This vacant lot is one of my favourite natural places in the city. You can see how it looked fifteen years ago on Google Maps Streetview. At that time, this wilderness was an unused parking lot with two small structures on it. There was a shack used as an office, and a maintenance garage. Back in 2007, it was the ghost of a U-Haul rental car lot.
In this photograph—taken through a chain-link fence with my iPhone from Perth Street—you can barely make out the upper floors of the Crossways Apartments in the upper right-hand side of the frame. That two-tower development is at Bloor and Dundas West.
For years I’ve passed this lot while walking on the West Toronto Rail Path. That path didn’t exists back in 2007. It makes me smile whenever I see the greenery of this spot, and I constantly marvel at how absolutely wild it is.
In 2022 it’s hard to find any undisturbed, natural space in the city. This is one of them. We have wonderful parks and public spaces, but those feel very unnatural to me, unless you explore the forgotten sections of places like High Park or the Brick Works.
Recently I’ve started to think that the only natural spaces we have left are those that are completely abandoned. Places where nature has been left to take over and run wild with no human hand or foot to disturb it. I find these dreamy spots mesmerizing and imagine how powerful and quick nature is when people are not around to mess it up.