Queen Streetcar

In late 1971, as a 21 year old with a new Leica, I began making candid photographs in Toronto on the Queen Streetcar. Riding back and forth from Neville Park to the Humber loop I watched and waited for interesting characters to cross my 'stage'. The light, the textures and the intimacy of the streecar environment appealed to me. Making candid portraits there felt comfortable. Having grown up in Toronto, I felt I shared a common start and a common destination with my fellow travellers.

After working on the project for several months, I put the photographs away.

The PCC model streetcars no longer operate in Toronto, and certainly hairstyles and headwear have changed in the forty-nine years since these photographs were made. But what I find most intriguing, and am most grateful for looking back on this work, is the unguarded reaction these strangers showed to a young man with his camera. My fellow passengers offered me an openness and an intimacy I'm sure I took for granted at the time. I can't help wondering if such trust between strangers is still there to be found.

Brian Condron, Brisbane 2020
© Brian Condron
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