Thursday, December 31, 2009

Honourable Mention 2

This is the second of the two Honourable mentions I received for The City of Toronto photo contest. It was Titled "Spring in St. James Park", and the category was city parks.

I love to take shots of water in various forms. Still, moving, rippled, splashes, reflections, and in this case raindrops. Much like weathered wood, peeling paint, and rust, I like how water can become abstract. Finding beauty or interest in unconventional things.

Printed, framed and hung, they often look spectacular. In my opinion anyways...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Honourable Mention 1

This is one of two photos that I received an honourable mention for in a photo contest held by the City of Toronto. I submitted around 64 images over a few month period, and recently found out I had placed 2nd and had two honourable mentions.

This photo was titled "Layers", and was taken in the Historic Distillery District. It is a segment of an old metal hatch that time, and weather have caused the paint to peel, and create multiple layers. It was also one of my early photos of urban decay, and the results helped spur me on to capture all things weathered, worn, and rusting.

I will post my other honourable mention when I find it amongst my few thousand photo files. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


As I have mentioned, architecture and architectural details are high on my list of subjects to photograph. This is an example of the type of details I think go by unnoticed in this city. There is so much fine detail in many of our older, and heritage buildings, and I hope to show you over time some of the ones that have caught my eye. In many cases, such as this shot, they are not just simply details, but they are stories. They tell us stories of society, commerce, art, industry, or simply what was in fashion at the time the building was built. Clearly this building was built during the Art Deco period.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Texture 1

This is one of my urban texture shots I absolutely love. I am fascinated how time and weather create art out of man made objects. This brick wall was on Queen Street west, and it stopped me in my tracks. I took a couple shots of the wall, but this was by far my favorite, and it now hangs on my apartment wall.

It will be one of many texture shots, as I simply can not resist rust, peeling paint, and weathered wood. I hope to put a collection together of such items some day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2nd Prize

I started my photo adventures in the early months of 2008. Equipped with a digital point and shoot camera I headed out and without a clue as to what I was doing, started photographing buildings and architectural details I loved around Toronto. Most of the pictures I turned into black and white, because at the time I was convinced that was what I wanted to do.

Early in 2009, a photo competition hosted by the City of Toronto, was pointed out to me, and so in the weeks that followed I entered some 63 (I think) images in a wide variety of categories. The city went on strike later that year, and so the competition was halted, then delayed, and in my mind forgotten about.

On Christmas eve, I received a letter of congratulations that one of my images had won second prize in the 'city history' category. What a great surprise! I have won a City of Toronto pin, and a pass to the zoo. My photo will of course be published on the citie's website, and possibly in print material.

As for the actual picture, I now look at it and groan. I keep thinking, I should have done this, and done that. The sign is cut off, the tree is in the way...and so forth. So the lesson I guess I have learned is that I have grown, and hopefully developed a better eye. I know I have a long ways to go, but it has been a fun process thus far.

So I just wanted to share with you one of those early photos...a sneak peek so to speak.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dinner

The smell of turkey roasting in the oven fills my tiny apartment. I am always reminded of my grandparents when the smell of a traditional family meal fills the air, and of course Christmas's past. As a child we would head to our grandparents house across the town mid afternoon Christmas Day. Not only would we have yet another Christmas tree surrounded by presents to open, but we would have a huge holiday feast with all the trimmings. Today, it is not the presents I remember, but it is the meal. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. I can even remember what dishes each food was served on. The meal was followed by pies, tarts, shortbread cookies, and of course plum pudding. It was scrumptious, and it was cooked with love.

As I sit here with the smells around me, I am aware of how I try to keep the tradition alive. Today, it is just my partner and myself, but I am preparing the same foods, in the same way I remember my Grandmother doing.

I dedicate this entry today to them. I hope they can smell the turkey up in Heaven. I raise my glass to them.

May all our traditions live on.......

Happy Christmas.

(Photo taken at Casa Loma, 2009.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Whether we celebrate Christmas or not, many people find themselves at this particular time thinking about the past year, the lessons learned, the moments of joy, the times of sorrow, and the numerous other memories from our everyday lives. We spend time with families, and loved ones, or neighbours and friends. We reach out to those in need and offer them a helping hand. We pause for a brief moment, and enjoy the lights, decorations, and all that surrounds us. It is a wonderful time of year, and my hopes are that we can all try to do this more often throughout the coming year. Stop, and actually see the beauty in both obvious, and not so obvious things, and moments.

To all of you, I wish you a year of Peace, and Joy.

