Toronto History

The Past is Never Far is a photographic series which explores the extraordinary changes Toronto has seen since its founding. It seeks to display the city in a way you’ve never seen it before, using old technology with new to blend past and present.

Upcoming Exhibitions

The Past is Never Far is on permanent exhibition at the historic Gooderham Mansion on Jarvis. The Berkeley Bicycle Club is a beautiful events venue in the heart of the city. Thanks to Berkeley Events!

Purchase Prints

Own a piece of Toronto’s history with one of Summer Leigh’s beautiful prints. All images from The Past is Never Far come framed in stunning metal shadowboxes.

From Music to Sport

From events to portraits, interiors and exteriors.

Whatever it is you need captured or created, Summer Leigh would love to collaborate!

About Summer

Summer has been working as a freelance photographer in Toronto for over 8 years.

She got her start shooting local musicians from her hometown Markham, and with their encouragement has been doing what she loves ever since.

In her time here she has had the opportunity to work with clients such as TD, Dell, Ontario Tourism, Portlands Energy Centre, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and more. On top of her freelance work, Summer has been focusing on a historical series about the city of Toronto. Since its creation, the series, The Past is Never Far has captured the attention of both the city and the province having been exhibited with the support of Toronto Historic Sites and the Ontario Heritage Trust.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts

    Summer has four years experience from Ryerson University’s Image Arts’ photography program.

  • Equipment

    Nikon D7100, Nikon D5100, Mamiya RB67

  • Wireless Upload Capabilities

    Her Nikon’s wireless adapter allows her to upload images from your event, live, so you can tweet or e-mail them to a client.

  • Captured with love

    Summer is determined to capture the beauty in who you are and/or what you do. Above all, she loves her job.

What others say about Summer’s work

Sheldon Levy

“This is city building at its most meaningful. [Her] images invite recognition and contemplation, teach the next generation, inspire creative initiative, and engage us in conversations that build community.”

Sheldon LevyPresident, Ryerson University
Wayne Reeves

“Summer Leigh’s exploration of landscape change in Toronto is both novel and engaging. Historical geographers often view landscape as a palimpsest – as layers of form and activity which are partially or wholly erased over time. Leigh mines Toronto’s artistic history and marries it with her own contemporary photography to literally superimpose past and present at specific sites. She reminds us that urban places are inherently dynamic; her non-judgmental eye allows us to see environmental change free of nostalgia.”

Wayne Reeves Chief Curator, City of Toronto Museum and Heritage Services