With a love for the city of Toronto, a tattoo of the CN Tower on his chest and a clear vision, Rob Gambino, along with his team, created Streets of Toronto, a small organization of creative photographers with big dreams that captures much of what Toronto has to offer. After creating quite a large buzz on social media with more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, Streets of Toronto, in association with entertainment blog EverythingYNTK.com, recently launched the first of many pop up art exhibits, TorontoCLICKS.
Images ranging from the Toronto skyline and the city’s public transit street cars to ones of what the Toronto downtown core feels like at night were on display at TorontoCLICKS, all captured by a mixture of professional and amateur photographers.
Everything You Need To Know (EverythingYNTK.com) front man, Troy Monaco, describes TorontoCLICKS as a way to further develop connections amongst the creative photography community in the city.
“We mix it up, we’re on rooftops, that’s the main thing. We’re doing things that other people would not do.” – Rob Gambino, Streets of Toronto
Sonia Fransita, a London, Ontario native, and owner of photography website, Prspectiv, had a photo of the city skyline on display. She explained that she came to Toronto to pursue her passion of photography and aside from street photography also shoots fashion editorials and works with several local businesses and blogs throughout the city. “It was a really good pastime,” says Fransita. “I lived at home and it wasn’t the best conditions, so I started taking up photography and it was my way of healing as a child. I took that up as a hobby and I got more serious about it, and I decided to pack up my bags and move here to Toronto last month.” TorontoCLICKS provided a platform for Fransita to connect with others in the creative field such as Anthony Valin, owner of specialty art studio, Rustik Design.
Valin recreated two jerseys of Toronto’s beloved basketball team, The Raptors, painted gold with intricate designs on the numbers. “What I wanted to do for this event was blur the lines between work and what I’m passionate about and what work I do for me,” he explains. “So the jerseys were a combination of that and kind of going with the concept that people will buy a jersey of their favourite player and hang it on the wall. This is kind of taking it up to the next level. It’s using that idea and making it work with fine art, if you will.”
As Streets of Toronto moves forward, providing more opportunities for artists like Fransita and Valin, Gambino says it is the risks his company’s creatives take that has helped establish its large social media following. “We mix it up, we’re on rooftops, that’s the main thing. We’re doing things that other people would not do.”
Words By. Kayla Greaves + Photos By. Isa Ransome