Saturday, May 30, 2015


On the River Tay is the city promoted as 'One City, Many Discoveries', tucked just clear of the North Sea. Two people are absent from Dundee Scotland, but David and Vicky are safe & sound and on vacation here in Toronto.

Pictured here in the Music Garden at Toronto's harbour, David and Vicky are visiting the city for the first time and will head to Niagara in a few days before heading back to Scotland in a week. A quick trip, but we are happy to have them!

David is a chef at a care home in Dundee. At capacity, the facility is home for 48 residents which means he is responsible for 144 nutritious meals a day. Vicky works in retail industry responsible for electrical goods.

This photograph was taken late yesterday, on the day they arrived in Toronto, so they say goodbye and head off to do more exploring of the waterfront.

DUNDEE FUN FACT: As the city's slogan suggests, Dundee has a lot going on. It was in Dundee that explorer, Robert Scott's Antarctic ship, RSS Discovery was built and is berthed in the harbour for all to view.


Friday, May 29, 2015


Not many people can say their earliest memories are of German soldiers feeding them oatmeal porridge! "I do remember the end [of the war]. I remember the German soldiers – although they were very nice to me, I was just a baby, I'm sure some of them had kids themselves at home" he says, remembering back when he was five years old.

Dick was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1940 at the beginning of the second world war, his father was a member of the Dutch underground and kept a communications radio hidden in the house.

In 1962, Dick moved to Canada after having served with the Dutch marines, "I was stationed in Aruba, which was horrible" he laughs remembering the pristine beaches of his arduous Caribbean posting! His older brother had moved to Canada and Dick followed soon after.

Having a darkroom at home when he was 14, he never dreamed of becoming a newspaper photographer. Through a connection, Dick got on staff with the Toronto Telegram newspaper before it folded into the Toronto Sun. During his time at the Telegram, he also helped launch Toronto Life magazine which is still publishing.

After the Telegram folded, Dick moved to the Toronto Star where he worked as a news photographer for 31 years. Much loved and admired, Dick retired and continued his love of sailing, cycling and travel with his wife Kay.

DICK FUN FACT: With a love for flying, Dick never turned down a chance to shoot a job from an airplane. One one occasion, Dick was following the Canadian Snowbirds aerobatic team in a chase plane during their maneuvers. As the maneuvers where ending, his plane banked hard over the open domed stadium, allowing him to shoot his last and final frame of the baseball game below.


Thursday, May 28, 2015


From near and far, five people gather for a group Hello portrait at the University of Toronto. For some it was the first time meeting. In one case, it was an open invitation online. Their one common bond (sorry Donovan) is that they are all Fujifilm camera enthusiasts and this is the monthly, FujiTuesday walk in Toronto.

From left: JEFF LUSH on a business trip to Toronto from Edmonton only discovered this walk online a few hours before. He found his way to the meandering group, snaking its way through U of T's downtown Toronto campus. Jeff works for Rogers and is here for meetings and to check out the city with the thought of perhaps move the family here from Edmonton. Jeff has six pet snakes, 2 boa constrictors and four pythons! Sorry about that "snaking its way through" comment Jeff! 

PETER GAUNTLETT is a creative professional who has been art director, designer and copywriter at such places at TVOntario, FOXX Advertising + Design, and Creative Niche. Possessing one of the coolest last names, he says its French and that a lot of people don't know what a gauntlet its!

DONOVAN BOND is co-founder of the FujiTuesday group, and also runs the  Fuji vs Fuji review site. It is a group for people who embrace the Fuji camera system and regularly get together to do a walk, chat about new gear, shoot some photos and socialize. Donovan is a freelance art director and designer with numerous cats.

HEATHER BROSTER & MATHIEU GASQUET are this evening's special guests visiting from Europe. They are the couple behind the very popular blog site and social media accounts, MirrorLessons. Heather's background is originally Canadian (they are here visiting family) and Mathieu is of Franco Italian heritage. Together they test, shoot and promote new gear, cameras, innovations and people who have moved away from large, heavy DSLRs and now are mirrorless camera converts. 

Heather and Mathieu's blog:
FujiTuesday blog:
Fuji vs Fuji:


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


At the age of nine, Katherine's family moved from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to come to Toronto. Serene and friendly, she participates in The Hello Project from where she sits in the late day sun at the University of Toronto.

