Photographs of the Changing Port Lands

Construction on this major infrastructure project started in 2017 and will continue through 2024. Over the next five years, our construction will occupy an area the size of 100 football fields. Work will range from delicate underwater planting to major excavation with machinery often used in mining operations.

To document this transformation, we released a Request for Proposals in 2018 seeking professional artists interested in creating a collection of photographs over the course of five years. This project started in summer 2019. Scroll down to see the first series of photos.

We hope to capture the complexities of this large construction project, but will also document changes to the surrounding areas, telling the story of how the Port Lands is changing. Once our construction is complete, these images will serve as archival artifacts that we hope will contribute to the discourse and historical urban memory surrounding this massive transition in Toronto’s waterfront history.

CONTACT Photography Festival 2021

A selection of images captured as part of this project are being featured in the annual CONTACT Photography Festival. This second series of photographs installed on utilitarian wooden structures built for their CONTACT 2020 exhibition, Framework, focuses on the complexities of excavating a post-industrial site and the resulting environmental cleanup. A Mobile Landscape offers views of the vast, dynamic waterfront landscape lying behind the construction hoardings, and therefore unseen by the general public. The outdoor installation, takes viewers on a journey from the ESSROC Silos at Cherry and Commissioners Streets east along Villiers Street. Be sure to look for it next time you walk, bike or drive through the Port Lands. You can also check out their online exhibition.

About the artists

Ryan Walker is a Toronto-based photographer, specializing in documentary, editorial photography, and visual advocacy. Having graduated in 2013, Walker holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. He is also an educator for the BFA Photography Programs at Ryerson University and Sheridan College.

Vid Ingelevics is a Toronto-based photographer/artist, independent curator, writer and educator. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor in the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University.

River Excavation

Click here to explore this photo in more detail.

People at work

Our first series of photo series focuses on people at work. The 100-hectare construction site is a place where hundreds of crew members spend long days and nights. These photos capture a moment in the workday of someone who is helping to build a new river, roads, bridges and parks. Scroll through the gallery below or click here to jump to portraits of crew members.

© Waterfront Toronto. All rights reserved. To request permission to replicate these images, please contact us.