A map of every laneway in Toronto
Toronto is a city of laneways. There are over 250 kilometres of these mostly unnoticed urban arteries, places that are typically granted practical status but that also serve as the site of some of the city's best graffiti, some of our most interesting houses, and more basketball and road hockey games than you can imagine. For as little as we talk about laneways, they're a core feature of Toronto's built landscape.
Prior to last night, I had never seen Toronto's laneways mapped. This, in fact, had been a something that I've wanted to investigate for a while, but there's no need. Thanks to a late night visit to Reddit TOMaps, a resource all urban nerds should visit once in a while, I've discovered that there are already multiple Toronto laneway mapping projects.
My favourite is likely Owen McCabe's laneway project, which has both an Instagram and map component. I has previously known about the former, but not the latter. McCabe is steadily building an encyclopedic record of Toronto laneways, which is fascinating to watch develop.
Tom Weatherburn's map for the Laneway Project looks just like a Flavio Trevisan sculpture, so I'm a big fan of this map on a visual level, though it's hard to use it to explore much in the absence of a zoom feature. This is why the most recent map, an OpenStreets version courtesy of Richard Weait is so useful. Ever lived on a street with a laneway? Now you can go back and track its course through the neighbourhood and how it connects to other laneways around the city.
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