Judith Jones

Toronto (The past is the present and the present becomes the past )

In the early part of the 20th century distant relatives of mine emigrated to Toronto. During the late 1960's and early part of the 1970's my father spent his working life divided between London, Montreal and Toronto.

I'm interested in how the urban space of Toronto has evolved over the last century. What would my relatives have seen as they stepped foot on dry land? They hoped for a burgeoning land with new opportunities. How had the urban space grown when my father went to work in the new high rise structures appearing in the middle of the 20th century?

Presented as a banal family photographic album I have created composite images using old postcards and images found on the Internet of this amazing urban space.

I have become familiar with the spatial layering that has arisen over the years. Some places have hardly altered, some have changed beyond recognition. Chinatown for instance holds the same characteristics as it did 50 years ago; bold, bright, brash signs that come alive after dusk.

In High Park the famous Colborne Lodge remains; many of the formal flower beds now gone, giving way to a dense scape of tall trees. There is nowhere that can escape this inevitable historical layering, ghosts of the past intertwining and becoming one with the present and the future.


Thanks go to Hans Boldt for giving me permission to incorporate his images into this work: www.boldts.net