London, ON, October 2010
About this photo: Thematic is sharing letter-themed scenes all week long, and we'd love for you to share your own, too. Just go here to get the lettered party started.You can't talk - or argue - about the fate of London's downtown core without including at least some mention of Dundas Street. This east-west artery is the backbone of the central retail district, and it runs from there clear through - and beyond - the east end of town.
Time has not been kind to this road, and a walk down its worn-down sidewalks can be more than a little depressing if you let it. But I've never much felt comfortable allowing a street to dictate my mood. And I'm a big fan of perspective.
I think that's because I grew up in a much bigger city, with a much bigger downtown, whose problems to this day seem to dwarf those of my adopted hometown. Indeed, when I went to school in Montreal, some of the crumbling streets there made London's Dundas Street on its worst day seem positively quaint in comparison.
Which is my way of saying even after a late-night stroll down a particularly sad stretch of Dundas, I remain convinced that this burg has nowhere to go but up. That it's only a matter of time before the planets align and folks with money and dreams return to this neighborhood and turn it back into the magnet it once was. I guess that makes me a dreamer. So be it.
For now, however, this now-abandoned URL stands as evidence of a future that once was.
Your turn: What does it take to return a neglected area back to what it once was?