In about three decades, the railway in Ontario had grown from a small collection of operators to the principal means of moving people and cargo around the Province and, by extension, Canada. But the one thing that it still lacked was a complete link across the entire length of British North America. While some efforts had been made in 1873, the resulting scandal ousted the MacDonald conservatives, and the new Liberal Government made some efforts to start the construction in 1875. Despite completing 1,000 kilometres of track by the time they were voted out in 1878, not enough had been done. MacDonald returned to power,Read 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 →

The year was 2012; I had been shooting film in a far more serious way for three years at that point. I learned of a speciality film store called Freestyle Photographic from an episode of the Film Photography Project. They had all sorts of weird films from Europe that I had never heard of nor seen at my local camera store (which at that time was either Henry’s or Burlington Camera). With companies like Efke and Adox, strange, exotic for my North American sensibilities. I purchased a pile of Efke and Adox CHS Art films, both in 35mm and 120, 50 and 100-speed offerings. WhileRead More →

One of the area’s biggest geological features in the Niagara Escarpment, covered in ancient Carolinian forests, is instantly recognisable and helps new arrivals navigate the area always looming over Milton. Hidden deep in this forest is a lake that holds many secrets, distant voices from the past that allows us to see into the times before my ancestors arrived on this content. This week I went for another hike in my second favourite Halton park, Crawford Lake. The Niagara Escarpment was formed at the end of the last ice age, a massive limestone cliff that runs from the Niagara Penisula to the Bruce Penisula. AlongRead More →

When it comes to films that are not designed for normal pictorial use, I’m not one to shy away from them. That being especially after I went through three of the FilmWashi offerings, one of them being an Optical Audio Recording film. Even before I had loaded up Washi S into a camera, I had been approached by the Film Photography Project to beta test a new film they had acquired and were planned to release after collecting some developing times for the film. The name was FPP Super Sonic, and like Washi S, is an optical audio recording film. The idea of recording audioRead More →

I never heard of the Duex before as I scrolled past the cameras being offered up for free on the Toronto Film Shooters Facebook Group, and this camera certainly caught my eye. One of the first things to catch me attention is the design of the camera, it screams art deco and saw the production during the height of the style’s popularity. The camera itself is asking to be used amongst the amazing architecture of The Loop in Chicago, Illinois or Manhatten in New York City. But since we’re in the time of plague still, it’ll have to be more local. The Duex is oneRead More →

There’s nothing better than a hike in the wood during the winter, especially when there is a decent snow cover, good sunlight and blue skies. The prior week saw fresh dumping of the white stuff on the ground, which resulted in several days worth of awesome photographic opportunities. And while I took out my new digital camera more than a film camera (because new gear). But Saturday provided Heather and me a chance to head out to one of our favourite parks. And I’m not talking about Niagara Falls, but rather Hilton Falls. One of the many parks around Milton that provides an escape fromRead More →

I love a good mystery. Even when it comes to film with limited available details, it’s always fun to crack the code. So when I arranged to gift my Nikon F2 to a fellow local film photographer, he offered up a roll of Tasma Type-25L (along with a couple of other rolls of film). Now I have worked with Tasma film before, having shot a roll of NK-2 that yielded results exactly in line when what I have come to expect from Russian films, that being lots of grain. After a bit of searching online, I landed on two sites, the first being the officialRead More →

There is always a bittersweet feeling when you wrap up a project. You’re proud that you completed the project and hopefully worth the effort you took to complete it from beginning to end. But you’re also sad because you cannot keep working on the subject. While this one, compared to some of my two recently history projects, was far smaller. The Anglo-American War of 1812 and Canadian Confederation were exhaustive topics filled with all sorts of twists and turned. The Welland Canal is far more straight forward, which is why I could complete the project in such a short amount of time. I guess learningRead More →

When it comes to all the posts I’ve written about the Welland Canals, this one is probably the most important. The reason is that if it hadn’t been for the efforts to save the historic Welland Canals, this whole project would not have been worth creating. The reason is that there would be nothing left of the first Canals at least in original forms. Sure there might have been plaques installed eventually, and some sections of the earlier Canals may have survived, but I don’t think in any meaningful sense. The preservation of the historical Welland Canals was the last thing on the minds ofRead More →