This is part of a series of posts by students in OCAD’s Cities for People summer workshop (click the link to read a bit about what the class was about). This Crescent Town post was researched and written by Cassandra Alves, Jaclyn Beale and Kara Logan.
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In the East end of Toronto bordering Scarborough, East York and The Danforth is one of Toronto’s most dense yet secluded neighborhoods: Crescent Town. Connected directly to the Victoria Park subway station by an overhead walkway this vibrant multi-cultural hub is sheltered by nine high-rise towers and surrounded by an abundance of manicured green spaces. As a self-contained community, Crescent Town was built to provide its residents with on-site necessities such as a market, school, direct subway access, community center, library and private parking.
However, as ideal and promising the idea of a self-contained, self-sustaining community was envisioned to be, Crescent Town has had it’s share of problems. Designated as one of Toronto’s thirteen priority neighborhoods, Crescent Town’s vibrant community and sense of pride is often overlooked. Regardless of society’s (occasionally judgmental) assumptions of Crescent Town, it is home to approximately 20,000 people with 20,000 opinions on where they live.
Uncovering how the residents of Crescent Town see their community was our main objective for the first aspect of our project. By speaking to residents, they helped us compile the experiences that solidified what Crescent Town truly meant to them. We took a series of phrases that were said during the interviews and used them to create a psychogeographic map that could lead visitors by an emotional response rather than a traditional geographical approach (see below).