Shafts of Sunlight

Autumn is upon us, and as the sun sinks lower in the sky, every sunny day becomes more appreciated. The streets of downtown Toronto can get dark as you walk among the office towers, but there are locations where the sun still shines.

It has taken me some time to find a new theme for a post. Last week, I journeyed into the downtown core in search of shafts of sunlight. They are even more appealing today as we are greeted by a wet and soggy morning.

walkway shadows

Most of the time I found lots of people also out enjoying the sunshine as they adventured into the day.

three amigos
sunshine plaza

The high contrast subject matter was best exhibited in a monochrome interpretation. The hard edges of the shadows created by the architectural elements were softened by the human content.

business day
tuned in
good morning sunshine
mottled sunshine
exit stairs

“C” Words

It has been a long period of several months since I last posted on my blog. So now I am trying to find a way to get unstuck and move forward.

My blog is primarily about my photography, so I reviewed some of my Flickr images, where I found a theme for this post. On a recent visit to Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, I created two images with single word titles – both of them starting with the letter “C”. In my search, I found a few more “C” images, and here they are.

connection
contemplation
curves
conversations

Fast Food and Beer

All of these images were shot on a walk along Bathurst Street in downtown Toronto. The street has a rich diversity of subject matter, and like much of the rest of the city, it has a mix of old buildings and redevelopment.

None of the doors in this collection are noteworthy – it is the stories behind these doors that make them interesting. These are my contributions to Norm’s Thursday Doors for the week of August 9, 2018.

Tim Hortons has been in the news a lot lately. Once an iconic Canadian fast food outlet for coffee and donuts, the company expanded in the 1990’s when it merged with Wendy’s International and became an American company. It was later bought out by a multi-national congolomerate in 2014. Restaurant Brands International is now trying to make every cent they can out of a cup of coffee and a donut, and many of the Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees are feeling the revenue squeeze.

In Ontario, these problems were compounded in January 2018 when the provincial government increased the mandatory minimum hourly wage to $14. Some franchisees were accused of stripping benefits, banning tips and removing paid breaks because they were not permitted to increase their prices to accommodate the wage increase.

d26-tim hortons cw
Tim Hortons

Things have been much quieter at McDonald’s, which operates as an independent Canadian company within a world-wide corporation. It seems to have escaped any of the bad publicity. McDonald’s is the second largest fast food chain in Canada after Tim Hortons, and it is stil best known for its hamburgers. A few years ago, McDonalds got serious about the breakfast market, and incorporated McCafe outlets within their restaurants. Breakfast bagels were also recently introduced in Canada.

d26-mcdonalds cw
McDonald’s

The Beer Store is where you go to buy a case of beer in Ontario. Established in 1927, the Beer Store is a private business owned by a group of breweries. Until recently, the ownership was monopolized by three multi-national brewers, but smaller craft brewers now have opportunities to be shareholders and sell their products.

Each province in Canada has its own unique system for the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages. In Ontario, you can shop for liquor, wine and small volumes (six-packs or less) of beer and cider at the government-owned LCBO. For larger volumes of beer, you go to The Beer Store. Pubs and restaurants must also purchase their beer from The Beer Store. Wine, beer and cider are also sold at some groceries and small retail stores.

All alcohol containers are sold with a deposit, which can only be refunded by returning the empty bottles and cans to The Beer Store.

d26-beer store cw
The Beer Store

Lowering the price of beer became a campaign slogan for the newly-elected Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario this year. One of their campaign promises was a return to “a buck a beer.” This seemed to be a bizarre item to include in a party platform, but it must have appealed to some of the voters, along with other regressive promises such as a return to the sex-ed curriculum of the 1990’s in all public schools (but that’s another whole topic of concern).

You can also order your beer online for pick-up or delivery through The Beer Xpress, to go along with your drive-thru or takeout food. Maybe this is where the first “buck a beer” will become available – although you might have to buy a case of 24 to get the “deal.” There’s an app for that!

More Wallpaper Images

I have been travelling in Europe for the past month, and as a result I have collected some new images to add to my portfolio.

In order to ease back into posting on my blog, I decided to start with a familiar theme – some new images to add to my “wallpaper” album, which is included on my flickr site. I am always on the lookout for walls and facades where I can minimize the perspective and create a two-dimensional image.

w1-abstract in greys cw
abstract in grey and white

w1-cottage roofline cw
cottage roofline

w1-daytime parking on chiddingstone street cw
daytime parking on Chiddingstone Street