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Thread: The Bathurst Street Bridge

  1. #1
    matthew Guest

    Default The Bathurst Street Bridge

    When I'm out in the city, there's one spot that I prefer to all others.
    I have the photos to prove it.

    This is the skyline of Toronto as seen from the Bathurst street bridge.

    Built in 1931, the bridge crosses eight mainline tracks and the switching lead for the GO Transit Bathurst yard.
    The yard was empty in the previous photo, which was taken at 5pm, but is full at noon. This is an eight-second IR exposure.
    The blur is from the bridge swaying with the shock of heavy trucks and streetcars crossing behind me.

    This is the south end of the bridge, where the Victorian ironwork is replaced by a concrete structure.
    The police stables are on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, just a short gallop away, and the horses are often exercised along the rail lands and under a nearby elevated expressway.
    Well south of the main trunk, this section of the bridge crossed Garrison Creek and a rail spur, both extinct.

    The bridge abutment on the north side. Titled "Wrath", this is my favourite image from 2005.
    If the city ever gets around to building the Front Street extension, whis area will be paved over and Beautified.

    Turn ninety degrees clockwise from "Wrath" and you have "Tension".
    This is a view down from the side of the bridge abutment to the rail lands.
    The train is a long string of auto racks left on a Canadian National railway siding.

    Beneath the southern end of the bridge there's a sad end to a recreational trail that goes nowhere and does nothing.
    Eventually it will link to condos on the other side of the bridge that have just started construction.
    At least the lamps can be funny.

    Here the recreational trail parallels the route of the extinct Garrison Creek, named in honour of Fort York directly to the north, and only a few dozen meters away from the original shoreline of Lake Ontario.
    This piece of forgotten land is an abandoned rail spur that served the local industries until a few years ago, and hosted a small wetland. It has since been drained as part of the previously-mentioned condo construction, but hopefully the spring thaw will bring the wildlife back.

    More auto racks, a passing GO Train, and me. Taken beneath the bridge.

    A closer detail of one of those auto racks. I've even taken a photograph of the underside of one of them.

    The Union Station Rail Corridor is operated by GO Transit, which has budgeted $600 Million over the next ten years to upgrade the infrastructure between Strachan Avenue in the west to the Don River in the east.
    The sign saying that the corridor begins is about a kilometer inside its boundaries.

    Before I worked downtown, I would ride the streetcar or my bike across this bridge.
    I'd look across and think, "One day I'll stop and take a photo of that..."
    ...and now I do.

    (Duplicate photo for thumbnail preview)
    Last edited by Bob; 06-17-2006 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #2
    ahockley Guest

    Thumbs up Excellent...

    Matthew, welcome aboard and thanks for submitting this essay. It's excellent!

    Your overall topic is something out of the ordinary, and I enjoyed the assortment of images presented to illustrate the various aspects of the scene around this bridge. The images would be great on their own but tied together to illustrate this story they are even better. The skyline photos are something that a lot of people would shoot (and you did it well) but Wrath and Tension take a slightly different eye to come up with a good composition that is interesting... you did this perfectly. I enjoyed the incoroporation of the human element including the police officer on horseback and the lamp shot

    The only photo which didn't sit well with me is the color photo with the bird... after reading the text I understand how the image fits into the story, but visually it is quite set apart from the rest.

    The text works well to provide the insight to the images without being too wordy. My only suggestion for possible improvement would be some sort of divisions to make it more obvious which text goes with which photo, as one scrolls down the page it isn't always obvious at first.

    Overall it's an excellent essay and very worthy of inclusion on this site. I recommend approval as submitted.

  3. #3
    Mike Guest


    Ugh, I can't see the photos. I don't think it's a problem with the essay, I think it's this computer.

    Obviously I can't recommend it either way, but I will say the text does tell an interesting story. I look forward to seeing the pictures when I get home and get on a decent connection.

  4. Default

    Very nice views of your preferred spot Matthew. Not only did you capture rail photos from the bridge, but you gave us all a perspective of the place. I vote for approval as is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Zanesville, Ohio


    I think it is great. To overuse a phrase, it is outside the boxy, well rounded and creative. I think it would be a fine addition to the site.

    (and hockley, that's a bee)
    Chris Crook

    pictures and yap

  6. #6


    OK, that's 3 so it's approaved.

    By the way, Keith sent me a link and asked me if I thought this essay would be OK. He suggested I run it by a few of the panel to see what they thought.

    I took one look, wrote him back and said "No need to, (run it by the panel) it's an easy choice. Tell him to go for it!..."
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by ahockley
    ...the color photo with the bird...
    Quote Originally Posted by crook
    (and hockley, that's a bee)
    Hey, this is a family site... Take that "The Birds and the Bees" stuff someplace else!
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  8. #8
    abcraghead Guest


    Very nice work indeed. Very urban, edgy feel. I especially like the GO Transit shot, and the following three -- the one of the tower framed inside the bridge very much. Nice framing, shadowplay.

  9. #9
    ahockley Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by crook
    (and hockley, that's a bee)
    Yikes. I hadn't even been drinking!

  10. #10
    KeithAlanK Guest


    When I first saw this essay (at another site Matthew and I frequent) it was apparent to me that it 'belonged' on RRPE.
    I'm glad it's been so well-received, and that I put the effort into getting Matthew to join up and post it here.

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