Toronto Laneways: 1975 – 1978©

A familiar Toronto feature – laneway or alley provides a simple paved thoroughfare running parallel to the main street that services the back areas of buildings and houses, containing gardens, garages, workshops, affordable studios and urban anonymity.

I spent years and miles of Kodachrome® slide film documenting this hidden urban gem where all manner of honest, unpretentious and practical expression was at work. Often done with questionable skills, colour sense and economic ability, but as individualistic as the craftsmen themselves. Materials used were almost always found on specials at the local hardware store, with leftover hinges and paint, tar paper, rusty nails, screws, wire and wood doing the job. All with a single aim in mind: to be practical. After all, who would really care or indeed see it anyway?
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