Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario. The heart of the city, where all the tourists flock to, where all the advertisers pay top dollar for impressions and where all the action takes place.
The intersection itself and its popularity as a central entertainment hub dates back to the 1940s when the Brown Derby Tavern opened at the intersection. Over time the area would develop and attract other retail and entertainment establishments such as a Coles Book Store, a popular PinBall and Games arcade, the Eaton Center and in 1978 the forst Hard Rock Cafe in North America. North of the intersection you would find Sam the Record Man and the late night favourite, Sam the Chinese Food Man.
The intersection through the 1970s and early 1980s turned a bit more grungy with adult theaters and the usual brand of retail that naturally accompanies those types of establishments.
The 1980s brought in more family friendly establishments such as record stores, more arcades and popular dining such as one of the first Mr Submarine locations.
The mid to late 90s saw the beginnings of a complete revamp of the neighborhood as both the north and south east corner buildings were demolished to make way for what would eventually be 10 Dundas and Yonge and Dundas Square.
I remember attending a free concert by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1999, put on by 102.1 The Edge and I was blown away by how much construction and demolition was taking place. By 2001 when I moved to the city the entire intersection had been transformed, and it would continue to evolve.
Now, in 2017 looking back at archived photos of the intersection, it is absolutely nothing like it once was. Where it may have once been an area for locals to loiter, eat, drink and socialize you would be hard pressed to find many locals there now, short of those who have to walk through on their way to wherever they are going.
All of this said, you can't deny the buzz of Yonge and Dundas Square and the constant hum of excitement, traffic, pedestrians and street performers.
I recently spent seven nights in a row filming time lapse footage at Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario. This video features the buzz at Yonge and Dundas during all hours of the night. While I was perched atop the large billboard tower at the north-west corner, the sound of drums was near constant. On the south-west corner, the resident drummers set up shop and played all through the night. When he wasn't there -- another (much better) drummer would show up and hit the skins all through the night. On the north-east corner a small urban three piece group played their music, and further north and Ryerson, another band would play.
At night, the sounds and beeps of cranes and trucks was constant, starting around 9 p.m. right through to 6 a.m. and beyond.
The pulse of the square peaks at around midnight with maximum foot and vehicle traffic, homeless people and buskers practicing their craft and partiers of all ages coming and going.
Yonge and Dundas Square, love it or hate it is an interesting place to be, from early morning to late at night. I hope this short time-lapse video does it justice in showing the intersection for all that it is -- fast and busy!
Freaktography: Abandoned Places, Urban Exploration, Photography of the normally unseen and off-limits.
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