Banff National Park
Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park in the Rockies. The park encompasses 6,641 square kilometre of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes.
The most famous lakes in the Banff National Park are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake which attract millions of visitors worldwide each year.
Japser National Park
Johnston Canyon is located in Banff National Park, Alberta and it is only a short driving distance from Banff. Johnston Creek is a tributary of the Bow River in the Canadian Rockies originated north of Castle Mountain in a glacial valley south of Badger Pass.
The Johnston Canyon Trail is a very popular destination for hikers. The trail is about 6 kilometres (3.6 miles) long. There are catwalks anchored to the side of the canyon in parts of the trail which offer good vantage points for the river below.
The Lower Falls is about 10 metres high with a deeply carved pothole below. You can get right up close to the falls through a small tunnel to experience the sight and sound of water plunging into the pothole and feel the mist on your face (hopefully not your lens).
As you push forward to the Upper Falls, the terrain becomes more rugged. The Upper Falls is much more dramatic at a height of 30 metres. Beyond the Upper Falls are the Ink Pots which is about 3.5 kilometres away. The ink pots are six greenish blue pools of spring water that remains at a constant -1˚C year round.
To hike the trail in the winter or spring, you will need proper gear and footwear. As I found out the hard way, negotiating the icy paths can be treacherous especially on steep climbs. However, to be able to avoid the hordes of tourists in the summer months is the big payoff.
Ladder and Stool
Jasper National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies spanning 10878 square kilometres (4200 square miles) and is located north of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
The park offers spectacular views of glaciers, crystal clear lakes, breathtaking rugged mountain ranges, broad valleys, deep canyons, evergreen forest and of course, abundant wildlife. It has over 1000 kilometres of hiking trails in this vast wilderness and the largest Dark Sky Preserve on the planet.
The scenic Icefields Parkway that connects Banff National Park to the south takes you alongside a chain of massive icefields that straddle the Continental Divide. The famous Columbia Icefield is at the southern end of the park and it is only a short walking distance from the parkway.
Jasper National Park is also one of the few remaining areas in southern Canada that carnivores like grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves, wolverines and coyotes call home. This park remains one of the protected ecosystems remaining in the Rockies.
Balfour Books is a second-hand bookstore for art, photography and fictions of all kinds in downtown Toronto. This bookstore’s compact space has a relaxing and intimate atmosphere. Books are neatly displayed and interestingly labeled with wooden Scrabble titles for different sections.
Saint James Cemetery
Toronto Urban Photography Festival
The Anglican St. James Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Toronto still in operation. The cemetery was opened in July 1844 for the burial of people professing the Anglican faith.
At that time most of the city’s population of 18,000 lived south of Queen Street West and the cemetery’s present location during that era must have been regarded as being outside city limits. The cemetery was necessary as the burial ground around the cathedral itself, in use since 1797, was out of room.
Recognizing the growing trend towards cremation throughout the world, a crematorium was added in 1948. To date over 89,000 interments and 75,000 cremations have taken place at the cemetery.
The entrance to the cemetery is located at the intersection of Bloor and Parliament Streets, overlooking the Don River ravine. Just to the west is the St. James Town neighbourhood, which is named after the cemetery.
I am pleased to announce that I will be participating in this year’s Toronto Urban Photography Festival. The 2 pieces of work shown below will be part of ‘Home - Group Exhibition’ at IX Gallery. The exhibition will run from March 9th - 23rd, 2013. Opening is March 14th, 6:30 - 9 PM.
The Wallace Avenue pedestrian bridge was built around 1907 and it connects the neighbourhood to Dundas Street West. You can check out this photo taken in 1916 from the City of Toronto Archives.
Anshei Minsk Synagogue is located in the old Kensington Market in Toronto, Canada. It was founded by poor Jewish immigrants from Russia (mostly Minsk) in 1912. The current Byzantine Revival building was completed in 1930.
The congregation has had only three full-time rabbis: Meyer Levy (1916–1921), Meyer Zimmerman (1940–1954), and Shmuel Spero, who has served from 1988 to the present. It is the only Orthodox synagogue in downtown Toronto with a full-time rabbi, and the only one that holds daily services.
Most of the Mink’s founders were poor Jews from Minsk (in Russia), who had settled in Kensington Market at the turn of the century. At its founding, it was a shtibel or small storefront synagogue typical of poorer Jewish immigrant communities of the time.
Perambulator or Pram in short, was invented by an English garden architect named William Kent in 1733. Kent was commissioned by the Duke of Devonshire to create a transportation device for his children. The first incarnation was a shell shaped basket on wheels meant to be pulled by a small pony or goat. Real prams appeared in the 1800′s and around 1870 bassinets were added.
Even though the Victorian prams were elegant and beautiful but in reality they were unstable and not very safe. They were often made of wood and held together by expensive brass joints. Not until 1965, the first stroller with aluminum frames was designed by an aeronautical engineer named Owen Maclaren which spurred an industry and evolved into today’s modern strollers.
At 32,000 square feet, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in northwest of Toronto is the largest Mandir in Canada and second largest Hindu temple outside of India.
The Mandir was constructed by 2000 builders in a record 18 months with a price tag of $40 millions. This hand crafted Mandir displays the fine tradition of ancient Indian arts & philosophy and was built using Turkish limestone and Italian marble.. Visitors are awestruck by the unique architecture and detailed intricacy of the carvings.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was dedicated to the people of Canada on July 22nd, 2007 by the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and the inspirer, His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and the then Toronto Mayor David Miller were present at the ceremony.
The reflection shows the 14-foot, 2000 pounds steel Koilos (sculpture) appears to be trapped inside this tiny space. The chaotic elements within the frame adds to the eerie feeling that the monster creature is about to leap out of the ground.
The Don Valley Brick Works is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River valley in Toronto, Canada. The Don Valley Brick Works operated for nearly 100 years and provided bricks used to construct many well-known Toronto landmarks, such as Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Massey Hall, and the Ontario Legislature. Since the closure of the original factory, the quarry has been converted into a city park which includes a series of naturalized ponds, while the buildings have been restored and opened as an environmentally-focused community and cultural centre by Evergreen, a national charity dedicated to restoring nature in urban environments.
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration is a Slovak Byzantine Rite Roman Catholic located in Markham, Ontario.
The Cathedral was conceived and funded by Stephen B. Roman, a Slovak immigrant to Canada. Roman both funded and designed the building, modeling the structure on the church in Velky Ruskov, the Slovak village he was raised in.
Among its features is the world’s largest three bell carillon, with the French made bells by the Fonderie Paccard, weighing 32,000 pounds, and 300 cm diameter. The mosaics are reputed to contain about 5 million pieces. The central tower rises 63 metres (about 20 storeys) and is topped by a gold onion dome.
The Catheral was designed by Donald Buttress, a renowned architect whose claim to fame is overhauling Westminster Abbey. This site became the first church in North America to be consecrated by Pope John Paul II during his 1984 trip to Canada.
This 100 year old steel bridge on Queen Street East stands over top the Don River and lower Don Valley Parkway. It was built in 1911 and originally owned by the Scadding Family. East side Riverdale used to be a shady part of town where bandits could be found hiding in the valley.
In 2002, this bridge went through a complete renovation. On top of the bridge, you can find the art ‘Time: And A Clock’ created by Toronto artist Eldon Garnet. The 2 metre clock is accompanied by poetic text on either side from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. It reads ’This river I step in is not the river I stand in.’