Urban Toronto – Ashbridge House Leslieville
When Ashbridge House was built in 1854 Queen St was but a dusty Road.
Ashbridge House is at 1444 Queen Street East in Leslieville. Toronto. It’s a two-storey brick house designed in the Regency style by architect Joseph Sheard and is now controlled by the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now the Ontario Heritage Trust). I had passed this beautiful old house several times in the summer and each time I told myself I must come back and photograph it. I did – and the first time I shot it I only shot the roof. I recall it was a rather grey autumn day and the porch was under construction with yellow tape cordoning off most of it. The distinctive Regency design and architecture, green roof and red brick chimneys were very eye-catching.
The second time I photographed the beautiful Ashbridge House – what a difference to this Toronto photographer and what a great addition to my Canadian Winter diary. Being winter it had been snowing and you can see in the picture that it was still snowing fairly hard. It felt quite surreal and I am glad I that even though it was snowing I could see enough to get this picture. I had been on the street-car and I got off to walk to a spot where I thought I’d get a good view of the house without too much obstruction and watching my step in the snow. I considered framing on an angle, however decided that front and centre, eye-level was the perfect frame for this beautiful house. No fancy angles needed.
As it happened I got a great view of Ashbridge House and in particular its gorgeous green gables, the red chimneys and the beautiful porch,doors and trellis. The falling snow created a magical atmosphere, reminding me of old fairy tales, like Hansel and Gretel and the house in the woods. In fact, it’s a little like a Gingerbread House isn’t it, with its white picket fence and porch. Even the snow has a certain symmetry, seeming to complement the Regency architecture of the house. I can’t wait to frame as a print and I know it’s going to be one of my favourite art prints. To put the focus fully on Ashbridge House I decided to remove most of the road and snow in front of it, as well as on either side, without losing too much of the context. I hope you love this art photograph of one of Toronto’s historic houses – and that you’ll look out for the prints at my arts market gallery at 1114 Queen St East (yes, just up the road from Ashbridge House!) in the very near future.
Update: When I posted Ashbridge House on Facebook I was totally unprepared for how popular it would be. At time of writing it has over 400 likes and lots of shares as people continue to enjoy it. It makes me very happy that so many people enjoyed seeing this historic Toronto house. Even more exciting is the fact that a member of the Ashbridge family saw and liked my photo…. it’s very thrilling to make a connection with someone who has a direct connection to your subject. To me, making a connection on whatever level is what art is all about. If you enjoy my work and are on Facebook please like my Facebook Page and share the link with friends and family. I post to my page both from my blog and my fine art sites.