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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

SPACING: The New City is the old photoblog

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Your Monday SPACING.CA feature:

Spacing contributor Sean Waisglass scours old bookstores and always seems to turn up interesting gems. This summer he stumbled upon The New City, a photo documentary book by photographer Henri Rossier with writing from Pierre Berton. Waisglass writes:

The New City, published in 1961, features the black and white photography of Henri Rossier capturing… moments from another time, and is one of the great documents of Toronto (well worth scouring used bookstores or shelling out online for). It’s a testament to the quality of the photos in the book that Rossier gets top billing over the book’s author, Canadian literary icon Pierre Berton. As explained by Berton in the intro, Rossier was a young amateur shooter from Switzerland who walked into his office with a portfolio of photos taken during the two years he had been in the city, and asked for help creating a book. Described as “a newcomer who has been here long enough to know his way around but not too long to grow blasé,” Rossier’s photos won Berton over with their depiction of a new Toronto blossoming.

Waisglass also connects the current style of photography found on Toronto photoblogs to the feel and temperment captured in Rossier’s images. Read the entire review by clicking here.