After the last TFS meetup I did in November 2021, it’s hard to believe I was able to get back to one so soon, especially one that’s in the city where the group takes its name. Since the birth of my son, I’ve been delegating some of my work out to trusted friends. The photo walks were given over to John Meadows and Bill Smith, who welcomed a couple of additional group members. As much as I enjoy planning out these events, it’s always nice to attend as an attendee.
I don’t often drive in the city, relying on public transit to get around. But today was different because getting to and from the brickworks by TTC is trying, along with manoeuvring between buses and subways. And then wanting to go to The Granite brewery afterwards, it only made sense to bring a car along. Traffic in the morning wasn’t too bad; I moved ahead quickly and got to the brickworks a few minutes shy of a half-hour drive. My original plan was to shoot an On The Road video. Still, I forgot to consider the farmer’s market, which occupies a large section, and some of the more exciting parts are either occupied or inaccessible. And while I did start filming, about three frames in with the GSW690II, I realised that I left the lens cap on, something I haven’t done in a long while. Rather than try and re-shoot everything, I gave up because there were also many people around. And I was on a limited time frame. I finished up the first roll of Superpan and shot the second through the GSW690II. Despite the overhang of clouds, I ended up with some good shots of a classic formerly abandoned location in the city.
After parking my car off the Danforth, it was a lovely fast walk south on Logan towards the meetup spot. Usually, if we’re in this part of Toronto, the Rooster on Broadview is where we meet. But today, it was at Riverdale Perk, a small residential coffee shop that looked popular with the locals. I was about an hour and a half early; since it was a lovely day and I had time to kill, I ordered an excellent breakfast at the cafe and sat out on the patio. My good friend John arrived shortly after I sat down with coffee (which is excellent) and the food (also superb). We’re both early birds, so it allowed us to chat before more people trickled in. Once we reached critical mass and business at the shop started to pick up, we all gathered up and headed south. I stuck to my Maxxum 70 for the walk as we walked south on Logan towards Gerard. A wonderfully shaded residential section with an exciting mix of houses and small businesses. Which these days it a bit of exciting sight. But it should be something we need more of in an increasingly sprawling GTHA region. It has been a while since I was along this part of Gerard, and the mix of buildings certainly made for some excellent subject matter. Especially the more rundown buildings along the way.
I swapped out to my second roll of film as we got into Little India, finding the rundown Ulster Arms Tavern a unique subject. Most interesting is how much the first floor appeared to be a train station. However, I couldn’t find any confirmation online that the building served in that role. We continued east through Little India before turning north on another residential street, making it as far as the rail corridor. Walking along a small path, a pedestrian tunnel allowed us to cross to the northern side of the track. We were moving through Monarch Park and up onto the Danforth and where I split off from the group. While I would have loved to try out the menu and beers, I left my last TTC token at home and needed to walk back to my car.
From The Wren, it was about a twenty-five-minute walk to where I left my car by the Chester Subway. I pulled out the GSW690II and loaded up some Fomapan 400; despite being bright and sunny, I shot this at full box speed of ASA-400. I also had several frames left on the Maxxum 70, but I decided I had plenty of keepers from the second roll, so I didn’t bother even scanning those. The streets were pretty busy, and I’m glad I only had eight shots as the area wasn’t too photogenic. But the former Allenby Theatre was a nice treat, and there were some old historical churches through Greektown. It was a bit of a drive out to mid-town. Thankfully traffic wasn’t too bad. Visiting the Granite was excellent, and I was able to get some of their beer after hearing nothing but good things from Bill Smith. It did take an hour to get home, but it wasn’t as bad headed west as it would have been heading east. If you want to see the entire album, head on over to Flickr and if you want to join in future events, be sure to join our Facebook group.