Jameson Avenue Impressions
All photos copyright Kate Young
for Jameson Ave
on the occasion of the unveiling of public art project
October 30th 2009
full of first autumns, first and last Novembers,
the apartments break at their seams spilling
talk and cushions and bicycles and baby strollers,
full moons and half moons and crescent moons
find their way somehow between the tall buildings,
like the full lives and half lives and crescent lives
and surging life we breath in here,
the heart migrates along the nomadic highway,
it floats like summer on the lake,
the city leaves and enters here,
I’ve seen a couch here abandoned by its lovers,
a forlorn summer umbrella waiting to burst open,
cursive flocks of pigeons writing their own letters abroad,
I read Beowulf in one of these apartments with friends,
and sang with Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley
on a balcony some June past,
I know this, these homes along here have their surfeit
of plans for car washes, computer stores, dancehalls
and university classrooms, they have their eyes on stardom
and hockey and basketball and hospitals, birthdays and weddings,
and window box gardens, all over again, next spring
Copyright Dionne Brand, Poet Laureate, City of
by artist Jim Bravo and photographer Kate Young, “Impressions” consists of
over 500 photographs installed on tree planters along Jameson Avenue from
Queen Street West to Springhurst Avenue in Toronto’s Parkdale community.
Residents along this culturally and economically diverse street overwhelmed
the artists with their support and enthusiasm for the project by posing for
approximately 250 passport-style photographs which were mixed with
contemporary and archival images of the street.
The project was officially opened on October 30, 2009 by Mayor David Miller,
Councillor Gord Perks, Mural Routes Executive Director Karin Eaton, Toronto
Poet Laureate Dionne Brand, artist Jim Bravo, photographer Kate Young, and
residents of Jameson Avenue residents.
Impressions was coordinated by Mural
Routes with support from the City of Toronto, Transportation Services-Public
Realm Section and the Economic Development & Culture Divisions. It is part of the Jameson Ave.
The Jameson Ave project came in two phases, and in both cases it was an
enormous exercise in community engagement. My aim for phase one was to
salvage, re-cycle, and re-organize the historical cobblestones that
originally lined Jameson Avenue. It was requested by residents that I
consider the stones in my approach. The old stones, cleaned and refurbished,
now accent the north end of the street and rather than lying side-by-side as
before, they are now laid out in a series of original configurations.
Phase two was where the Parkdale community came out in full participation.
My idea was based on my perception of Jameson Avenue as a hub of
immigration. The plan was to adorn the newly installed tree planter boxes
with passport-style portraits of community residents, images of social
activities, and various landmarks. We were overwhelmed by the amount of
people who gladly lent their visages to our cause. Together with
photographer Kate Young, what was created is one of the largest outdoor
photographic installations found anywhere in North America.
Jim Thierry Bravo, A.O.C.A.D.
For photos from official opening,
To read more about project artists Jim Bravo
and Kate Young,
Jameson Ave. street photo:
Duncan's City Ride