Toronto, Day 1

15 June 2008, 6:39 am

I spent most of last week on the road doing usability testing for a software project in Toronto and Tampa.

This was my first look at Lake Ontario from the hotel:

To one side I could see Rogers Centre.

We talked about going to see a Blue Jays game (they were in town) but this didn’t exactly materialize.

After checking in, we headed to the test site, and Toronto’s architecture started knocking me out. This building reminded me of playing with Piet Hein’s Soma Cubes.

The stately Toronto Harbor Commission building seemed lost in a sea of parking lots and more modern construction. Also, the CN Tower is growing out of the top of it.
This shot also illustrates something peculiar about the CN Tower. It is one of the very tallest free-standing artificial structures on the planet, and it’s in comfortable walking distance of this shot. But from the ground, it doesn’t look nearly as tall as it really is, compared to other nearby structures.

The CN Tower is also a little problematic for me as an amateur photographer. It certainly commands attention, and it’s awfully photogenic from many vantages. But I’m conscious that thousands of other people have taken basically the exact same pictures, many with superior skill and equipment. I can console myself that not everyone got lighting as dramatic as this:

The Toronto City Centre area reminded me a lot of some of the futuristic paintings of Robert T. McCcall, except for the lack of flying cars. (McCall’s collaboration with Isaac Asimov Our World in Space was a favorite book of my youth.)

At this point my co-workers are in a quit-taking-pictures-so-we-can-get-back-to-the-hotel-before-the-skies-open-up mode

My hotel looked onto not only the lake and the Rogers Centre, but also onto another hotel, seen in here through heavy rain

These folks flew kites through most of the worst of the storm. I presume they were unaware that if Franklin had performed his famous lightning/kite experiment as it is often popularly described, it almost certainly would have killed him.

I like it when the line between sky and water becomes indistinguishable.

As the storm wound down, I saw a few long singular waves like this one on the surface of the lake. The kite flyers are still at it.

(There are bigger versions of these photos on summervillain’s flickr site)

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