A few days ago, I dropped by the cleaned-up painted-up alley that runs between Granville & Seymour south of Hastings. Aside from a few smokers, several short-cutters, photogs, a selfie-snapper, a courier’s car and a garbage truck, the alley was quite empty most of the time. No long-dwellers except for the plumber’s truck.
My impression is that people are not quite sure yet what to make of it. Certainly, the alley stopped lots of curious passersby on the sidewalks, and attracted a lot of attention from them. But after a quip and a goggle, off they mostly went. With a few exceptions — and perhaps those that do enter the alley may, as I did, get a different sense of the space than in the days when the alley was dark, dirty and smelly. It’s possible that wheels will begin to turn as people consider what they’ve experienced and dream up possibilities for using it.
I’m well aware that a single photo (or even two) rarely serves as proof or prediction of anything. Maybe I was there at the wrong time of the wrong day, and the uses that people find will be in the weekend or evenings. Whatever happens, it’s a remarkable and positive transformation, and I hope for the best.