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Winter storm leaves behind gorgeous ice formations

Posted by Derek Flack / February 12, 2013

ice formations toronto waterfrontOne of the fringe benefits of a sudden cold spell or winter storm is that the Toronto waterfront can turn into something of an open air art gallery with dazzling ice "sculptures" spread across the shore. It doesn't happen every year — last winter wasn't cold enough, for instance — but when the conditions are right, the results are spectacular.

Local photographer Frank Lemire was on hand this weekend to capture the ice formations in all their glory. "I grew up in the beaches and now live in Leslieville," he explains. Ashbridges Bay has long been one of my favorite places to get away from the city while still being in it. Every time a wave breaks on the shore (or ice) part of it flows back into the lake, the rest gets frozen as a fresh layer, like tree rings. If winds are strong enough and waves big enough, the water sprays over the top of the ice, freezing, and thus builds up thicker and thicker."

Unfortunately it's typically a short-lived show. With warm temperatures kicking in post-snowstorm, Lemire imagines that the formations have likely all melted by now. It's possible, of course, that they'll return again — but for now at least we have the pictures. Some of them look like Lawren Harris paintings, though the infrared ones might just be the most stunning of all.

To see more of Lemire's work, you can check out his website and his current show at Lazy Daisy's Cafe until March 1st.


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Fig / February 12, 2013 at 01:14 pm
Super cool pics!
Jeff Stewart / February 12, 2013 at 01:14 pm
Wonderful set of photographs.
Trevor Black / February 12, 2013 at 01:21 pm
These are amazing photos of nature in a state we rarely see. Well done Mr. Lemire.
Michael Mitchener / February 12, 2013 at 01:38 pm
Worth the cooler temperatures to capture. Beautiful out-of-this-world collection.
brian / February 12, 2013 at 02:23 pm
pretty boring, i'd like my 5 minutes back please....and im pretty sure there stolen from a european page
Sol / February 12, 2013 at 02:40 pm
Outstanding depiction of Winter...looks like art!
Frank Lemire replying to a comment from brian / February 12, 2013 at 02:42 pm

Brian, I took all of the photos above myself on Saturday and Sunday. I wasn't in Europe, I was enjoying the beauty that can be found within Toronto if you open your eyes to see it.
alan / February 12, 2013 at 03:17 pm
excellant work Frank...excellant...
James Gonneau replying to a comment from Frank Lemire / February 12, 2013 at 03:18 pm
Frank: don't let the grade-school level troll get you down. This is a great set of photos. Its too bad that the beach isn't like it was a few years ago, when the waves created a HUGE ice "tongue" that was a gorgeous as it was dangerous.
Frank Lemire replying to a comment from James Gonneau / February 12, 2013 at 03:24 pm
Thanks James. I've been out to the beach when the big tongue was there (its there this year but not as high, more spread out and low). I saw people walking on the tongue and climbing up it, braver souls than I am - I dont want to get fished out of the frigid waters by divers. I also like seeing the circular pancake shaped ice formations that happen in the bay from the natural motion of the water. Lots to enjoy down by the water even in the middle of winter.
Malcolm replying to a comment from Frank Lemire / February 12, 2013 at 03:44 pm
Brian could open his eyes but his head is lodged too far up his ass to make much difference.
Salt / February 14, 2013 at 06:36 am
I love 'em!
Tai / February 14, 2013 at 02:22 pm
Great views, Frank. I love the Sumac flowers encased in ice. Keep on, all right?
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