What I'm working on
Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:12 AM
Our company owner has a large collection of oblique air photos taken in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Photos are of locations across Canada, a few from the United States and the Bahamas but most seem to be of southern Ontario. The owner would like to put together a coffee table book of the photos as a means of promoting them so we settled on putting a book together of photos of the Greater Toronto area from the 1950s. Instead of just packing in as many as I could, I thought it would be more worthwhile to research the photos and provide at least a little background information as to the location and history of what was in the photos. In some cases it was easy. In other cases it was a real challenge as the photos aren't well identified. I am attaching a sample photo of downtown Toronto from 1956 from the collection here.
So the book is nearing completion of its first draft. The owner sees it this week and I'm hoping that he likes it and keeps his suggested changes to a minimum (that I think is the toughest part of this project). The photos also need to cleaned up and retouched yet. Included will be a reproduction of a Toronto area map from the 1950s as well as a bit of an historical background piece and a piece on the photographer and the collection itself. I am hoping that the book will go to press by the end of March. I'll keep you posted on its progress.
Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:16 AM
g r e g @ c a r t o g r a p h i c d e s i g n . c o m
Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:19 AM
Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:08 PM
Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:03 PM
There are a number of remarkable things that I discovered while working on these photos. The first, of course, is the massive amount of building that has gone on since the photos were taken in the 1950s. Secondly, back in the 1950s Toronto was very much an industrial city - factories etc. all over the place but particularly along the waterfront. Much of that has disappeared. Thirdly, so many unique buildings have disappeared to make way for other, new, bigger buildings - or sometimes just to make room for parking lots. These changes have been uneven. Some photos show intersections that have completely changed; other photo show intersections that haven't changed a bit. Fascinating.
Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:17 PM
Have you seen "Historical Atlas of Toronto", by Derek Hayes? This is a must-read if you're interested in the evolution of "The Big Smoke". I've spent many blissful hours gloating over the old maps in this book, including plans for development that never reached fruition, and several bird's-eye maps that would bring a tear to Jean-Louis' eye.
Oh yes. Read it cover to cover. The interesting thing about Derek is that he never set foot in Toronto, at least not for the research and the writing of the book.
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