Aquaview Condominiums is on Lake Shore Blvd. West between Forty First and Forty Seconds Streets. I began working on this project when I would take my dog for walks in the neighbourhood. One of our routes, years ago, involved regular walks along the sidewalks where the condo is now located. We’d walk north along Forty First Street, west along Lake Shore Blvd. West, and then south along Forty Second Street.
As we walked, I would start to take photos and videos with a digital camera. Week after week, sometimes several times a day, I’d be out with my camera, walking my dog, taking pictures. One day the construction superintendent at the site, namely Andy Iadinardi, stopped and asked what I was doing taking all these pictures. The subtext, of course, was: Who gave you permission to walk around taking pictures?
I explained to Andy that I had this great project in mind. I would take pictures of the whole process, from start to finish, and then make a five-minute video showing the process. Andy pondered for a few seconds, and said, “Great idea. You can take as many pictures and videos as you want.” Which I did.
Over the course of the project, I wore out several digital cameras. I also recorded with a High-Definition video camera equipped with a good-quality external microphone.
People got used to seeing me documenting the construction, day after day. Some would joke with me; occasionally one or two would swear at me; over time several people shared information with me about construction processes that really helped me to understand how the building was being put together. I found the process absolutely fascinating.
The Aquaview Condominiums are across the street from the Parkview School property at 85 Forty First Street, on whose grounds are located the archaeological remains of the Colonel Samuel Smith homestead.
Parkview School was purchased in August 2011 for $5.2-million by the French public school board Conseil scolaire Viamonde with funding provided by the Government of Ontario.
We owe thanks to many public officials including Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP (and Education Minister) Laurel Broten and Ward 3, Etobicoke-Lakeshore Trustee Pamela Gough – and area residents who took part in a letter-writing campaign – for ensuring that Parkview School remains in public hands.
Aquaview is also close the Long Branch Street Car Loop and Canada’s first Aerodrome, west of Etobicoke Creek in Mississauga, where the American writer William Faulkner took flying lessons during the First World War.
In letters that he wrote home about his flying lessons at the Aerodrome, Faulkner made his exploits as a student pilot seem larger and greater than they really were. In subsequent years he became one of the great fiction writers of his era.
The shelter at the Long Branch Street Car Loop was built in 1928. In the same year, 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance as a cinematic character.
So many stories come together in this tiny area of Long Branch. That’s what my documentary project is about. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. I like to work on such projects.