Why Dundas Square is ultimately good for Toronto.

Passed by Dundas Square tonight. BMW is promoting the SMART car by
having a series of Classic “Scary Movies” shown. Tonight’s showing is
The Birds. A few hundred people showed up to enjoy an old movie on a
quiet Tuesday night.

Off nearer towards the corner, an old man is challenging pedestrians to
chess duels; he is drawing quite the crowd.

Many complains about Dundas Square. It is too small. It’s too
comercialized. It’s trying too hard to be Times Square but it isn’t.
These are all legitamate complaints.

But Some of these elements are what’s making Dundas Square work.

The downtown core always had a problem with a venue that can help bring
the city together. One that, despite the accolaids heaped upon Nathan
Phillip, it never managed to achieve. It was off-Yonge and too reliant
on the big bureaucracy at City Hall to fund and host events. Neither can
the Harbourfront or Mel Lastman. They are too inaccessable except their
respective local residents.

Dundas Square, because it is next to the Eaton Center can draw the kind
of casual crowd from the spillover and it ease of reach.

And because it is small, whatever happens there, it always feels like
the event is well-attended and therefore, successful.

I think one of the biggest thing is the corporate money. Corporations
have a bottom-line. They don’t just throw an event because it seems like
a good idea. They do it because it will help make them look good and
therefore sell more product. They can pay to properly do an event and
have the people do things a little off-key. That’s why you can have
drive-in night sponsored by BMW and not City Hall.


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