Sunnyside Beach, like so much of Toronto’s waterfront, is living it’s third or fourth incarnation. In itself, a seprate topic and source of visual inspiration. In addition to its colourful existence and history, Sunnyside is a perfect vantage point for some of the most fascinating light show our sky and lake put up in late season.
As the cold takes over from long Summer days, morning darkness over the lake becomes deeper and night skyline more bright. Late Fall and early Winter bring lake sunrises and sunsets. Rapidly changing, deep and heavy to bright and lively in a very rapid change you can almost set to music. As clock advances, the deep purples and blues of the morning twilight take over, pushing out the dark beyond the land horizon and slowly clearing the path for the bright low winter Sun.
Deep natural spectrum clashes with urban, manufactured, light. Once the sunrise starts, the new contrast and exchange of the colours ensues. The scene changes rapidly and transforms many times in a matter of minutes, with only cameras at hand to stop, capture, this unque fleeting light show. Deep, dark and heavy to lighter, brighter and optimistic in matter of few minutes.
Standing at the water, beach and the break-wall form strong shapes to combine with the skyline and the reflected skies into a stunning scene, full of warmth and depth. Looking at this shifting light, one has to work hard to remember the place and immediacy of urban environment. Peace and quiet, so close to the highway and rail tracks near by. Perhaps paradoxical, but this light seems ti drow out the noise of the morning rush hour traffic.
As light strengthens, the contrast between the even sky and water and shapes of the shore emerges with more force. Monochrome vision of a place that is hidden and remote, yet in the midst of the rush. Calm with the noise nearby, a still world hiding in plane sight of busy commuters.
Hard to look away. At Sunnyside, looking out at the water and at the shifting light, hard not to stop and look and think through all the winters and natures light shows, wandering how many went unibserved, unrecorded and forgotten. Sunnyside is one of those places that are easy to see but perhaps hard to fully enjoy in a visual sense. Like so many other places around the city, never what it seems at first sight at that full blast of midday light.
What better note to end the year on, looking from Sunnyside into the new year, coming off the lake and bringing us new adventures in 2016, and beyond.