Saturday 8 September 2012

Book ~ "Full Frontal T.O.: Exploring Toronto's Architectural Vernacular" (2012) Shawn Micallef and Patrick Cummins

From Goodreads ~ For over thirty years, Patrick Cummins has been wandering the streets of Toronto, taking mugshots of its houses, variety stores, garages, and ever-changing storefronts. Straightforward shots chronicle the same buildings over the years, or travel the length of a block, facade by facade. Other sections collect vintage Coke signs on variety stores or garage graffiti.

Full Frontal T.O. features over three hundred gorgeous photos of Toronto's messy urbanism, with accompanying text by master urban explorer Shawn Micallef.

Patrick Cummins has photographed Toronto's built environment since 1978 and has worked as an archivist in Toronto since 1986.

Shawn Micallef is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto and a senior editor at Spacing magazine. 

I find it fascinating to see how Toronto has changed over the years.  Full Frontal T.O. is Patrick Cummin's photo diary of just that.  He has taken pictures of places over the last 30 years and goes back on a regular basis to note the changes.  Shawn Micallef provides commentary to the pictures.

I enjoyed this book because most of the pictures are of the west end of the city (which is where I live) and there are a lot from my 'hood.  I'd recommend it to anyone who lives or has lived in Toronto.

I noticed a couple errors, though ... for example, there are pictures that are noted to be on Queen Street W but are actually on Queen Street E.  Another is an updated picture of the corner Queen Street W/Shaw which was supposed to have been taken in 2001 but must have been 2011 since the County General, which is now on that corner and in the picture, only opened last year.

I've been following Cummin's blog for a while.  Here is one of his blog posts  about my 'hood, which is also in the book.  This is 936 King Street W (King W/Strachan).

Dude, where’s my chimney? It took a while before that spot on the roof was covered up – the details and remnants stick around sometimes. Another one that was never meant to stand the test of time, but did. Also, Toronto needs more palm trees.

I don't remember this as I didn't move to the 'hood 'til 2001.

By the time I moved to the 'hood, Nomads and Mario Lupo Hair Design were there.  I've never been to either.  I'd heard a rumour that Nomads was actually a drug dealer.  There never seemed to be anyone eating there and neighbours who  had gone were turned away because they were told there was no food.  A restaurant with no food?!  Hmmmmm ...

Nomads became the Bungalow Cafe, a place Gord and I liked (I miss it!).  We got to know Rob, the owner, who is a nice guy.  Alas, the Bungalow closed in January 2009 and is now a Thai restaurant.  Mario Lupo closed a couple months ago and no one has moved in there yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMGosh, I so love this. I can name at least two people who are going to get this book as a gift. Can't wait to see it myself. Love the post Tee.