This past winter, photographer Guido Gutierrez Ruiz was scrolling through his Instagram and looking at his first images on the platform. At first, he was simply interested in seeing how his photography evolved. But, as he also has a passion for urban planning and architecture, he was struck by how much the city of Toronto had changed since he began posting on Instagram in 2013. This led him to recreate some of his early images.
The results are a fascinating look at the evolution of the Canadian city over the course of a decade. To bring the new shots to life, Gutierrez Ruiz made sure to stand in the same position and take the photograph from the same angle. He even attempted to capture people in a similar position to the original image.
“Whether you like it or not, things are always changing, for better or for worse,” he tells My Modern Met. “This little project shows how much Toronto has changed; many people may not like it because there are more projects, ‘less sky,' more concrete, etc. And then there are people who may like the changes.”
One of the most interesting things he noted was not a space that has evolved but rather a problematic project that has continued to fester. “In terms of the biggest change, I think it was the ‘Gardener Expressway’ which is the elevated highway. One is in awe of its poor condition 10 years ago and still to this day. Its extremely poor state is still a problem and it's mind-boggling as to how the city of Toronto has still not managed to fix this.”
Aside from the urban developments—or lack thereof—the Spanish photographer's then and now photos also reveal just how far cell phone photography has come. There is a notable jump in quality over the course of the last 10 years. The new photos look crisp and clear, a world away from the slightly grainy images from a decade ago.
Taking a look at the evolution Gutierrez Ruiz was able to capture is almost an invitation to other photographers to go back and do the same. Scroll down for more images and see just how Toronto has changed from 2013 to 2023.
Toronto-based photographer Guido Gutierrez Ruiz decided to recreate some of his early photos from Instagram.
Passionate about urban planning and architecture, he was curious to see how much the city changed from 2013 to 2023.
In some shots, it looks like not much has changed.
Others take a moment to realize the differences, like the reflection of a construction site that is now a reflection of a new building.
While other images are so different, it's hard to believe he took the photo from the same spot.