Doors Open Hamilton has been a long time favourite event since I went to my first event in 2007. It gives a behind-the-door look at many buildings through legal means, which is a huge draw for a group of explorers. One of the biggest draws of that 2007 event is the presence of the HMCS Halifax, one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates and the first ship in the class. We also got glimpses of buildings that were undergoing renovation. It also quickly became a bit of a birthday tradition as it always falls near or sometimes on my birthday. But for the past twoRead More →

You can never have too many D-76/ID-11 clones. And while there are tonnes already on the market, plus the capacity to mix one up yourself at home. I want to introduce the latest clone on the market, Flic Film Classic MQ. Flic Film is a new Canadian film lab based in Alberta, Canada. While they focus on re-rolling motion picture film stock, they have a healthy film chemistry group. In addition to their brilliant Black/White & Green, among their offerings is a D-76 clone, Classic MQ (Metol/Hydroquinone). But it is available in the smaller 1L volume rather than mixing up a whole gallon of stockRead More →

When it comes to Film Washi, they certainly have gotten their hands on some interesting film stocks. And after enjoying some of their products last year, one of their products I’ve wanted to try. But with any repurposed film stock, you have to wait for the raw materials to become available. Thankfully after watching out on the Film Photography Project’s store I saw them come back in stock thanks to their email newsletter. Type “F” is a special X-Ray film used for mass lung disease diagnoses; according to the Film Washi website, it is truly a unique film that offers, coated without an anti-halation layer,Read More →

One of the jewels in the collection of Westfield Heritage Village is plenty of memorabilia and buildings related to the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway. They probably have the second largest collection next to the museum on the second floor of the Hamilton GO Centre. But they do have one thing that the GO Centre does not have, an original locomotive that once served on the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo line, Locomotive 103. The first example of a 2-8-0 saw construction in 1865, an improvement of the 0-8-0 design and completed by John P. Laird for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Originally known as the Bedford, ConsolidationRead More →

If you’re a fan of the show Murdoch Mysteries and are a sharp-eyed viewer, then the station featured today will be recognizable, having appeared in the episode The Annoying Red Planet, where the titular character visits the community of Jerseyville. Jerseyville is no work of fiction but is a rural community between Brantford and Hamilton and was only ever served by the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway. The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway saw its original charter in 1884 to construct a second line between the three cities mentioned in the name as an alternative to Grand Trunk, which by 1884 had full control overRead More →

I remember not being overly excited about Rollei Paul & Reinhold when it was first announced in September of 2020. I mean, yes, it is great to see a special edition film released to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of a premier and historic camera maker (Franke & Heidecke later Rollei). There was little data on the film at the time, and there are still many gaps. Given that the actual film stock is unknown, it’s either a limited edition run (made in Italy, not Belgium) or a found stock that has been rebranded. Either way, Rollei has been tight-lipped about the film’s source. Given thatRead More →

And now for something completely different. I know I’m better known for my reviews of film-based cameras, but I have reviewed a digital camera here before, back when I got the camera that this one replaced. In fact, the Nikon D750 marks two, not three things. First, it marks a return to an SLR as my digital camera; second, it marks the return to the Nikon Digital system. And finally, a digital camera that I like using a lot. It’s not to say the a6000 was an unenjoyable camera to operate; the only complaint was that the system continued to be limited. Yes, I couldRead More →

Ever since the invention of the automobile and aeroplane, the way people moved changed rapidly. Henry Ford’s Model T put the dream of a personal car within reach; improvements in planes through the inter-war period into World War Two and the post-war period allowed long-distance travel at an even faster rate. While steam motive power continued to drive many railroad operators through the war, the rise of diesel began to reshape even the train industry. Through the war, fuel and material shortages spiked passenger train services, but even now, those were starting to decline. It became clear that the golden age of rail had comeRead More →

The late 19th century brought the final push to extend out the transcontinental line. The arrival of the 20th century, the Canadian Pacific Railway was the only line that extended across Canada, at least from Vancouver to Montreal. In Ontario, Grand Trunk managed to secure itself as the big player in the province by absorbing all the competition but could not do that with Canadian Pacific finding itself against a competitor that it simply could not buy out. This was the golden age of rail travel when mighty steam locomotives travelled across the country; rail networks connected people and places, mail and cargo were easilyRead More →

Today moving around is easy. At the same time, we deal with traffic and delays, our availability of automobiles, aeroplanes, transit, and trains. Combined with well-paved roads, GPS, maps, gas stations, rest areas, travel for us in the 21st Century is a breeze. But some two centuries earlier, life in Ontario, then Upper Canada, was far more challenging. Many who lived in the settlements well outside the few urban centres never strayed too far from home. Local roads were often blazed trails from Indigenous people who lived on the land. Sir John Graves Simcoe had ordered military roads, but even these were little more thanRead More →