176 pages
ISBN 1-55365-206-1
DDC 779.9'971354105





Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto-based broadcaster and public-relations


Award-winning photographer Geoffrey James’s collection of a variety of
Toronto’s diverse streetscapes are almost disturbingly barren and
stark. The black-and-white photographs record a seemingly lifeless city
bereft of its citizens,

and its plentiful birds, dogs, cats, and wild creatures. Their absence
belies the fact that Canada’s largest city is a busy, lively, and
colourful place.

Mark Kingwell, a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto,
provides an aptly existential introduction to the book, musing on cities
in general and Toronto in particular. His essay is followed by 97 of
James’s photographs, one per page, none captioned. Only a longtime
resident of Toronto who walked a great deal would readily recognize the
locations of the shots.

A second introduction, written by Ken Greenberg, “a passionate
Torontonian who can’t wait to see how it all turns out,” analyses
the photographs’ many “meanings” and speculates about the city’s
future. Greenberg’s introduction is followed by a section in which the
photos are reproduced in miniature, numbered to correspond with the page
of their large counterpart and identified individually or in groups
according to location. Each shot or group of shots is commented on by
longtime Toronto residents, including art dealer Christopher Varley,
archivist Scott James, author Greg Gatenby, and architect Roland Rom

Toronto will provoke much discussion about both urban history and
photography, and there’s no denying the technical expertise of
James’s work.


James, Geoffrey., “Toronto,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,