When we lived in Cambridge, I remember coming across a piece of artwork on a market stall that always stuck with me. It consisted of four photos, all taken from the same point and at the same angle, along a beautiful tree-lined path that crosses Jesus Green. Each of the four photos was taken in a different season, and I loved not only the contrast between seasons that it displayed within one frame, but also the long-term dedication of creating the work.
Ever since, I wanted to recreate my own version, but then we moved to Toronto. Our first experience of the city was in September 2014, when it was warm and sunny. Fast forward two months and we were back, but this time it was a cold and grey November. Then came Toronto’s coldest month on record. In February 2015 we experienced an average temperature of -12.5°C, and a low of -25.5°C with a wind chill verging on -40°C. The Public Health department designated 23 of the 28 days as extremely cold, which was way above the February average. The maximum temperature throughout the month was a balmy -1.4°C.
Quite an introduction to our new city, only three months in.
But spring eventually came round, and then summer hit us, and boy did it hit us. Temperatures skyrocketed, and in the space of a few months we went from wearing almost everything we owned every time we stepped outside, to as a little as possible!
Sitting here, writing this 12 months on, this summer is as equally as hot, if not hotter, as last year’s. The day I wrote this, we stifled in 33°C heat, and we had a period of 30 days where the temperature was at least 30°C every day. The difference in temperature between the winter months and the summer can be almost as much as a 60°C swing. You just don’t get that kind of contrast in the UK, and second time round, we still can’t get our head around it!
Noticing how amazing it was that everything gets so cold, so snowy and so icy in winter, but then everything springs into bright, fresh greens in the summer, I decided last summer that it was time to start on my own Toronto version of the seasonal artwork I’d seen back in Cambridge. Except I took it a step further, and decided to take a photo every month.
So here it is, the changing months and seasons of Toronto.
2016 has been a strange year, with record high temperatures almost every month. Sadly, from the point of view of this project, this meant that this past winter didn’t see as much snow as the previous one, well certainly not on the days I took photos! Unfortunately too, someone decided to put a fence across the ravine, ruining the visual somewhat. Netherheless, it was still a fun project to do.
I found it interesting too, how short the window is in which the autumnal colours are out on the trees. The leaves are once again starting to change and with a trip booked to Vermont in a month I really hope they hold out a bit longer!