Exploring Toronto

One of the cleverest and most philosophical limericks is:

There once was a man who said, “Damn,
It has borne in upon me I am
But a creature that moves
In predestinate grooves;
I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram!”

It’s strange that living in Canada’s largest city I nonetheless overwhelmingly see the parts that are within an hour’s walk of my home, and I tend to see the same short stretches of street day after day when doing chores, meeting friends, or working on my research.

To deliberately defamiliarize myself a little I took the list of 75 TTC subway stations on Wikipedia, drew a random number between 1 and 75, and took the subway to York Mills to explore a new neighbourhood and take some photos.

Next time I’ll try to do a random journey while there is more daylight left, and perhaps with a friend in tow. As an experiment this time I only brought my keys, camera, and a TTC payment card — no phone, music player, cash, or wallet. I had a surprising number of conversations, perhaps just because I wasn’t listening to headphones or staring at a screen, but clearly actively paying attention to what was happening around me.

4 thoughts on “Exploring Toronto”

  1. Here’s an alphabetical list from the current Wikipedia page:

    1 Bathurst
    2 Bay
    3 Bayview
    4 Bessarion
    5 Bloor–Yonge
    6 Broadview
    7 Castle Frank
    8 Chester
    9 Christie
    10 College
    11 Coxwell
    12 Davisville
    13 Don Mills
    14 Donlands
    15 Downsview Park
    16 Dufferin
    17 Dundas
    18 Dundas West
    19 Dupont
    20 Eglinton
    21 Eglinton West
    22 Ellesmere
    23 Finch
    24 Finch West
    25 Glencairn
    26 Greenwood
    27 High Park
    28 Highway 407
    29 Islington
    30 Jane
    31 Keele
    32 Kennedy
    33 King
    34 Kipling
    35 Lansdowne
    36 Lawrence
    37 Lawrence East
    38 Lawrence West
    39 Leslie
    40 Main Street
    41 McCowan
    42 Midland
    43 Museum
    44 North York Centre
    45 Old Mill
    46 Osgoode
    47 Ossington
    48 Pape
    49 Pioneer Village
    50 Queen
    51 Queen’s Park
    52 Rosedale
    53 Royal York
    54 Runnymede
    55 Scarborough Centre
    56 Sheppard West
    57 Sheppard–Yonge
    58 Sherbourne
    59 Spadina
    60 St. Andrew
    61 St. Clair
    62 St. Clair West
    63 St. George
    64 St. Patrick
    65 Summerhill
    66 Union
    67 Vaughan Metro Centre
    68 Victoria Park
    69 Warden
    70 Wellesley
    71 Wilson
    72 Woodbine
    73 York Mills
    74 York University
    75 Yorkdale

    Draw a random number from 1-75

  2. You have inspired me to explore a part of my city Vancouver that I have never seen. Leaving behind devices and other distractions is another good idea.

  3. It has been fun to explore in one own’s own city.

    One way I do so is by participation in Janes Walks which generally occur in the first weekend of May. These are led by volunteers who show and talk about neighbourhoods in unique ways Toronto and Vancouver are fortunate to have many such offerings. Toronto also has walks through the year. The link is https://janeswalk.org/

  4. Yeah, I have been meaning to try one of those, though it will have to remain in the ‘after the thesis’ category.

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