While in Toronto this week, I managed a some time away from the track and took a little side trip to an area called Yorkville. Yorkville is comprised of two parallel one-way streets, Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland, located at Bloor W. off Avenue Road, in the city proper.
In the 60's, Yorkville was Toronto's equivalent to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury and Detroit's Plum Street. However, where Haight Ashbury cycled through generational changes and Detroit's Plum street ushered out the summer of love by becoming overrun with drugs, bikers and the 12th Street riots, Yorkville entered the mid 70's with a renaissance of upscale shops, restaurants and ultimately, high-end condominiums. It was an incredibly vibrant area and saw a huge real estate and economic boom.
I spent a lot of time there in the 70's and 80's… so I thought I'd go and see how the turn of the century had treated the area.
The shops seemed to be a varied collection of independent boutiques, while it appeared there were lots of good eateries with varied ethnicity. My ultimate choice was a small downstairs restaurant with a few outdoor tables on the sidewalk. It was called Sorrel.
I had been walking around trying my hand at "street photography." You're never really sure about street photos until you sort through them later. I never hope for much… but every now and then, you get something you know is good. Ironically, in addition to dinner, I found my photographic appetite sated at Sorrel.
I decided to take a table by the sidewalk so I could continue to enjoy people watching. I ordered the mozzarella and tomato insalata and lobster ravioli as an entree. As I sat there between courses, I noticed a dapper elderly gentleman sitting at a table to my right. Finally, I couldn't resist. I took the 35mm lens off my Leica and put on a 90mm. I checked the light, opened up the aperture, turned and focused on the man… just 6 feet away. He saw me, smiled and nodded …I burst off two frames. Magic.
This is where a rangefinder shines. There is no way you could have shoved a full frame DSLR in someones face and not cause discomfort. The tidy package of the Leica M9 and 90mm Summarit f/2.5 was the perfect tool for the job.
I later found out that the gentleman was the father of the owner of Sorrel. I of course obliged them with a copy of the photo.
My meal at Sorrel was excellent and I hope I have time to return later this summer when the American Le Mans Series heads to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
84 Yorkville Ave.
Toronto, ON M5r 1B9
All images in gallery shot with Leica M9 digital rangefinder using either a 35mm Summicron f/2 or 90mm Summarit f/2.5 - shot as black and white jpegs in camera, adjusted and processed using Apple Aperture software.