Toronto Express (1 of 2): Canada’s Vibrant Hub

Someone flying over Toronto could be forgiven for confusing the Canadian metropolis with any number of other large North American cities. Rising up along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore, Toronto appears at least cosmetically similar to several major urban centers in the United States, replete with grid plan-like layout, Major League Baseball stadium, and multi-use arena that hosts National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams. At street level, the bustling business district and crowded neighborhoods surrounding it conjure images of the Big Apple and the Windy City, and the variety of languages found alongside English in conversations reflects the broad diversity found in many international hubs. However, beneath the big city exterior Toronto has a surprisingly small town feel and its own, uniquely Canadian culture.

Toronto 24/7 from Isaac Pacheco on Vimeo.

Lake Ontario rises up behind the Toronto skyline as seen from a mile above the city.

Tiny Toronto
4.2mm @ 1/540, f/2.2, ISO 32

A couple skates down the main road on Toronto Island on a cool fall evening.

Toronto Island Skateboarders
145mm @ 1/400, f/2.8, ISO 400

Two friends light up as they walk past a large aquatic-themed mural in Toronto’s “Graffiti Alley,” a city-sanctioned art space parallel to Queen Street between Chinatown and the Fashion District.

Toronto Graffiti Alley
14mm @ 1/100, f/4, ISO 100

Commuters take shelter from a rainy day inside one of Toronto’s ubiquitous red trams.

King Street Trolley
14mm @ 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 800

A boy slides down the Simcoe WaveDeck, one of several stylized platforms that are equal parts artwork and boardwalk along the Toronto waterfront.

Wave Deck Slide
14mm @ 1/500, f/9, ISO 100

A man walks down Spadina Avenue in Toronto’s Chinatown district on a rainy fall evening.

Toronto Chinatown
70mm @ 1/80, f/2.8, ISO 1600

The warm glow of incandescents beckons passersby at AAA, a popular Toronto BBQ restaurant and bar.

The Warm Hearth
Nikon F100, Fuji Velvia 100F, ISO 100

Dundas-Yonge Square pulsates with light and energy at dusk.

Dundas-Yonge Square
16mm @ 1/4, f/2.8, ISO 100

A colorful light sculpture brightens the public square in front of Toronto City Hall.

Neon Toronto
24mm @ 1/8, f/13, ISO 100

Check out all the high-resolution shots from my trip to Toronto in my Flickr album.

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