Wednesday, October 31, 2018

When a building stops you dead in your tracks

Toronto, ON
September 2018
Photo originally shared on Instagram
Just across the road from Toronto's main railway/transit hub, Union Station, the Royal Bank Plaza casts a friendly, sometimes-blinding glow on this particular stretch of Front Street. Every time I come here - fairly often lately - the first thing I do when I get off the train is make my way to the street. As soon as I get outside, I orient myself by finding the familiar angular, gold-covered glass facade. I'm sure I look like a rube from the country when I do so - legions of Toronto commuters, all heads-down, rushing to wherever they're headed. And this guy from relatively-smalltown-London, standing quietly on the edge of the sidewalk, looking up.

To most, this is just a building. But architecture, to me, at least, holds secrets of time spent in and around otherwise inanimate buildings and spaces. Look at any building and almost immediately, you'll remember stories of who you met there, what you might have done or shared, how that moment or day felt. Because this particular spot is such a crossroads, the largest multimodal transportation facility in the country, surrounded by the biggest buildings occupied by the biggest companies, I'm pretty sure these seemingly soulless buildings hold countless stories within them. And all we need to do is look up if we want to remember them.

As I write this, I'm sitting on a train speeding through the darkened countryside, headed to Toronto for another action-packed day of work and connection. Soon enough, I'll be back on that sidewalk, looking up, wondering what stories I'll be adding to my own personal history of this place today. I hope at least a few of the strangers rushing around me choose to take the time to ponder their own stories, too. I'm sure they're good ones.

Your turn: What's your favorite building? Why?

No comments: