Tag Archives: urban renewal

Thursday Doors – January 19, 2017

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Toronto

This week’s submission to Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world.

Front doors of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Toronto, Canada

I still find it odd, having lived just outside of Toronto most of my life, in Scarborough as a youngster, and just north of the city as an adult, that I have not fully explored the marvelous architecture (what remains of it) of Toronto more fully. I say, “what remains of it.” because, for an extended period, from the 60’s to 80’s ,Toronto had a policy of “Urban Renewal”, during which time, many wonderful historical buildings were torn down to make way for more modern buildings, and parking lots (because the people working in these buildings would have to park their somewhere). Back in the day, the car was the transport of choice. My how the city has changed on that front, for the better, though there is still an excess of cars, do to the poor rural/urban transit infrastructure. I could write at length on that evolution.

But, in honour of brevity, I’ll include a Google Streetview link, as I often do, so you can witness firsthand the extreme contrast between this grand old place of worship and the surrounding world of glass and steel.



“Store Fronts” – Front Street, Toronto

“Store Fronts” - Front Street, Toronto

“Imagine having a city full of things that no other city had.”
― Bill Bryson

Old meets new in this view of Toronto’s Front Street, near the St. Lawrence Market.

The area reminds me of Europe, with it’s old buildings and storefronts. It’s sad to think that much of Toronto looked like this till the wave of “Urban Renewal” in the 70’s demolished most of the old buildings to make room for…parking lots!

Yup, apparently, parking lots were what people needed and the wonderful architecture paid the price. There are still some vestiges of Toronto’s architectural past remaining: the Annex, Front Street, and the Distillery to name a few, but they are few and far between.

I imagine the original builders did not ever expect the building to become a coffee shop, in fact, I had clients in this area who used upper floors as office space and it looked like these would have been warehouses at one point in time, based on the thick floors and heavy wooden beams inside the buildings.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

“The Lyric Theatre” – New York

“The Lyric Theatre” - New York

“A world which sees art and engineering as divided is not seeing the world as a whole.”
–  Sir Edmund Happold

The varied and beautiful architecture in New York City took me completely by surprise. It must have been quite the place back in the late 19th century. I love fine details and could spend hours sitting in front of a building like this and drinking in all the fantastic stonework. It’s also nice to see how well these buildings have been preserved. New York, at least parts of it, seems to have largely escaped the wave of ‘urban renewal’ that swept through many major cities back in the 70’s, where beautiful old edifices were sacrificed for parking lots or concrete monoliths.

I decided to process this in black and white because it brings out the detail and texture better for me and masks the distractions of the colourful billboards advertising the current show.

iPhone 5s
Back Camera  @ 4.2mm
1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 80

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)