TORONTO IS UGLY

In Arts & Life /

By Amy Greenwood

When Aaron Yeger looks out his window, he gets a rush of inspiration. But instead of birds, birch trees and Bambi, he sees a structural beast.

“I live across and next to the most monstrous-looking things I’ve ever seen,” chuckles Yeger, a Ryerson film grad and the editor-in-chief of a new book, Ugly Toronto. The perpetrators: the Sears building on Mutual St. and the Ontario Court of Justice on Jarvis St.

Ugly City is a series of books that will highlight the structural flops in cities around the world. And the locals will pick the eyesores.

“I’ve never seen an actual, serious book on something in the art world that’s unappealing,” Yeger says.

Yeger recruited Stephen Whitehead, a fellow film student for the photography, and Adam Baker a friend since the fourth grade, for his skills in web design.

Whitehead says he agreed to do it because he “thought it was a very interesting and unique idea.” He also says that the challenge of capturing the “ugly nature and innate beauty” in buildings around the city was enticing.

Ugly Toronto is the first of what Yeger hopes to be multiple installments in the Ugly City series. He already has designs on an Ugly New York and Ugly Paris, but is focusing on Toronto as a sort of pilot project.

Yeger has a vivid idea of the final product: a high-gloss coffee table book that has 50 stunning photos of shoddy Toronto buildings. It will likely be set up as a countdown, saving the ‘best’ picture for last.

Yeger hopes the project becomes “a cult phenomenon of a book series” for people who have a palette for irony and satire and will be on coffee tables next year.

To vote, go to uglytoronto.com

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