rooftopping autumn toronto

Autumn Colours from a Toronto Rooftop

In lieu of my yearly saunter down into the Don Valley to take snaps of the changing colours of the leaves, I decided instead to do something a little different. Me and a friend climbed over 50 floors in order to gain a more holistic view of fall in Toronto.

As opposed to my usual spread for the season -- macro shots of the red, yellow and green hues, with the usual smattering of twigs, branches and joggers in the background -- I was able instead to appreciate the not-so-greenery from an incredible height.

I had a beautiful 360-degree view from my vantage point, giving me the opportunity to see the foliage integrated -- and at some points stilted -- into the city itself.

rooftopping autumn toronto

Using a combination of wide-angle (10-22mm), zoom (135mm) and fisheye lenses felt a little odd to me, given my usually more intimate (50mm) tendencies when it comes to the fall season...

rooftopping autumn

Looking north and down, the Rogers building seemed to stretch endlessly across the adjacent neighbourhood...

rooftopping autumn

In comparison to the beautiful northern view, the west seemed particularly noisy, perhaps due to the missing soft touch of mother nature. And yet, still an impressive sight...

rooftopping autumn

At one point we came across a gap in the flooring, shockingly revealing just how high up we actually were...

rooftopping autumnrooftopping autumn toronto

As the afternoon progressed, a thick smog began to blanket the portions of downtown to our south. Whether it was our position, or the contrast to the vibrancy of the previous line of sight, this dreary wash was most likely something not as easily noticeable at street level...

rooftopping autumn

Leaving the rather dismal view, I returned to the beautiful autumn colours...

rooftopping autumnrooftopping autumn

Beyond providing me with yet another rooftop overlooking Toronto to photograph, this particular elevation allowed me a particularly novel vision with which to lens the city, during this most aesthetically pleasing (if somewhat chilly) time of year.

In between summer's faded warmth and the cold coming months, a wonderful natural transition surrounds and entwines our built environment. Nature seems to change wardrobes just as we do at this time of year. The fiery colours of the fall seem a last grand hurrah before winter's bitter solitude sets in.

So, as another season passes, I'm inclined to dwell a little on the wonder of trees:

"Trees have a curious relationship to the subject of the present moment. There are many created things in the universe that outlive us, that outlive the sun, even, but I can't think about them. I live with trees. There are creatures under our feet, creatures that live over our heads, but trees live quite convincingly in the same filament of air we inhabit, and, in addition, they extend impressively in both directions, up and down, shearing rock and fanning air, doing their real business just out of reach. A blind man's idea of hugeness is a tree. They have their sturdy bodies and special skills; they garner fresh water; they abide" (Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek).

(To see the rest of the set, as well as high-res. versions of those pictured above, you can check out my flickr slide-show below.)

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