The Exhibition Place is one of the most popular places of the summer, and one of the oldest hangout spots. For over 100 years, this place has brought much joy to many young children, and a ton of memories for adults. This picture is taken by the Lakeshore near the Molson Amphitheatre. When there is a concert during the time of the Ex, there is double the amount of people roaming around and looking for a place to sit in the crowded space. Some people, just like my friends and I, went by the lake to enjoy our ice cream. Though this is not a space initially created for sitting, the steps leading in to the venue made a place to enjoy a cool treat.
This is crucial to what I’ve noticed in big cities such as Toronto; the people that live in the cities make public spaces and areas. Designated areas are not always accustomed to a large number of people, so those individuals left without a place to be must find a new area. Since the entire food hall was full, and every other possible seat was taken, the group of people sitting near me had to “migrate” to the other side of Lakeshore Blvd.
As seen in the photo, the evening was approaching as the sun was setting, and the population changed from families to young adults and child-less couples. The concert was starting so many people were already making there way there (causing us to move off the steps of the venue…we did not want to be trampled). The majority of people there were about 13 years old and up. This age group approached the venue differently. If they did not have a seat, they would sit around on the grass or ground. Many of them were louder and some quite obnoxious. This age group did not look for the entertainment of the rides, rather they were there to socialize. Entry into the Ex costs about $15, and tokens and tickets for rides are an additional amount of money. The youth that was still in high school with minimum wage jobs did not want to spend more than that for the rides.
All this thinking led me to my last approach. Even though the Ex is open to everyone, the events taking place within it have a limited social invitation. Not everyone can afford to splurge him or herself at the fair. In present day and age, prices are increasing due to the global economy, yet jobs are being lost and wages decreased. This issues sort of ties in to the Loblaws in Kensington Market. While large corporate companies open hundreds of retail stores, local residents that depend on their business are suffering.
Money is the center of all problems in life including public space. Lack of funding or high prices can destroy a public area. Public spaces should thrive and be filled with people. Public spaces are the reason why cities become popular. Then why don’t governments support these areas?