It would have been titled Why Technical Stuff Doesn’t Matter but I figured this kind of fluff speaks for itself. A little embarrassed to be sharing my travel snapshots but we all need occasional reminders to stop reading and actually go out and shoot.
Toronto was admittedly not a city high on my list to visit but the opportunity presented itself and it was a chance to see Niagara Falls too. And I was pleasantly surprised to find a charming metropolis with plenty to do, see and discover.
Inclement weather on my first day ushered me from my base at Trump International Tower onto the Art Gallery Ontario, a rather wonderful collection of classic and contemporary art with paintings, sculptures and even a model ship collection. I’ve said before that art galleries are great places to find inspiration about composition and lighting and the AGO is no exception.
The Museum subway stop, lined by fantastic pillars carved as ancient Egyptian figures and creatures, led me up to the Royal Ontario Museum, something akin to a natural history museum but will large collections of oriental art and pottery too.
Needing to escape the rain I hurried down to Ripley’s Aquarium, where an underwater tunnel resurrected my inner child as I marvelled in wonder at the numerous fearsome sharks floating past overhead. And to say nothing, of course, of the other exotic species, particularly the luminescent jellyfish.
The evening cleared up enough to take the ferry to Ward’s Island (the only venue in the Toronto Islands on the winter schedule), from where I walked to Snake Island and enjoyed total solitude as I photographed the colourful Toronto skyline. Not a soul found or bothered me as I waited for sunset to flirt with dusk.
Casa Loma, apparently North America’s only castle, is a beautiful stately home built by Sir Henry Pellat and reminiscent of properties managed by the National Trust. Ornate rooms and furnishings are a prelude to a collection of classic cars, and high turrets offer terrific views of downtown Toronto. Unsurprising that it has been used as a location for several films such as X-Men and Chicago.
Spending the day downtown in the shadow of towering skyscrapers it is easy to see why Toronto doubles as New York and Chicago in many a film and television show. From Yonge-Dundas Square down to Nathan Philips Square and City Hall, I shuffled past the Old City Hall building and towards the Gooderham Building.
En route I found the Cathedral Church Of St James, a modest example of Gothic architecture with an equally modest interior. Further on St Lawrence Market offered colourful delicatessens and charcuterie.
A determined walk even further on brought me to the Old Distillery District, once the largest distillery in the world and now converted into quirky bars, shops and restaurants.
Finally, I ascended the mighty CN Tower, from where I enjoyed the view below my feet on the glass floor, as well as out into the vast expanse of Ontario.
On my last day, when the weather was at its best, I journeyed down to Niagara Falls. I started the day with a helicopter ride and a visit to the Butterfly Conservancy before enjoying the falls from multiple viewpoints, including the Skylon Tower. While not as spectacular as other waterfalls I have visited it was fun to see the American and Canadian Falls lit up during the evening in the colours of their respective flags.
So my three days in Canada went exactly to plan and was an experience made all the more enjoyable by the hospitality of Canadians who thoroughly deserve their global reputation for being incredibly friendly, helpful and polite. They have my sincere gratitude for being so nice to me and are welcome to the United Kingdom any time.
With plenty of fascinating museums and buildings, a terrific skyline and its proximity to Niagara Falls, Toronto definitely meets the Alpha Whiskey criteria. Oh, and lots of beautiful women, of course (especially the police officer I chatted with on Bay Street).
Once again this article is reproduced from my blog. Sorry for so many images but instead of recycling the same photos in multiple articles I’d rather post something new each time. And for no other reason than to encourage people to go out and shoot. As usual everything is processed to my taste in my postcard style and shot with the Olympus E-M5 and a variety of lenses.
P.S. If anyone finds Alpha Whiskey’s baseball cap you’re welcome to keep it or burn it. I have dozens more.
I’m curious if “Alpha Whiskey” is a real name? Or is it the name of a blog perhaps? I read articles and almost always look to see who the author is. Especially in this day and age of ‘alternative facts’, it seems to me that a serious website, especially one with the high level of content that PL produces, would resort to pseudonyms and not publish under one’s own name.
