It’s not that easy to find festive window displays in downtown Toronto during this year’s Christmas season. One go-to is the Hudson’s Bay store on Queen Street West, which features a few windows sponsored by the American toy brand FAO Schwarz. This is the first appearance of FAO Schwarz in Canada, as it has opened up pop-up spaces in Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada. Their windows are elaborate displays, but both the displays and the pop-ups are not expected to stay for long.
The city skyline window is a conglomeration of Toronto facades – some more recognizable than others – plus some vintage streetcars circling on a track. Maybe some long-term residents of Toronto are able to identify all of the buildings.
The second window is a classic display of large-scale toys – a great place for window watchers young and old.
A second type of festive display is located in the windows of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street. There are a number of panels, each one created by a local artist as his/her interpretation of the holiday season. This display is rooted in celebration, diversity and community, and reflects the multiculturalism of Toronto. Each piece is being auctioned by public bid, with the proceeds to be donated to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank.
When you think about glass, what is the first word that comes to your mind? Something like “fragile” or “broken”, quite likely. Maybe second on your list is “cleaning” or “washing”.
For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge for this week – Glass – I have chosen architectural glass as my subject matter.
Many new high rise condos have been built in Toronto recently, and they typically have glazed curtain walls, so there is lots of glass everywhere you look. The following is a photo of a lone window washer – there is no shortage of dirty windows for him to clean.
One of the features of this image that I like are the contorted reflections of the surrounding buildings. Who said that windows are perfectly flat?
All of the images in this series are of public spaces located inside buildings. Two of these buildings are located in Australia, where the sun is always prevalent. The sun, shining through glazed windows, leaves its imprint on the walls and floors. The structural system of the walls and glazing is revealed through the shadows that are cast by the sun.
I have recently been experimenting with darker tones in black and white photographs. Using images that were shot in broad daylight, I have been processing them with masks and gradients to darken parts of the image. These three images are examples from this processing.
The Rock of Cashel is a popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The proximity of gravestones and the cloudy sky add to the sinister and moody look of the image.
The RC Harris Water Treatment Plant is located in the Beaches area of east Toronto. It is a majestic art deco building that looks much more impressive than its purpose – to process domestic drinking water from nearby Lake Ontario. Water purification is a basic human need, so, perhaps, the “darker” treatment is not in keeping with its altruistic public health goals.
The exterior fire escape is attached to an office building in Victoria. External fire escapes are much more prevalent in other cities, but this is a good example of a simple geometric facade with the fire escape and its shadow dominating one end of the building. Applying a gradient adds some interest to an otherwise monochromatic wall.