On his New Laces EP, Toronto-based producer PUSHER leaned on a disparate assortment of collaborators for a genre-spanning collection that moves from the pulsing, clippy romance of “Clear” featuring Mothica, to the grimier hip hop of “Shake Down” with South African rapper Push Push.
It’s an EP as wide-ranging as the city he calls home. We asked PUSHER to take us on a tour of his favorite spots throughout Toronto in this photo diary. Hit play and check it out.
It’s important to have a place that’s easy to access where you can go to be alone and let your mind wander without distraction. A few nice months of the year my roof is great for this. Especially at night in the summer the view is world-class and it’s virtually unused by the other people in my building. Luck.
‘Studio’ is a generous term, and the exact location isn’t very important, but this is where I do most of my music creation, which is why I’ve been asked to do this photo tour in the first place. It may not look like it, but this room contains the highest and lowest emotional peaks and valleys I am capable of having as a creative.
It’s important that every city have an area that is slightly lawless and a safe place for people to exist outside mainstream commercialism. Kensington seems like it means something different to everybody, but to me it’s a place where you can go to remind yourself of the diversity of the city.
Ashbridges Bay (The Beaches)
I lived not far from the beach when I first came to Toronto. It’s another of my favourite places to escape the city. There are some secluded areas of the bay where you can go to meditate or just have some quiet with nobody around. S/O Burger’s Priest.
This area, while not by any stretch my favourite place to be, is important to me because it’s where I had my first legit job working retail (at a place I wouldn’t want to accidentally advertise for, so shall remain unnamed). The retail life motivated me to find a way to make music a paying career so I would never have to work retail again.
If Central Park were smaller, in Toronto, outside downtown (but not too far out), and had more wilderness – this is High Park. Having grown up in the country, it’s important to me to be able to escape the city, and High Park is an affordable way to be surrounded by nature.
Great view of the Toronto skyline without going to the island. For years I taught piano in the neighbourhood near this park, and I would sit in the park before and after teaching and listen to music. Lots of memories here.
Where I’ve done many of my early shows as Pusher. When I first started going here nobody knew me and I would stand in a corner of the stage area alone to see musicians I admire, now I have many friends whenever I go there. Lots of great parties go down at the Hoxton.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Have you noticed how much I like to get away from the city and chill around trees and grass? This park gets mad crowded during the few months of summer, but it’s always a good time. I wasn’t able to find the rare white squirrel for a photo op but he’s out there. Waiting.
This is a photo from the 2016 Nuit Blanche public art show. Toronto has a seemingly unending rotation of cultural events – free, cheap, and paid – that contribute to a city that offers a breadth of influences for the creative boom that seems to be happening there right now.