{Roxton Road Parks} Saturday, laneway walk

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The Friends of Roxton Road Parks (FoRRP) is hosting a block party at the park today so I thought I would check it out and walk around the neighbourhood. People seemed to be still setting up when I parked my bike this morning, so I headed into the laneways first to see the backyards of the community. I entered an alley perpendicular and just east to the park, ahead of me was an intersection. The path in north-south direction seemed to be newly paved. The asphalt was a light grey colour with near perfect surface texture. I turned left and after about 40 steps I was soon faced with a long single storey red brick wall. At the time, I thought it belonged to a warehouse but later realized that was the back wall of the 24-hour Metro on College St. The laneway next to the wall is a wide one--at least 8 meters in width. The paving here is not as nice, you can see the cracks and the occasional weeds growing out of them. I turned my way back onto the newly paved laneway--6 meters wide with garages lining both side of the road--this is a standard laneway setup. There are the occasional push-backs from the lane that reveal people's backyards. In these cases, garages have been removed and cars park either in a porch or simply on the driveway. Some car garages have been converted into studios or have studio/offices added onto the second floor. These are sort of the start of the laneway housing typology that Bridgett Shim and Donald Chong studied extensively in Site Unseen Since garages are usually built as non-conditioned spaces, most laneway studios have to rely on window air conditioners. Thought, I wonder how bearable it is to work there in the winter.

One thing I was very happy and a bit surprised to discover was how much people have grown produce in their backyards. Many families has trellises set up for grape vines. I suppose they also function as really great backyard shading in the summer. Tomatoes is a common plant to grow around here as well. Some gardens are filled with plants and I can hardly distinguish them all. One has has a large corner lot where the laneway turns the corner and the house was setback from the side lane leaving a generous space for their a garden. It is filled with Zucchini plants. The large fan like leaves cover much of the plot and hide the zucchini fruits within. I didn't see many flower gardens, but instead, flowers sprung from pavement cracks and between where curbs and paving meet. They are mostly wild daisies and dandelions. They have been spurts of nice discoveries as I continued my morning walk.

1 comment:

Camila Faria said...

I wish I could grown produce. If only I had a backyard... I love how you found flowers in the cracks and pavement. <3


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