The tenement apartment building is one of the most common structures in the suburban landscape of Toronto. Once luxury accommodations, many of these buildings now appear to be in disrepair but for my own family, growing up in buildings like these was quite a different experience than their muted and eroded exteriors implied. Despite the external conditions, the interior of these buildings were filled with people of a wide range of cultures, living and working hard to survive.
In these photographs, the wear and tear left on the building remains not as evidence of the age of the building but the presence of the building's inhabitants. Overflowing balconies, tin foiled windows, laundry lines, prayer flags, and holiday lights clad the exteriors of these buildings like an unconscious community quilt and remain as a testament to the survival, strength and persistence of the populations contained within them.
The buildings depicted in the series are located in various apartment complexes across Toronto. Each image in the series has been digitally aligned to reinforce the architectural efficiency of the building’s grid structure and, by virtue of the uniformity of its composition, highlight the individual marks made by the residents that live there.
Each of these images is printed and front laminated to a hard substrate and mounted to the wall with a hidden support to allow an unobstructed view of the edges.