Toronto Hi-Fi – photographs by Avard Woolaver

My latest self-published photo book is titled Toronto Hi-Fi – available through Blurb Books.

Music has accompanied me wherever I’ve lived. When I moved to Toronto in 1980 to study photography at Ryerson, naturally my stereo system came with me. I had bought it three years earlier in Halifax–my first proper stereo with hi-fi sound. With an Akai 60 watt-per-channel amp, Dual turntable, Akai reel-to-reel, and Bose 301 speakers, it was my pride and joy.

The purchase of this stereo in 1977 coincided with the dawn of my interest in photography. I learned to process and print black and white film in the Camera Club at Acadia University and was instantly hooked. My newfound fascination with Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, and Elliott Erwitt paralleled my discovery of John Coltrane, Howlin’ Wolf, and the Allman Brothers.

Throughout the years these two interests have remained intertwined–walking around with film (or a memory card) in my camera, and songs in my head.

The Toronto Hi-Fi photo seen below, and on the front cover, was taken before I moved Toronto. I had flown up in August 1980 to find an apartment and shot it on my first night in the city; it’s one of my very first Toronto photos.

Toronto Hi-Fi
Photographs by Avard Woolaver
Hardcover, 42 pages; 89 b&w photos
20 x 25 cm / 8 x 10 in.

Yonge Street, Toronto, 1980 – © Avard Woolaver


Yonge and Dundas, Toronto, 1982 – © Avard Woolaver


My Hi-Fi stereo, Toronto, 1982 – © Avard Woolaver


Yonge Street, Toronto, 1981 – © Avard Woolaver


View from Toronto Camera, Toronto, 1983 – © Avard Woolaver


College Car, Toronto, 1981 – © Avard Woolaver


For me, photography and music have always been intertwined. In 1980s Toronto, I had a camera full of film and a head full of songs.
View from Strachan Avenue (looking east), Toronto, 1998 – © Avard Woolaver

One thought on “Toronto Hi-Fi – photographs by Avard Woolaver

  1. Worked on floor of tax and loved your pics of 1981.we have group of old traders and just sent your site.thanks for the memories. Sam branscombe

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