Arriving by train, weaving through Union Station, out to Front street and the grand old Royal York hotel. Construction, always. I have my usual routes: Dundas, Spadina, Kensington, Bloor, Queen West. Art stores, galleries, Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Italy, narrow little stores, coffee shops, favourite parks and restaurants. The underground bathrooms. It’s invigorating, walking around the city, the energy of it, the relentless noise, smell, buildings, traffic, people.
It was a hot day, and humid enough for a walk to arouse a drench of sweat. Air conditioned stops, anywhere cool for a break. At a coffee shop on a street corner in Kensington Market, I sat in the window with an iced latte and watched other people walking. Endless walkers in this city, all kinds of walkers – striding, mincing, sauntering, shuffling, stomping, stamping; some heave themselves along the sidewalk; others almost dance, efficient and beautiful; some in an addled stagger, about to lose their footing all the way along. There was a young woman in Chinatown who walked quickly along continually spinning a parasol over her head.
The front and back faces of the streets are so different. The alley a gallery of garbage and graffiti art, back doors to restaurant kitchens and high bedroom windows. I always like walking the alleyways in any town that still has them. I always like walking in cities where people still walk.
Location: Downtown Toronto, Ontario
Length: 10 km
Date: 5 September, 2018
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada, as a visitor in the land of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation).