When it rains and snows, Jamal Burger of @jayscale (a play on grayscale) runs out to capture Toronto in all its glory.
Toronto may be Canada's best-known metropolis, but daredevil Jamal Burger (@jayscale)—who's known for scaling the city's skyscrapers in search of the ideal shot—has managed to put his own spin on this much-exposed city. Instagram is already crowded with Tdot snaps, so the 23-year-old photographer knows he has to go the extra distance to snag that special photo. "If you really want a shot, you might have to hop a fence or wake up at 4 a.m. to catch the sunlight," he says.
That's why, when he's not climbing to great heights for bird's-eye views of the skyline, he's ditching his bike at the side of the road and running across a bridge to get the perfect angle of the CN Tower at the perfect moment. Even crummy weather—think pouring rain and sleet, gloomy fog and whiteout snow—gives him a thrill. "Some people like to stay in when it rains or snows," he says, "but that's when I get excited to run out."
Jamal's a risk-taker, but he's also a perfectionist, taking up to 800 photos in one day and only ever posting a handful, if that. His passion comes from a deep-seated love for his city. "Showcasing Toronto through my lens has always been important to me; it'll always be something he takes pride in."
His moody shots expose the steel and pavement of Canada's concrete jungle, transforming the Big Smoke into a hard-edged yet enchanting place at the mercy of the elements.
Jamal's fast four:
1. Neighbourhood: Queen Street East
"Queen Street East is an area of Toronto that's often overlooked. There are so many good things: cafés, secondhand furniture shops, amazing restaurants. Start at Broadview and walk east."
2. Restaurant: Rasta Pasta
"This restaurant is in Kensington Market. You can get an authentic Jamaican lunch like jerk chicken for super cheap."
3. Bakery: Bobbette & Belle
"It's the best spot to pick up cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods. They have friendly service as well."
4. Campus: University of Toronto
"If you have a day, walk around the University of Toronto campus. It's fascinating to see the buildings and learn the history [with a tour]."
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