Sunday, 19 May 2019

Street Photography Course Part 2: Faces in Toronto's Kensington Market

Faces In Toronto’s Kensington Market

“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. 
I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, 
yet through my images I live with them.”
– Bruce Gilden, American Street Photographer 

Kensington Market has always been one of my favourite Toronto neighbourhoods. Teems with life. Stubbornly resists gentrification. Resolutely frays around the edges. It is everything that uptight WASP Toronto is not. 

Wandering Kensington’s maze of streets and alleys is a banquet for – and occasionally an assault on – the senses. 

Colours! Aromas! Sounds! Textures! Tastes! 

Tidy? Ummm, not so much. 

Uniting all these elements is an oddly reassuring sense of chaos that somehow manages to work. I’ve always thought that it represents the miracle that is contemporary Toronto. 

Peter Ustinov once famously said that Toronto was “New York run by the Swiss.” I’d recast his observation by saying that Kensington Market is Toronto run by the world.

It is a brilliant slice of life.

And an appropriate venue for Part Two of my Art Gallery of Ontario’s Street Photography course. The class met Brian Piitz, our instructor, in Bellevue Square Park in the heart of Kensington. We then fanned out for three hours of glorious street photography, interrupted occasionally by rain. I hope that the photos that follow – selected from almost 300 that I made – honour the spirit of Kensington Market. 


Next Wednesday’s Part Three of the course will focus on the Yonge Street/Dundas Street neighbourhood, another of my favourite Toronto photography locations. I plan to post images from that excursion next week.

As always, thank you for reading my blog.

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