401 Diaries: 22/04/2013 – 6:40AM – North York


The slowly bluing backdrop of the early morning gave more character to the eventual rooms of the nearing completion condo building than there will most likely ever be.  Further into the lightening beam emitting sun, fully realized buildings were rectangles rising above an indistinguishably inorganic mass of silhouette.  The concrete highway barrier seemed to shrink toward the horizon and the westbound lanes seemed to be heading toward the same darkness that cloaked the backsides of buildings.

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401 Diaries: 18/04/2013 – 3:59PM – Ajax / Whitby

401 - Ajax - 18042013 - 359PM

The yellow flesh was off putting; especially so considering that the splayed remains seemed to cover a greater space than the trees could be remembered as taking up.  Whether or not the guts of whatever innocuous growth was purposefully, almost uniformly spread from the verging on derelict chain-link fence for reason of fertilization or reasons of ease of disposal has little effect on the shock of such an expanse of unmemorable forest being removed.  Emily Carr wouldn’t paint this scene, as there is no focal point. The copse of apartment buildings wouldn’t suffice.  Not clearly recalling the character or actual existence of any growth that was here, passing by the passenger side for years unnoticed, creates a bit of guilt.  Whatever ubiquitous commercial development that will inevitably take its place should only reinforce this.

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401 Diaries: 17/04/2013 – 5:52PM – Bowmanville

401 - Bowmanville - 17042013 - 552PM

The increasingly less skeletal but still quite transparent small shreds of trees and brush obscure but don’t completely hide an unnecessary bridge. The south side of the highway contains both commuter and grunt rails.  The north side perhaps once did.  Indistinguishable scattered blobs of bubble letters slightly heighten the contrast between the rusted metal and what could maybe be considered natural surroundings meters away from the median.  The bridge spans some sort of gap but certainly nothing more than a dry bed of chalky grey rocks home to more rusted cans of Lucky Lager than trickles of water.

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401 Diaries: 15/04/2013 – 6:37AM – Scarborough

401 - Scarborough - 15042013 - 637AMBucking the ire-inspiring trend of slightly wintery, aggressively rainy and windy and overall quite petulant trend of early April, Monday morning was warm and friendly.  The large puff of rising steam from a more modestly statured building wasn’t matched by any exhaust trails or expected puffs of breath upon exiting the car.  Scarborough’s attempt at a series of high rises, set just far enough away from Toronto to seem independent, contains just few enough buildings to be counted.

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401 Diaries: 12/04/2013 – 8:14AM – Bowmanville

401 Diaries: 12/04/2013 – 8:14AM – Bowmanville

Almost perfectly entirely grey, the cement coloured buildings of the St. Mary’s cement factory matched the barely blue and mostly dirty white sky.  The diagonals running between the buildings create the only discernable difference between them and a series of strangely close and illogically placed brutalist apartment buildings on the shores of Lake Ontario, close to nothing.  Imagining the insides of these chutes and being tossed between each similar looking building made the complex feel more human, like an Orwellian future, but much more terrifying.  Appearing to be approaching from a safe distance with trepidation, the nearest small cluster of trees looked afraid.

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