For my second thesis project I have done a photographic exploration on the neighborhood I grew up in. This neighborhood is called Leaseide located in Toronto more north of Toronto’s downtown core. I have always believed you could pick up the streets that make Leaside what is and put them somewhere on the outskirts of the GTA and it would survive as a small town. It is not a documentary on the neighborhood but a way for me to capture a place I have since become less connected to. Going to the neighborhood which used to be so present in my day to day life it seems empty now. The places remain but they have aged along with myself. Some places look the same just with faded paint and other areas look so different even demolished. Another aspect that has changed is all my friends have all moved on to new things. The children who made up the neighborhood kids have grown up. My only connection now to this place is my grandparents and my memories. The photographs are made to showcase the empty feeling while also playing on childhood nostalgia. As well the photographs though of Leaside and in some photographs make direct references to tell people where these locations are it could be many different neighborhoods and towns giving the same feeling of place. Finishing a major milestone in my educational life it seems a fitting time that this project is taking me to the place where I first started attending school.
The final form of this project will be exhibition prints for a gallery. The ideal gallery may be one held in the town at a community center though it could also be one held in a traditional gallery as well. Originally I had intended to make this project into a book and with more time spent collecting more photographs one day it could become one. Some large influencers of this project were Stephen Shore and William Eggleston. The way they photographed places has always intrigued and captivated me. I hope that these photographs can resonate with viewers as well as they think back to places of their past that hold value. I also hope it can show people what makes up Leaside.