Sublevels — Diversions

I made my way through Toronto’s many creeks by wading through them at night, photographing areas most affected by urban development. In many cases, their banks have been lined with concrete, straightened, flattened and reconfigured; their surrounding lands appropriated, cleared and graded; their waters restrained by dams and guided through blocks and weirs.

Despite these modifications, nature is managing to reinstate itself. Vegetation is taking hold within the cracks and fissures of aging, brittled cement. An ecosystem exists, yet there are signs where its all too clear that much has been damaged and may be difficult to ever recover.

I used only the ambient light emitted from the city, resulting in long exposures that render details in peculiar ways. Just as these systems bear some resemblance to natural water courses, the quality of luminosity found in these scenes often mimics daylight, but this is a phenomenon emanating from an increasingly electrified cityscape.

As cities like Toronto continue to expand, I often wonder what will become of these water courses. What else will continue to take root and grow? How much of this will endure given our tendency to quell the presence of water in the city and to manipulate its flow?

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