The corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets in Toronto is one of my most reliable and rewarding locations for photography. I have spent many enjoyable hours simply standing there – usually at the southeast corner, by Yonge/Dundas Square – with my camera. And I have hundreds of photos on my hard-drives to prove it. It almost always rewards me with a rich parade of beauty, quirkiness, oddity, and surprise.
It IS Toronto, with people surging from every corner of the planet. The energy of that intersection mesmerizes and delights me.
Several things work in my favour when I do street photography at that location:
1) It’s one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in Canada, with thousands of people hurtling by every hour. Few pause to look around and observe the scenery. For one reason, the architecture in the area is forgettable and dominated by variations of grey.
(Side Observation: When did the Toronto Taste Police decide that grey was chic and stylish? Waaaay too many of Toronto’s public buildings are dominated by grey, unimaginative architecture. Case in point: the interior of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts – Toronto’s opera house – is fabulous, but the exterior is dominated by insipid grey brick. The only time the exterior looks interesting is at night when you see the interior lobby areas sparkling through the glass façade; the grey brick disappears. But I digress.)
2. With Ryerson University a block away, there are always media students roaming around the area with cameras. Someone hanging out with a camera is not unusual.
3. And finally, who cares about an old guy with a camera? What harm can he do? As a photographer, I know that it is useful to be invisible so I can make photographs without any hassle. Being dismissed as irrelevant means I can get away with things – one of the wondrous benefits of retirement!
The photos that follow all come from trips to Toronto in February and March. And they all come from the corner of Yonge and Dundas. Enjoy!
Larry Tayler Photography
Belleville, Ontario, Canada