The Beach
Project info

There's a neighbourhood in the east end of Toronto called The Beach that features a sandy stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline. It's a particularly popular place in the summertime. There are beach volleyball courts, and a boardwalk popular with dog owners, cyclists and joggers.

On sunny weekend afternoons I would occasionally propose a family stroll on the boardwalk that fringes the beach. My wife is from Peru, and would sniff derisively at my suggestion. "You don't have a beach in Toronto. We have beaches in Peru. This isn't a beach."

It's true. We don't have beaches in Toronto that compare to a real seafront beach. Nevertheless, I've grown quite fond of this little stretch of lakeshore. Not that I would care to swim in the water there. It's too cold for comfort, but more especially, I just don't trust the rather murky water so close to North America's fourth largest city. I just can't believe that such a density of humanity can maintain the cleanliness of the water in the vicinity.

But as a locale for people watching, it is a gift to a photographer and I find myself regularly drawn to the area to photograph the passersby. As beaches go, it may not be Premier League, but it is proof that even an amateur event can be every bit as entertaining as the big leagues.