As a cash-strapped student in the mid-70’s, I was a frequent passenger on buses coming and going from what was then the Toronto Gray Coach Terminal. And as a fledgling photographer, I was drawn to this beautiful Art Deco building with its moody timeworn aura; to the people waiting for their own departures, for a loved one’s arrival … or there for reasons we’ll never know.
I spent many hours at the station photographing with my Leica M4, in an era long before cell phones made image-making so all-pervasive. These photographs carry much about that moment in both the history of photography and the history of this City. In the years since, Toronto has continued to evolve as a vital, often life-changing hub for arrivals and departures of an ever-increasingly diverse population. But the bus terminal building at Bay and Dundas has now reached the end of that calling and will no longer play a role in those stories.
At the time of these photos, I wrote in my journal that the people passing through the bus station – waiting, coming, going – were like notes in a perpetually performed musical composition. That music continues, but in other cadences and idioms, and in other places.