Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
One photographer merges old photographs of street life in Toronto with the same sites today.
Ten years ago, Toronto photographer Harry Enchin went to explore The Junction, a neighborhood on the city's west side. It's where his mother grew up. And after she started to suffer from dementia, Enchin began to think more about what Toronto used to look like.
He dug through the city archives to develop his most recent photography project, Toronto Time. In Toronto Time, Enchin merges archival photos, mostly taken between 1910 and 1950, with the exact same spot today, creating a unique representation of the city's evolution.
To create the images, Enchin puts a copy of the historic image in his smart phone. He then visits the exact spot where the photograph was taken, pulls out his phone to match the photo with the precise site and angle, and takes his own photograph with a digital SLR camera. He then combines the two images, creating a final result that gives viewers a curious clash of two eras.
While the results are always interesting, one image that combines today's streetcar with the men who built its tracks in 1923 stands out to Enchin. "They were building back then the infrastructure for the city," says the photographer. "Little did they know what they were building the foundation for 80 years later."
What exists now is a region that has gone from less than 1 million residents when those construction workers were laying down streetcar tracks to nearly 6 million today. But beyond fashion shifts and traffic increases, Enchin still sees a lot of old Toronto in today's version of his hometown.
"Even though there have been a few neighborhoods that have gentrified," says the photographer, "Some still haven't and are still being marginalized."
Toronto Time is on exhibit at Akasha Art Projects in Toronto until October 26. Its opening reception is this Thursday.