Toronto Sewers
Deep Lake Water Cooling
Journey Behind The Falls

Imaging and Imagining Water Underground

The Vanishing Point website was a resource that recorded a decade-long engagement with underground and off-limits infrastructure in Toronto and elsewhere.

As a form of citizen geography, it has informed community groups, academic projects, and the official work of planners, landscape architects, engineers and archaeologists.

As an artistic practice, this project has produced photographs and other materials that have been published and exhibited in a variety of settings, including as major public installations at the 2013 CONTACT Photography Festival and the 2014 Doors Open Toronto festival, and at ASCE's 2018 Pipelines Conference.

As both, the project contributed (as did others, particularly an internet-breaking essay by the Australian adventurer 'dsankt') impetus to the creation of a museum attraction from the William B. Rankine Generating Station at Niagara Falls, now reopened as the 'Niagara Parks Power Station and Tunnel.' The museum treatment is incredibly successful, essential visiting, and a new model for preservation of industrial infrastructure elsewhere.

To discuss commissioning or collaborating on new work, visit: undergroundphotographer.com


A Word on Seeing and Knowing Infrastructure

One of the reasons that it has been so difficult to get traction around most water issues in our North American cities is that the infrastructure has been allowed to become completely invisible. Everything is in a black box, and as a result we imagine this infrastructure as a ubiquitous network that just works.

The problem that we are coming to grips with is that everything doesn't just work — there were massive tradeoffs and damages in the way that we chose to service our cities. The photography and the historical and geographic research presented on this website is an attempt to make this infrastructure visible so that as a public we are better positioned to participate in and take responsibility for the infrastructure decisions that shape the neighbourhoods, watersheds, and cities that we live in.

Read about: Daylighting Creeks - Parks and Stormwater Spectacles - Lost River Activism - Celebrating Infrastructure Projects