Layers of a City
“Layers of a City” explores the idea of the urban environment as a complex story told through the buildings and the spaces between them. The story writes itself and it speaks to the collective efforts of society to develop and reinvent itself over time.
Cities are like depositories of history and shared culture and are visibly layered with the composition of their parts. The layers that make them up are multifold; they appear sometimes as slices of history preserved and stacked side by side, or as distinct functions and activities intertwined and coexisting together. Sometimes, these layers are quite literally like layers of strata, revealed only momentarily during an excavation, exposing the city's infrastructure and its preserved subterranean past.
In such a way, "Layers of a City" is an analytical view documenting the changing character at a point in time of the Canadian metropolis of Toronto.
Here, as in many other American cities, the built environment is a thriving organism, changing and becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated with time, but in doing so also capable of replacing its past as it develops into something new: the word "Toronto" itself, an aboriginal name, is the subtle surviving reference to the First Nations people who first inhabited the land and were driven from it.