Home Away From Home (2018)

I produced the series 'Home Away From Home' for my second-year Fall Photography Production term project focusing on an aspect of Toronto culture. As a native of Vancouver, BC living in Toronto, I set out to connect with other 'nomads' living in Toronto and explore their relationship to the city. The goal of my project was to photograph people who are not from Toronto in a space that makes them feel like home and create a collective that allows each subject to feel their stories are unique but they are not alone in their nomadicity.

Ahmed is a second-year Engineering student from England and beyond. He decided to leave everything behind and come to Toronto in pursuit of a better future. When he sees an empty Yonge-Dundas Square in the early hours of the morning on his way to school, it reminds him of the multitude of other people who see the Square in different ways and for him, a bittersweet feeling of stepping outside his comfort zone to achieve his goals.

Heather is a fourth-year Photography Studies student from Vancouver, British Columbia. She chose to be photographed in her room because it feels uniquely hers and she feels the most like herself there. Heather had completely taken apart her room just a few days before I photographed her in order to shoot for her thesis, which speaks to the temporality of those who live away from home. For Heather, images of home and her plants help keep her grounded while trying to make a home for herself in Toronto.

Cindy is a second-year Nursing student from Surrey, British Columbia. We met during the orientation for our new jobs at the Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre and discovered that we grew up close to each other and yet had never met before this past August. Cindy spoke about her excitement for living on her own and experiencing the vibrant Toronto nightlife.

Sofi is a first-year New Media student from Santiago, Chile. She chose to be photographed with the CN Tower in the background as when she first visited Toronto, she pointed at the CN Tower and vowed to come back. With a revitalized love for the city due to moving here for her studies, Sofi aspires to fight for greater representation of women with disabilities in the media and advertising industries and disrupt the preconceived idea of beauty.

Nick is a second-year Photography Studies student from Moncton, New Brunswick. Standing at the Toronto waterfront represents Nick’s conflict between his love of beautiful, natural Moncton and the endless opportunities for him to excel at photography in Toronto.

Victoria is a second-year Sociology student from Brantford, Ontario. As Ryerson is a commuter school, students often find themselves developing routine places on or near campus to meet up, and for Victoria that is the Starbucks at the corner of Church St and Gerrard St. She often spends time at this location with her friends and finds this to give her the greatest feeling of home, when surrounded by people she loves.

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