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Ascending Into The Stacks

Ascending to the third floor at Robarts Library

Now and then I like to go through some of my old photographs and give them new treatments in Adobe Lightroom. I have learned so much from all these years of working with the software—and I follow a very different approach nowadays: warmer and more nuanced, less outlandish and cold. It is an interesting experience to retouch my old work with the benefit of experience and new eyes.

Toronto Standard Time

Toronto time

I visited my alma mater, the University of Toronto, one rainy afternoon in late October. Across from Convocation Hall I stopped to take a closer look at the various meteorological and timekeeping instruments that have stood along King’s College Circle for at least a century. I had no specific recollection of ever doing so despite having wandered by hundreds of time on the way to Gerstein or some such place. Strange, though it was only a few short years ago, I can hardly recall the crushing burden of school anymore. Time is the simplest thing.

Toronto Skyline From Regent Park

The downtown core from Regent Park

I seldom post many photos from Canada so you’d be forgiven for thinking I still reside in Taiwan 台灣! But, in fact, I have been living not far Toronto for nearly three months now. In that time I haven’t been taking that many photos—not like in Asia, anyway—which has given me time to catch up. I was many months behind when I first arrived here and only this week did I manage to dispense with the very last of my photos from overseas.

Anyhow, now that I am on to processing some more recent work I thought I might skip ahead a bit and share something lovely from my hometown. I captured this simple skyline shot from a high rise on the edge of Regent Park on a pleasant mid-summer’s afternoon.

Red Rocket

Vintage TTC streetcar

Pictured here is a vintage 1950s PCC streetcar, one of the original Red Rockets, refurbished in the late 1980s for use with chartered tours. Strangely enough, despite growing up in Toronto and living here most of my adult life I don’t recall ever seeing one before today. Imagine my surprise as I was cruising down Bathurst street, eyes peeled for the futuristic new TTC streetcars, when I saw this vintage burgundy and cream beauty pull out of the Hillcrest Complex.

Intersections

Intersections

Depending on what metrics you use the Toronto-Dominion Centre is one of the largest—if not the largest—office building complex in Canada. Located at the heart of the Financial District, these towers near the intersection of King and Bay can be seen in almost any photograph of the Toronto skyline. I shot this particular image back in late 2009 when I was starting to get serious about photography. Now and then I rifle through my archives and apply new post-processing techniques to old images like this. I liked how this one turned out so I am sharing it once again.

Intersection Under Construction

Tearing up the streets of Toronto

It is said that there are two seasons in Canada: winter and construction. This certainly seemed to be the case while I wandering around my hometown this summer. Here you can see the intersection of Spadina and Dundas in Toronto flayed open, streetcar tracks exposed.

Three Short Re-Entry Vignettes

I met up with an old friend on Tuesday. She asked me if I wanted to grab a drink and I said sure, why not? We wandered around her neighbourhood but all the usual haunts were closed, either for the long weekend or simply because they’re off on Tuesdays. After trying three places I said to her, “Why don’t we go grab a beer at the corner store and sit in a park somewhere?” Immediately I felt like a fool; alcohol sales are tightly controlled here in Ontario.

An unusual convenience store in Toronto