Toronto’s Future of Photography at our Competition Finale

Toronto Guardian Photo Competition Gallery
Gallery Night – Photo by Sonya Davidson

The Toronto Guardian Photo Competition had its gallery show of finalists last night, hosting some of the city’s best photographers for a night of music, entertainment and incredible art. The Toronto photography competition, and surrounding events, were put on in partnership with Hinge; a small independent production studio that creates engaging short film and photographic content.

The TGPC has taken place over the last 2 months with online submissions for a Youth Category and an Amateur/Pro category. Youth were encouraged to enter via Instagram with #TGPhotoComp while adults submitted 5 of their images each via email. Our first round judges then chose the final 30 images from the adults along with the final 12 images from the youth. These images were then judges by our panel of second round judges for the gallery show announcement of the winners last night.

During the month of submissions, volunteer Professional Photographers held a photo walk to mentor youth from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, while also bringing a historian tour guide along for the trip. We toured the St. Lawrence market neighbourhood with Bruce Bell of Bruce Bell Tours who showed us the incredible history of the area while aspiring photographers snapped away with their cameras.

Toronto Guardian Photo COmpetition
Guests watching the video productions at the final gallery night – Photo by Ross Pulsford

The whole event could not have been possible without our amazing Sponsors. TELUS provided us with 6 Smart Phones for the top 3 winners in each category, Panago Pizza provided lunch for the Photo Walks and dinner for our guests at the Gallery Show, Downtown Camera provided disposable cameras for the kids along with development of the film, The Richmond Gallery was kind enough to let us use their extraordinary space for the Gallery Show, Blitz Print House handled the high quality prints displayed for the finalists images, and Steam Whistle kept the good times rolling by providing the beer for the night! Without these people, we would not of had such a successful Inaugural Gallery Show. Thanks!

Peoples-Choice---Jason-Cook---Step-into-the-Shadows Toronto guardian photo competition
Photo by Jason Cook – People’s Choice Award Winner

Guests at last night’s event also voted on a People’s Choice Award that was tallied using wooden blocks. Each guest to the gallery received a small wooden block that they could place in a cup with a corresponding number to each photograph. The winner of that prize was Jason Cook who took home a signed print of Jack Nicholson shot by London, UK celebrity photographer Lorenzo Aguis.

Our finalist judges for the night were Maria Govea (The Supermaniak) who is a Toronto based photographer who travels the world capturing clubscapes, events and the lives of DJs through her lens, SoTeeOh, Toronto Based photographer and Instagrammer, Lorenzo Aguis, London based photographer, Alex Howard, owner of The Richmond Gallery and the star of CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries Yannick Bisson who joined us remotely from set with this video.

On to the photographers.

We had such an incredible group of photographers of all ages enter the Toronto photography competition. Aspiring youth, amateurs and pros, all surprised us with their scope on Life in Toronto. The judges had a tough time picking the finalists and the winners but some well deserving photographers came out on top.

The top 3 youth each will each receive a Smart Phone c/o TELUS. The Top 3 in the Amateur / Pro competition will each receive a Smart Phone c/o TELUS as well as $500, $200, and $100 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Here are the winning photographs..

Youth Category – Ages 13-21

3rd Place – Brandon Newfield – Playing in the Shadows (412 points)
2nd Place – Bryson Gibbons – The City that Never Sleeps (420 Points)
1st Place – Robert Ong – A Bad Nightmare (435 Points)

Each of these winners received a Smart Phone from TELUS.


Amateur / Pro Category

3rd Place – Elif Rey – Surrender (394 Points)
2nd Place – Svetlana Yanina – Spirits on the Boardwalk (395 Points)
1st Place – Ashton Persaud – X Marks the Spot (396 Points)


The level of creativity from this inaugural event was breathtaking. This competition has set such a high standard and precedent, we cannot wait to see what will be submitted during next years competition. So go out and get shooting, and watch this space for the next theme.

Stay tuned for a post with all the finalists’ images and the chance to purchase prints of your own.




About Joel Levy 2523 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography