So, what do you see walking along Twenty Fourth St. in Long Branch?

Some time ago, I became involved in a small way with the Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines pilot project. I remain involved, but these days my interest in matters related to urban planning in Toronto are minimal.

Absolutely minimal.

What a  current series of posts will concern are some thoughts that occur to me, as I walk along the route of the Long Branch Urban Guidelines walking tour.

I have been walking this route, for many months, without a thought about the Guidelines, and without a thought about how urban planning decisions are made in Toronto.

That is, my focus at this upcoming series of posts is on what I see, as I walk along the eight segments of the walking tour that took place, at an early stage of the Long Branch Guidelines pilot project.

The choice of the route is arbitrary, as perhaps is the division into eight segments. That said, it’s good to have something to start with, and a person can always choose other routes and offshoots, along which to travel and gaze upon the local streetscapes.

My own thoughts and reflections, as I walk along the route, are but one person’s observations. Each person sees the community in her of his own, and particular, way.

I have lived in Long Branch for 20 years. Among other things, I like to imagine what the route was like in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and in subsequent decades. I have done some interviews, in recent years, in which old-time residents have shared some reflections about what they saw, along the streets, in those many years ago.

I look forward to transcribing the recordings, and editing the videos, that I have accumulated. Transcribing and editing are long-term projects, that can keep a person busy for many years. I have some faint hope that something will come out of it, such as a book or two and one or two videos, when the work is done.

I may find the work easier to finish, once I have moved out of Long Branch, as many people eventually do, for whatever good reason.


Walk route superimposed on Long Branch Subdivisions map

June 28, 2016 Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines Walking Tour route, superimposed on Long Branch Subdivisions map. Click on image to enlarge it.

Sections of the route

I will begin by describing the eight sections of the route:

  1. Forty Second St. to Forty First St. along James St.
  2. Forty First St. from James St. to Lake Promenade
  3. Lake Promenade from Forty First St. to Thirty Eighth St.
  4. Lake Promenade from Thirty Eight St. to Thirty Fifth St.
  5. (a) Lake Promenade from Thirty Fifth St. to Long Branch Ave. (b) north along Long Branch Ave. to Dominion Road; (c) east along Dominion Road to Thirty Third St.; (d) south along Thirty Third St. to Park Blvd.; (e) Park Blvd. to Thirty First St.
  6. (a) Thirty First St. to Birchlea Ave.; (b) Birchlea Ave. to Arcadian Circle; (c) Arcadian Circle to Shamrock Ave.; (d) Shamrock Ave. to Twenty Seventh St.; (e) Twenty Seventh St. to Lake Shore Blvd. West.
  7. (a) Lake Shore Blvd. West from Twenty Seventh St. to Twenty Fourth St.; (b) Twenty Fourth St. to Carnation Ave.
  8. Carnation Ave. to Twenty Sixth St.
Map of Preliminary Character Areas within the neighbourhood, presented for purposes of discussion among the Community Advisory Group. Source: Long Branch Neighbourhood Walking Tour Workbook

Map of Preliminary Character Areas within the neighbourhood, presented for purposes of discussion among the Community Advisory Group. Each of the eight numbered sections of the route corresponds to a Character Area (zone) in the neighbourhood, according to the Walking Tour Workbook. The map includes the question: “Are these Character Areas consistent with your understanding of the Neighbourhood?” Source: Page 3 of Long Branch Neighbourhood Walking Tour Workbook. Click on image to enlarge it.


Plan of action

I will begin my tour by focusing first of all on streets in the area of Dominion Road. I have been planning since late in May 2017 to write about that area. Now I am finally getting around to it.

The summer has gone quickly for us in the part of Long Branch where I live.

I’ve been spending a lot of time walking – as in one or two hours a day – and in three days a week of strength training. I like to do the physical stuff; have been spending very little time on the internet, writing posts, but will be getting back to it.


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