Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Fifty Shades of Grey

"To see in colour is a delight for the eye, 
but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul."
- Andri Cauldwell,
American Photographer

Just a brief posting this week - and late! I have been working on another project and missed my usual Monday deadline for posting. 

The theme this week is my ongoing fasciation with black and white photography. The photo challenge for the April 8th meeting of the Prince Edward County Photography Club was "Fifty Shades of Grey" where members were encouraged to explore black and white photography. These five photos are the ones I submitted. They all come from the trip Bill and I took in Australia in February and March.  I'm really enjoying working with the 1:1 aspect ratio. More on the different aspects of aspect ratios soon!


Arrivals area, Sydney International Airport

College Street, Sydney

Manly Beach, Sydney

Salamanca Market, Hobart, Tasmania

Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

Monday, 16 April 2018

Toronto's Newest Subway Stations!

“Don’t sleep on the subway, darlin’!”
- Petula Clark

Last Tuesday, April 10, I spent a fine day in Toronto working on photography projects. (More on these in future postings.) I also explored Toronto’s newest subway stations, the six-station Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension that reaches northwest into the City of Vaughan.

There are six new stations: Downsview Park, Finch West, York University, Pioneer Village, Highway 407 (aka, the IKEA stop), and Vaughan Metro Centre. Total length of the extension: 8.6 km. Total cost: $3.18 billion.

Construction began in 2009, and the line opened in December, 2017. It was jointly funded by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, and the Federal Government. The line has been a political football for years, not surprising given the torturous history of transit planning in Toronto.

I have been reading about the art and architecture of these stations for several years and wanted to explore them with my camera. Five of the stations are stunning – beautiful, elegant, and user-friendly. The design dud, for me, is the Downsview Park Station, which is bland and bleak. I wandered around the deserted station and photographed it, but the images are as dull as the architecture. In fairness, I have read positive reviews of the station, so not everyone agrees with me. I just want to get into the Downsview Park Station with grandchildren and paint buckets to liven it up a bit!

The other five stations are well worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in architecture, art, and photography. Sign me up for all three!

Rants of the Day: 
1. Alas, the extension does nothing to solve the overcrowded transit conditions in Toronto's downtown core. In fact, adding more riders from north of Toronto will only worsen the overcrowding. It will take the building of the much-anticipated-but-so-far-unbuilt downtown relief line to ease the rush-hour squeeze.  
2. The York University station is expected to be the busiest on the new line, while the other five stations will likely be among the least used on Toronto’s subway system. Who said transit planning had anything to do with logic?

Here are my photos of the five subway stations that danced their way into my viewfinder. Enjoy!

Finch West Station

Architect: Will Alsop
Artist: Bruce McLean

York University Station

Architect: Foster + Partners
Artist: Jason Bruges Studio

Pioneer Village Station

Architect: Will Alsop
Artist: Jan and Tim Elder

Highway 407 Station

Architect: AECOM/Parsons Brinckerhoff
Artist: David Pearl

Vaughan Metro Centre Station

Architect: Arup Canada Inc./Grimshaw Architects
Artist: Paul Raff

Monday, 9 April 2018

Lovin' Toronto for the Umpteenth Time


“Toronto is a city that has yet to fall in love with itself.”
 - Pier Giorgio Di Cicco,
Toronto’s Poet Laureate, 2004-2009

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Although I admire the poetry of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, I am exasperated by this quotation. It reminds me of the insipid questions that Toronto reporters breathlessly asked second-rate stars at the Toronto International Film Festival in the 1990s: “Whadaya think of Toronto? Do you like us?”

How cringingly embarrassing.

Back in the 1990s, Toronto wasn’t used to the world’s media glare. It brought out the city’s insecurities and clumsiness.

Me? I didn’t give a rat’s ass what Hollywood thought of Toronto. Still don’t. 

But oh, how Toronto has changed! That stylish swagger you see sashaying down Queen Street says it all: Bring on the world, ‘cause the world lives here!

Which is one of the reasons I love this big, brawling, annoying city, a city I called home for thirty years. Even though I left Toronto four years ago when Bill and I retired to Belleville, I have never lost my love of the place. And I return whenever I can, in search of beauty, weirdness, and wondrous humanity.

Which is why this week’s blog posting (and next week’s, likely) will feature selections from my latest crop of Toronto photos.

Today’s photos come from a stroll through my old neighbourhood along Danforth Avenue – aka, ‘The Danforth’ – on Easter Saturday. Enjoy.

Tax return time on The Danforth

Telephone Signal Box, Greenwood Avenue

ValuMart, Danforth Avenue at Woodbine Avenue

Garage Door near Woodmount Avenue

Playground, R. H. McGregor Elementary School,
Coxwell Avenue at Sammon Avenue

Discards on Springdale Boulevard 

Faux Fur Discards on Woodmount Avenue

Paintings in Chris' dining room

Angry cat on Chris' kitchen window 

Timely reminder from a coffee shop near Woodbine Avenue