About Summer Leigh

Summer Leigh is a Toronto based professional photographer with over 10 years freelance experience. She graduated from Ryerson University’s photography program with a Bachelor of Fine Art. During her time at Ryerson, she came to know Toronto’s waterfront through the sport of rowing which helped inspire her photographic series, The Past is Never Far. Since its creation, the series has been exhibited at historic Todmorden Mills and the Parliament Interpretive Centre (among others) with the support of Toronto Historic Sites and the Ontario Heritage Trust.

The next evolution of Summer’s work combines elements of The Past is Never Far, with the work of incomparable Toronto artist, Mathew Borrett in the ambitious virtual project, EnvisionTO. EnvisionTO will be an exciting virtual map for the city of Toronto, and has already begun creating exciting 3D views of historical and future Toronto. EnvisionTO is proud to have partnered with the City of Toronto’s MomenTO program to launch Project 150… Try it for yourself. Travel to Toronto’s waterfront in 1867 at: www.envision.to/150


2017: The Past is Never Far, Contact Photography Festival, Mackenzie House, Toronto

2016: The Past is Never Far, Papermill Gallery, Toronto

2015: The Past is Never Far, Casa Loma, Toronto

2015: The Past is Never Far, Papermill Gallery, Toronto

2015: Toronto: Past, Present, Future, Steam Whistle, Toronto

2014: The Past is Never Far, Parliament Interpretive Centre, Toronto

2014: The Past is Never Far, Papermill Gallery, Toronto

2013: MaxEx, The Burroughs, Toronto

2012: Temporal Forms, I.M.A. Gallery, Toronto

2011: Puncture, Ryerson Gallery, Toronto

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 Levy President, 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