Toronto is the fastest growing city in North America and second fastest growing region in North America. It has more cranes currently erected than any other city on the continent. In the next fifty years, the population of Toronto is expected to double and the density almost double. With such rapid growth, comes rapid change.
Structures define our relationship to the urban fabric. A structure can make up part of a local skyline, part of our daily routines and pleasures or where we live. They are as important as prominent land forms like mountains and waterfronts. Structures have a history and a story to tell – a built heritage. Woven together this constructed environment – both new and old – is our cityscape and our backdrop.
This project illustrates this rapid change by documenting the transition in structures at various locations throughout the city between two moments in time, representing the City of Toronto’s rate of intensification in the built environment. These moments are characterized by demolition, construction, development and facadism. Each image preserves a movement in a moment, slowing reality to a stillness.
For Vik Pahwa, a Toronto-based architectural photographer and documentarian with a deep knowledge of the city, these images parallel his transition from urban explorer to photographic artist. This journey has resulted in a large archive of city images and a daily photography blog (vikpahwa.com) running over eight years so far. Specializing in capturing urban transition as well as historical and mid-century modern architecture (often before it is lost), his work combines an inquisitive and unique perspective with a strong emphasis on lines and geometry. Vik’s work appears in the City of Toronto Archives and, Spacing Magazine. He is also the photographer behind the images in the third edition of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide by Patricia McHugh and Alex Bozikovic.