(This stained glass Angel which dates from approx 1909 is from the Eaton Family Tomb in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. You need to look through the heavy doors, and this magnificent Angel is on the back wall.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Edwardian Christmas

This photo was taken within the last month at Casa Loma. One of the many Christmas trees you will find if you visit the historic 'castle' during the holiday period. This particular tree was one of my favorites, and I happened to like the composition of the tree and the surrounding furnishings. And since we are having a green Christmas this year, I the flocked branches add a nice touch..

Merry Christmas to All.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Public Art

This photo is one of the earliest photos I took, in early 2008. I know it has been photographed a million times, but regardless it is one of my favorite pieces of public art. (It stands outside Union Station) The fact it has been photographed so many times by so many people, tells me that it actually causes people to stop, and look, and create an opinion, and perhaps a conversation. It is in my opinion that there is a huge lack of wonderful art pieces such as this in the public realm. Not to say there isn't any, there are some great ones out there. But I would really love to see along with more green spaces, some really great art, sculpture, statues, that would make people stop and look, or converse. Dundas Square for example, cries out to me for a great art piece, (well and some real trees). The failed condo development at Yonge and Bloor would also be a great area for a green space, and public art. ( I believe, another condo developer has taken over...sadly.)

Regardless, I will do my best to show off from time to time the existing art pieces that stand amongst us. Do stop and take a look...

Monday, December 21, 2009

grey days..

Today is one of those grey days. It's almost winter and the amount of daylight is at it's lowest. Bring in the clouds, and it can be downright dark. Some of us let the mood of the day envelope us, and we take on a dark, heavy, even depressed state. I chose this shot to remind us that even on the dullest of days, a little colour, and fun no matter where it comes from can take that day in a totally new direction. So light a bright candle, throw on a red scarf, or grab your multi-colour umbrella and chase those greys away....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Way Up

We all know there is a lot of debate about the lack of green spaces in this city. I once lived in Boston for three months while training for a new job, and it was while there that I realized how vital green spaces are to a city. They force you to slow down, relax, and rejuvenate. There was nothing better then taking a lunch break in a park. All this said, we do have a park that I think is completely undervalued. I discovered High Park a couple of years ago, and it is truly a great place to visit time and time again. I hope as I post pictures from this great space, it encourages you to head on over. In the meantime, we have Dundas Square. ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

tattered and torn

Take a post that has had thousands of posters glued or stapled on it. Add time, and a rain storm, and you have yet another example of something ordinary that can stop me and make me photograph it. It's all about the colour. This has been framed with a bold black frame and it looks great. Trash into art.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Super Cycle

It is rare that I venture outside without my camera. Two years ago my 'subject' was primarily architecture, and architectural details. I still love those things, but slowly my eyes have opened to a wide variety of things that make me stop and rethink them. Simple everyday things like a super cycle can make me pause within a crowded sidewalk. First I see, then in my brain I compose, or frame a shot, then grab the camera and click. I'm sure when I suddenly get on my hands and knees and take photos of certain items like a super cycle, people must really think it strange. This particular shot appeals to me because of the colour, the shapes, and there is for sure a sense of nostalgia.......

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


One of my favorite places to take photos is the Distillery District at the bottom of Parliament street. There is a great sense of times past, yet the art galleries, and interiors in some of the shops keep the place current. The unfortunate thing about this area is that the sense of nostalgia has been sharply cut by the massive condo tower in the midst of it all. But don't get me started on that....

The area is rich with patina. There is plenty of textures in the brickwork, peeling paint, weathered wood,and rusting shutter hooks. For someone like me who loves the textures and patterns time creates, it is a photographers Heaven. If you follow this blog, I am positive you will see many photos taken in this great place.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


One of the challenges I find with myself is to stop looking down at the sidewalk, and force myself to look straight ahead, or even up. We have become too frightened to look around in case we see something we don't want to.You may. But you may also miss something that you really SHOULD see. It may even make your day all that much brighter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This close up was taken inside the Greenhouses of Allan Gardens. I frequently visit this historical place to see the seasonal displays, and will probably post many shots of the common and exotic flowers inside. I think it is a hidden gem in the downtown core,,,do go see it!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Comfort and Joy

I saw this lovely lady while walking home from Casa Loma. I love statues to begin with, but add a touch of humour with a bright red accessory, and she is all ready for the holiday season.

Comfort and Joy to you All..

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I want to begin this blog by saying Stop. Stop and take a look around this city. Have you really taken a good look at it? Probably not. But I promise you, that amongst the shadows of the condos going up, or down a forgotten lane, or in one of the few green spaces you will see something that will make you think, or take a second look. You just have to stop.

My goal here is to show you how I see the city. To share with you the things, or moments that made me stop. Hope you will stop by from time to time....