Taking the Laneway Around

Last year I wrote about learning to travel like a cyclist in Toronto. A lack of connected cycling infrastructure and car-oriented city planning makes many of the most direct routes in Toronto also the ones with the greatest potential for door-prizes, right hooks and distracted drivers.

Traveling like a cyclist means exploring side streets, cutting through parks and taking multi-use trails where they exist. There’s also another option. One that can give you the feeling of urban exploration, even if it’s quite obvious many people pass through here on a daily basis.

In between many of Toronto’s downtown residential streets runs a grid of laneways. Barely wide enough for a large truck these laneways were originally used to deliver coal. Over the years they have become shared driveways with garages squeezed together lining each side.

Many of these laneways remain unnamed, they are often visible on Google Maps, yet can’t be integrated into trip planning. It’s as if they are a mirage, an extra layer of quiet streets untouchable online.

There are exceptions and the other day I took a winding way home starting at Croft Street:

Simple brick townhomes face this narrow laneway:

Colourful doors welcome home the owners of these bicycles:

Backyard trees throw shadows over the grey and graffiti of many laneways:

Several residents have decorated their garages, a secret pleasure for those who explore here:

Oddities abound:

Colour, though scarce, often makes a bold appearance:

Will you take the unnamed way home?

For more information on Toronto’s Laneways visit Graeme Parry’s Laneway Tour site.


  1. Great post Duncan. Those brick townhomes in the 2nd photo are ones I saw a few years ago biking around and I’d love to live there someday. They look “loftish” inside, and so close to everything. :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. Great pictures too!

  3. This standard become too popular in the computer world and is mostly followed
    in connection with alll peripheral devices like mouse, keyboards,
    printers, digital video camera, external drives
    etc. Additionally, remember that Universal serial bus Controllers
    tend to be equipment that enables your persnal computer to operate using USB cable connections.
    Them made available a system sorcerer tto help you with connection your own home multilevel.

  4. A fully or partially localized language pack is also known as a Multi-User Interface (MUI) Pack or just Language Pack (LP).
    Enter ssystem repair disc in Start search box and hit Enter.
    9% of alphanumeric passwords of up to 14 characters
    in usually a feew minutes.

  5. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to
    write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Many thanks!

  6. Cool! lol

Speak Your Mind