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 →

The history of Ireland is a long, complicated, and bloody one. And it is worthy of a project of its own, and I’m sure if I lived in Ireland, I would probably be already have completed such a project. But this is a Canadian History project, yet during the mid 19th Century in a strange twist the history of Irish independence intersected with that of pre-confederation Canada. Ireland had, since the Norman invasion of 1169 been a nation under occupation. And while the ancient history of Ireland stretches out before that date, it seems like the right point to start. Further degradation of the IrishRead More →

Before we get into all this, let me start by staying Ortho Plus is not a new film, it’s just now available in different formats. Originally I shot a box of the stuff in 4×5 when it was only available in sheet format, and it was the first film that I shot that had no real rating set. In fact, most entries for developing times on the massive dev chart simply had a question mark for the ISO rating. I found that this gave me a lot more latitude when working with the film. I could rate it higher or lower depending on the situationRead More →

When it comes to the names of the Fathers of Confederation, those men who attended the conferences at Charlottetown and Quebec, most Canadians can only list a handful, or just one. That name is Sir John A. MacDonald. And while MacDonald certainly made a name for himself in his roll in what could almost be seen as bullying the other Provinces into Confederation, we often will overshadow the man who could almost be considered the architect of Confederation, George Brown. The eldest son of six, born to Peter and Marianne Brown on the 29th of November 1819 in Clackmannan, Scotland. George grew up among theRead More →

One of the greatest misconceptions about confederation is that Canada sprung forth fully formed from the passage of the British North America Act in 1867, in reality, the modern Canada we know today was a long way off in 1867. It wasn’t until 1999 that the last territory, Nunavut would be carved out of the Northwest Territory. In 1864 a majority of the British holdings in North America remained in the hands of the Hudson Bay Company as Rupert’s Land, the colonies were each a separate entity, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Red River, Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. Most hadRead More →

When you’re in the film photography community, you celebrate things differently. I mean, sure you’d do the usual birthday traditions with your family but among your film photographer friends, you get together for a photo walk. No? Maybe it’s just the Toronto Film Shooters group. The morning started particularly cold, but at least it kept the traffic light or it was actually the early hour. The trouble with being in Milton there’s no easy way I’d like to drive into Toronto, plus having to leave my car somewhere and needing to loop back to the start doesn’t always jive with my general flow of theRead More →

When it comes to Canon cameras, you can count the number of times they’ve been featured on the one hand. I’ll admit that I am a Nikon guy, but when this beauty was offered up, I couldn’t say no. The Canon EOS 650 while fairly plain and no-nonsense is a camera is a significant part of the history of photography. The EOS 650 is the first autofocus offering from Canon and the lens mount it introduced changed the company’s direction. And while I was a little warry of the camera, it performed beautifully it did take a bit of time of figure out some ofRead More →

There is a great deal of wisdom in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America; I am talking about the line of text that reads, in order to form a more perfect union. The 1850s had been rough on the state of the Canadian government, and as the decade turned, it looked like it was not going to be getting any better. The scandals that rocked the governments of Sir Francis Hincks and Sir Allan Napier MacNab had damaged the reputation of the Liberal-Conservatives and even trickled down into the Reform movement as well. But things looked a little better whenRead More →

I have a long and strange history with Eastman High Contrast Positive Film II, AKA Eastman 5363. When the Film Photography Project began to hand-roll and resell the strange and specialised motion picture films I started working extensively with it and if you’re a long-time reader of the blog you’ll recognise the film stock from previous entries. I have probably done enough with the film to write a full out film review on the stock, but that would be old news. So, having one more roll in my possession, thanks to Alex Smith, I decided to give it the one-roll treatment, one final time. FilmRead 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 →