Having graduated from U of T with a degree in immunology and physiology, Katherine is back to take a few more courses, adding to her degree. At 24, she is young, bright and taking time to carefully consider her options, "A lot of things to think about, a lot of decisions to make – you never know if you are on the right path or not".

Fighting for room in her heart, soul and academic accomplishments, is Katherine's passion for dance. A classic left brain, right brain conflict. She currently teaches dance and is deeply rooted in hip-hop and street jazz.

KATHERINE FUN FACT: Against the backdrop of the venerable Toronto institution, Katherine, like so many, struggles for a fun fact. In shocking magenta, her hair is the outwardly fun thing about this young woman that attracted our attention. Contrasting her academics with her bursting self-expression is her unique mark that she will distinguish the path she takes.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Today was all about getting out to the beach and enjoying the spectacular weather. It is here we meet Winnie and Lisa Liu. Dressed alike, it was hard to tell who was mother and who was daughter from 20 feet away!

Born in Toronto, Winnie is a first-year teacher teaching French at Woodbridge Public School in Woodbridge, Ontario. Bringing a lot of layered personal interests to her teaching, Winnie enjoys cooking art history and is an avid traveller. While Winnie thinks of a "fun fact", her mother tells us a bit about herself.

Lisa, born in Guangzhou, China came to Toronto over 20 years ago. She works as a nutritional consultant, working in the healthcare system to advice and teach people about diet and healthy food choices. Like her daughter, Lisa loves to travel, she also enjoys photography – one of the reasons they were out at the beach today.

WINNIE FUN FACT: Winnie has seen a lot of the world. Wherever she goes, she buys a shot glass from the cities she visits. These glasses are gifts to her sister! 

LISA FUN FACT: She collects interesting stones (no shortage of them here on the beach). As a traveller, Lisa also has an interest in collecting coins and stamps from around the world.


Monday, May 25, 2015


Unlike the photo of Gale Beeby in front of this hand-carved wall, she is anything but black and white. Gale is well-known to Toronto builders as one who has a broad reach in the media and is well respected by all developers.

Her path to this point has been colourful and richly varied. Gale began her path to this ornately carved plaster wall at Toronto's Ismaili Centre by taking theology at Tyndale University College. Two years later, Gale stepped into the more secular realm of small claims court where she worked for two years.

The Toronto Star hired Gale to work for Star Probe. From there, she flourished and left her tenacious mark for detail and accuracy in many departments in Canada's largest newsroom. Heady days and big breaking stories honed her news sense and she flourished. 

From the Ben Johnson drug scandal to Princess Diana's death and working the 9/11 disaster, Gale was in her element, juggling deadlines and editors on a daily basis. She became a trusted editor and contact for Toronto developers as she took over the condos and real estate section of the paper. The newspaper industry has gone through a seismic shift and Gale shifted with it by using her deep knowledge of real estate and developments. She left the Star to work more directly with those who are reshaping the city, one development at a time. 

GALE FUN FACT: Once while vacationing in the Florida Keys, Gale hit a hole-in-one on a course designed by legendary golfer, Jack Nicklaus – proving that Gale always has her eye on the ball!


Sunday, May 24, 2015


Sitting on the rocks enjoying the sun and waiting for a friend, Emily passes her time sketching. There is no shortage of people to draw here at Sugar Beach in Toronto. 

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Emily moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, then Burlington where she grew up west of Toronto. Being creative and having a talent for drawing, Emily attended Sheridan College in Oakville where she took animation. She is a character designer working for Nelvana and supervises the design team, creating characters and props for children's shows.

Not surprising, Emily enjoys being outside and loves to go hiking. Inside, she uses her creativity in the kitchen where she likes to cook. Emily is also always drawing, "Making art – I make tons of art all the time" she says laughing and nodding behind her at the Corus building in which she works.

Emily's phone rings – her friend is on his way, so we end our visit puzzling over a fun fact...

EMILY FUN FACT: Coming up with a fun fact is often difficult especially when one is unprepared to think of one. Emily is no exception as she tries to think of something, "I make my own yoghurt... no, thats so boring," she laughs, "Oh, I swam across a lake once" Emily excitedly remembers "There's a lake at my cottage, it's called, Big Clear Lake, and it took me three hours." Now, that's pretty cool!