The best way to walk in the downtown core is via the laneways. These hidden sub-streets travel within leafy neighbourhoods, unseen from the roads where homes rest against each other in eccentric rows. The lanes are like paved spines; their vertebrae: dilapidated garages with weakened roofs and moss-strewn fences lining narrow backyards. Here there are hidden windows and gates, prowling cats, broken bikes, brightly painted doors, and rogue gardens. And small glimpses of the secret lives of city-dwellers.
Tourists and non-tourists hanging out at Nathan Phillips Square.
In the alleyway, beside the camera shop, she walks determinedly away. All sway of hips and flow of clothes. Away toward something better.
Toronto’s alleys are veins trailing from its beating heart. Where debris collects, where life travels through. Where things start and end.
An abandoned paperback, left to the elements on a fire escape. King Street West, near Bathurst.
Bright Street: a vibrant name for a lovely short street, curving upward to Queen East.
The best part: The rogue bungalow with a turquoise door. One floor was enough. So nah.
Above, the rumbling and roaring is muted.
Below, tired engines get respite from the sun, the shadows of its steel bones flickering across the faces of blinking passengers.