While the construction of the canal inspired a great deal of urbanization of the Niagara Region, but not all towns came into being because of the canal. Even before the canal came to the region, the area attracted a great deal of colonization in the days during and following the American Revolution mainly by Loyalists. Officially today they’re called United Empire Loyalists, and they formed the core of the original European population in Upper Canada, created out of the Province of Quebec. Quebec had been under British occupation since the end of the French-Indian War, and the government was maintained to match that of NewRead More →

If you mention the Welland Canal today many people will think of the massive shipping channel cutting across the Niagara Penisula, an artificial river you see from the Garden City Skyway that carries the QEW over the top the channel. Part of an elaborate and technologically advanced highway and major trade corridor from the Atlantic Ocean to the northernmost Great Lakes. The Canal has humble beginnings. Since the earliest days of human settlement in the Niagara Regions, the major transit between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie has been the Niagara River. Even the first peoples realised they required a long portage as the great falls,Read More →

Earlier this year I completed the second major historical photographic project on the Confederation of Canada and the events and places that lead up to the joining of four British Provinces in British North America into the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Over the course of that project, I came across many events and locations that inspired me to try and tell the deeper story. Of course, I couldn’t tell every story so instead, I selected two that I felt I couldn’t tell the whole story due to the timeline for the project ending in 1867. One of these is the railroad through Ontario theRead More →

I will always have a soft spot for a fixed lens rangefinder, especially one that uses Zeiss Optics. And the Contessamat SE is no slouch, despite being placed as the middle child in the Contessamat family, it certainly performs like a firstborn. While you will find it slightly different from its Japanese cousins, it’s compact nature, excellent optics, and semi-automatic functions will let it stand alongside those cameras. Thanks to James Lee for loaning this hidden gem out for a review. Camera Specifications Make: Zeiss Ikon Model: Contessamat SE Type: Rangefinder Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm Lens: Fixed, Zeiss Ikon Color-Plantar 1:2,8/45 Year of Manufacture: 1963-1965Read More →

Here we are, there is always a certain bittersweetness about completing a project. And for me, this one was an eye-opener. It challenged not only my world view but my view of my own country and our history. But that is what history is supposed to do, challenge us to learn from the past and see how we can change the future. And here is the trouble with history, we can only see it through the eyes of those who wrote it and our personal bias. And trust me, it is hard to overcome your own bias. But the biggest problem with history that isRead More →

When you’re in a situation and your reputation is on the line you need something that works. But if the customer, client, or even your own personal project is on the line and you have to use film, then you want something that will work. Like work always, in any situation! Ilford FP4+ If you miss the ASA-125 rating of Kodak Plus-X, then look no further than Ilford FP4+. A film that dates back to the 1930s and has changed and grown as technology improved. FP4+ is Alex’s choice for outdoor shooting when the light is nice, even if cloudly. It responds well to beingRead More →

When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you don’t get any more simple than Kodak D-76. Kodak D-76 is the common factor between professional and student photographers and everyone in between. It’s a staple in most darkrooms, you can develop film and prints with it, and for me, it was the first developer I ever used for both film and prints. And for a while, I had stopped using Kodak D-76 in my processing, but after I started reviewing films, I got back into the stuff. The reason it gives what you expect, a baseline. It also is relatively inexpensive and economical for long termRead More →

I’m a fan of public transit. Especially unique transit options. Think the wild noise and general grime of the NYC subway. The PCC like cars that still run as subways in Boston. Or the Toronto Streetcar network. A call back to the early days of the city’s transit system and one of the only major streetcar networks left running in North America. And on the 29th of December 2019 marked both an anniversary and the end of an era. For that day marked not only the first time the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle first rode on the networks for the Toronto Transit Commission back inRead More →

When you compare the age of Canada’s army to that of other nations, our military is relatively young. As a nation of just over 150 years old, we depended almost entirely on our defence from the home government, France first and then England. And while a bulk of the soldiers in what would become modern-day Canada were regular professional soldiers and sailors, several locally raised regiments came to the defence of the territory should the need arise. The Canadian militia and Provincial ‘feasible’ troops fought in the War of 1812 and again during the Upper Canada Rebellion and Patriot Wars with varying degrees of success.Read More →

If there is a single piece of infrastructure that changed Canada in the early 1850s, the railroad is that single piece the spurred the Province towards a modern industrial location in the British Empire. While the Welland and Rideau Canals provided a fast link they both were tied to the waterways they were built out of. Rail, on the other hand, could cross areas where canals could not. Rail could run nearly the year-round, bridge water, and move faster. But railroads were not new in the province, having existed in some form or another since the early 1820s. Rail technology had been used in theRead More →