When it comes to Historic Fort York in Toronto, most people will associate with the Anglo-American War of 1812, which isn’t wrong. The fort is home to the most extensive collection of original buildings from the era and is among the oldest buildings in the city. But this week, we’re moving ahead by a century into the fort’s role during Canada’s involvement in the First World War. When Canada found itself at war in 1914, it had only served once overseas during the Second Boer War. Canada’s involvement in that colonial conflict resulted in a great deal of reform within the Militia. The Militia hadRead More →

If there’s one thing that I have missed over the past two years, it’s a historical reenactment. And while most if not all War of 1812 events in Canada have again been cancelled, I have managed to satiate my desire for some historical reenactment and, more importantly, photography. Earlier this year I attended a small event in Milton with the 11th Swiss Rifles, a reenactment unit that portrays a typical Swiss Rifle unit during World War One. So when a larger event came up at Toronto’s historic Fort York, I jumped at the chance to see some friends, as you’ll quickly find in the hobbyRead More →

I’ll have to admit, ever since I went to Europe in 2015, I’ve wanted to add some sort of folding medium format camera to my collection. Something compact, shooting at least 6×4.5 or 6×6. And for a little while earlier this year, I had my eye on a Mamiya Six (the original one, not the modern rangefinder). After reading and searching, I realised that there were too many questions about the Mamiya Six and stopped looking. And then this beauty fell into my lap, and I’m glad it did. The Ikonta 521 might not be the best folding camera out there, but it is exactlyRead More →

The Anglo-American War of 1812 had decimated the defences of Upper Canada, by war’s end all the major fort’s constructed in the pre-war era had faced destruction throughout the war. Fort York and Fort George in York (Toronto) and Newark (Niagara-On-The-Lake) respectively had been destroyed in 1813, Fort Erie and Fort St. Joseph in 1814. The British knocked down Fort Amherstburg in their retreat in 1813. The only major fort to survive the war was Fort Henry in Kingston only because it defended the Royal Navy dockyard. And while the British had captured two major American forts during the war, Fort Niagara and Fort Mackinac.Read More →

The middle-of-the-road film stock in the RPX line and another fantastic entry. Like RPX 25, RPX 100 is the spiritual successor to Agfa APX 100. While I don’t have much experience with APX 100 (I have about 50 sheets of the stuff in 4×5), the film is similar in look to Kodak TMax 100. And actually, you can use some of the TMax 100 times with RPX 100. While it’s no FP4+, I actually think RPX 100 is slightly better than Kodak TMax 100 mostly because of the huge latitude on the film, in fact, you can even do the Panatomic-X trick and shoot theRead More →

When it comes to Doors Open events, there’s no bigger one in Ontario that Toronto’s. With 2017 being the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Toronto made it a goal to have 150 buildings on their doors open event. And what a selection there was, with lots of old favourites and plenty of new ones especially to me. I’ve visited Doors Open Toronto on many occasions, but always seem to hit up the same locations over and over again. So this year I made a point to visit many of the places I’ve never visited, or haven’t been happy with my photographs in the past. IRead More →

As part of the preparation for putting the entire project into book form, I’ve been going around and re-shooting many of the fortifications that were involved in the War of 1812 using large format film (4 inch by 5 inch), simply for practice and the quality it gives. Here are the first group of forts. Completed at the start of the war to protect the dockyard at Prescott a critical point in the movement of supplies between Upper Canada, Lower Canada and Halifax, Fort Wellington was never outright attacked during the war, rather troops from the garrison would only participate in the battles of OgdensburgRead More →

Located in the shadows of condo towers, the gentle rumble of traffic along the Gardiner Expressway lays Fort York, one of the few reminders to Toronto’s colonial past as muddy York, the seat of government for Upper Canada. For those who have been following my other photography project related to the War of 1812 have already seen this particular location so I took a different spin, rather than capturing wider angle shots I focused more on the fort’s details. Fort York was established in 1793 under the orders of John Graves Simcoe, and built by the Queen’s York Rangers. In April of 1813 American shipsRead More →

A watershed event for the Canadians during the Anglo-American War of 1812. The tiny town of York, today’s Toronto, Ontario, was the colonial capital of Upper Canada, established in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe for the sole purpose of being further away from the American frontier. Despite the town’s status as the capital it was poorly regarded called Muddy York, a far cry from the seat of British power in North America, Quebec City. And while the town itself was far from a tactical target, it wasn’t a tactical target that US Army commander, Henry Dearborn, wanted following a series of American defeats in 1812.Read More →

Fort York, Toronto’s taste of the 19th-Century. Against all the odds this little haven of Toronto’s colonial history has survived multiple attempts to sweep it away with the Gardner Expressway and even a Streetcar line. And while it seems a little odd to find a fort this far back from the lakeshore, you have to remember that over 200 years ago the lakeshore and the area we know as Toronto was a far different place. When Sir John Graves Simcoe received his appointment as the colonial governor of Upper Canada one of his early actions saw the colonial capital, the capital at the time, Newark,Read More →