture (sometimes all on a single house!), infilled here and there with bungalows from the 40s and the odd six-plex from the 50s built on filled ravine sites. From street to street, the different building styles tell a story of the great and small, of merchants and industrialists, builders and professionals, labourers and factory workers. A builder’s house from the early 20th century showed vernacular architecture at its most innovative – a small frame house covered completely with surplus decorative terracotta.
A detour or two into the spacious laneways opened a world hidden away where song sparrows called from mature trees and along the railway line, trilliums and mayapples were emerging into the spring rain.
See you next year!
2008 © Hilary Bell, West Bend resident

"This unusual house dates from about 1970. It is a good example of the sometimes ingenious approach taken to infill construction. It is tucked in beside a laneway on a tiny property with a side-built carriage house. Even though it is quite unusual in design, it fits nicely into the street. Duncan Farnan, of the Toronto Westbend Community Association, talks about it while guiding one of the 2010 Jane's Walks.

The street features a couple of the last original oaks in the West Bend, examples of the Black Oak Savannah ecology of High Park. The dip in the street results from an underground stream. 

At the start of the tape, some people are talking about a ghost, but I believe that was in connection with a different property. 
Uploaded by motoronna on May 6, 2010

permanent link:
Jane’s Walk in the Junction's "West Bend"

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