Exploring the true nature of DIY punk in 2008-2013, Sean DeCory presents a compilation of some of his favourite work that showcases many stories from famed bands, grungy venues, and the colourful people who cemented the underground of Toronto.
The book features infamous performances by renowned bands from Toronto and far beyond – Burning Love, La Dispute, S.H.I.T., Column of Heaven, Animal Faces, Monarch. The emphasis, however, is placed squarely on the spaces where these shows took place; spaces that were integral in the creation and facilitation of the modern Toronto music scene by hosting shows no one else would at a price accessible to everyone. As is often the case, these venues are gone now, and the exit wound they produced is impossible to fill.
The 180 pages, softcover book features photographs of the Toronto DIY punk scene as well as biographies of some of the most infamous DIY venues in the city: Siesta Nouveaux, the Brohaus, and Soybomb. It has over 160 full colour documentary-style photographs of wild shows, amazing bands, and the people who inhabited these spaces.
The foreword by Lance Marwood – who lived in the Brohaus, one of the spaces featured reflects on the impact and importance of what took place during that time in Toronto. The book closes with short biographies of the spaces featured as well as quotes and stories from the author’s interviews with Jay Wydra of Soybomb and Lynne Rafter of Siesta Nouveaux.
Toronto DIY (2008-2013) is an important collection of photographs and writing. Documenting places that – for a time – played a vital role in the Toronto music scene and captured a community of disaffected young adults at a time when the city around them was at peak turmoil.
Toronto DIY (2008-2013) can be ordered for $35 CAD from DeCory’s website: seandecory.com/2020/05/12/toronto-diy-2008-2013/
Sean DeCory is a documentary and event photographer from Toronto, On. He has photographed professionally for major Canadian news publications and his work has been featured by Maximum Rock’n’Roll, Blog TO, Stolen Ground Publishing, and Decibel Magazine. He enjoys shooting documentary-style photos of people and culture as well as creating long-form photography projects on subjects that interest him.
Toronto DIY (2008-2013) was originally a weekend project while studying photojournalism at Loyalist College but over the years grew into a much larger collection with a much more urgent narrative as the venues were one by one forced to close.