A Flâneur’s Tour of Toronto

It’s a at least a pair of decades since I explored Toronto, and I’ll admit a bit of embarrassment on this front. It’s a day’s drive away, and a pleasant drive at that. I’ve added it to the short term bucket list, with ample time for flânerie. Until then, two delightful nubbins to pass along…

“A flâneur is anyone who wanders, and watches, the city. The 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire called the flâneur a “perfect idler” and a “passionate observer.” Baudelaire was a flâneur himself and, when he wasn’t writing poems and spending his trust fund on dandy outfits and opium, he drifted through the streets of Paris. Later, philosopher Walter Benjamin collected a chunk of thoughts on the idea of the flâneur in his epic volume of notes on Paris, The Arcades Project.” (Eye Weekly)

“The old notion of the flâneur will be different for whomever engages in this activity, even in a diverse metropolis such as Toronto. But that doesn’t mean that other flâneurs can’t carve out ways to navigate the city comfortably, recording their own insights and noticing the ways their own particular bodies and histories interact with the cityscape.” (Eye Weekly)

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