I’m not a troll, and I’m not being disrespctful. If this questionhas been addressed elsewhere on PL, point me to that link and I’ll move on. I real almost every article and get a lot out of PL.
I could be wrong but I think the question is probably addressed in the small section under each of my articles where it says ‘About Alpha Whiskey.’ ;)
PL is indeed a tremendously serious site but I’m not very serious guy, of course. Not looking for a following or fan base. Just a guest poster who likes to go out and shoot and encourage others to do the same. No one is entitled to know anything more about me and I’m fairly certain that I qualify for the same privacy as everyone else. I’m sure Nasim and PL respect that or he wouldn’t allow me to post here.
Thanks for stopping by anyway.
(Nice images on your website, btw, regardless of whether Gregory is your real name or not :))
Thank you for replying Alpha Whiskey.
Gregory (real name)
Great night time pictures of the Niagara Falls. The lighting of the Niagara Falls during the night is a beautiful sight to photograph. These pictures of course as you said are taken from the Canadian side.
I visited the Niagara Falls in April 2016 from the USA side, approaching from Buffalo, NY. However, the site closes down by 6 PM and all visitors are made to vacate. I believe there are no such restrictions of timings on the Canadian side, which has made possible to photograph such a beautiful lighting display of the Niagara Falls during the night. Or is it possible to photograph the Niagara Falls with all the lighting pomp and splendor even from the USA side? Or, was my location for viewing the falls on the USA not right? Any which way I have missed the beautiful sight.
Very nice pictures. I really like your postcard processing. Can you share some of the settings or steps involved in this processing?
The pillars in the Museum Subway Station are aboriginal “Haida” carvings like the west coast British Columbia totem poles that were carved from huge old growth cedar trees. Not Egyptian.
“Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects and constructed by Jeviso Construction Corporation, renovations to the station’s platform level were completed in April 2008 to evoke exhibits in the Royal Ontario Museum. Supporting columns have been remade to resemble the ancient Egyptian deity Osiris, as well as Toltec warriors, Doric columns found in the Parthenon, China’s Forbidden City columns, and First Nations house posts.”
-Source – Wikipedia.
But thanks for stopping by.
That’s a First Nations house post, it’s definitely not the Egyptian deity Osiris.
Great article and some beautiful images.
Very nice travel photos. Thanks for sharing.
The only problem is that you come to our city for three days and produce better photos then I will ever be able to do.
I should just sell off my photo gear and stop kidding myself :-)
The “snapshots” are great. Well done.
Very nice post and images. I always enjoy reading about your ventures and viewing your photos.
You wrote: ‘but we all need occasional reminders to stop reading and actually go out and shoot’.
A: Ubung macht master….or….Practice makes master.
Not less not more….and your ‘snapshots’ are v. nice indeed!! I’ve been to Toronto once and your great pics reminded me about great time out there !
I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself visiting my local area – too bad that I missed you! Great images as always!
Thanks for the great photos.
Spent two wonderful early summer weeks in Toronto several years ago and concentrated on birds and urban wildlife, very different from our home town of San Diego. Besides the dramatic architecture, Toronto is a great birding and wildlife city…lots of parks and wild areas, islands, lake shore all within the city limits. Highlights were wild minks, fledgling eaglets, and Orioles on the Toronto Islands and locally fledged Wood Ducks in High Park posing for closeups.
Great public transportation to all parts of the metropolitan area, great food, and genuine friendly people. If we could stand the winters, reputedly the toughest of all Canadian cities, we’d move there in a heartbeat.
…hardly the toughest winters my friend, try Winnipeg (aka Winterpeg as we call it ) for that title… even Buffalo has more harsher winters than does Toronto.
Agree. I am often able to wear wingtips on January-February business trips to Toronto: Lake Ontario has a moderating effect on winter temperatures there, and it is actually a fairly clement climate by Canadian standards. Winnipeg generally takes the prize for coldest, harshest winters. Montreal, Ottawa and, especially, Quebec City win for humid with LOTS of snow.
Really enjoyed Alpha Whiskey’s photos of a city I know well – Toronto has a lot to offer visitors and this article masterfully covered, in a very short time, a surprising number of highlights.