Photos of Toronto’s Midnight Pool Hoppers
It’s one of the last good free things to do in this sweltering city.
All photography courtesy of author.
Toronto is a funny place. Fifteen years ago it seemed that no one could give a fuck about it. Now people are flocking here due to rapid gentrification and limitless selfie opportunities. Today it is almost impossible to live here if you're not on rent control or have rich parents with no problem putting you up in an overpriced apartment on Palmerston.
There is however something that is both free in the monetary sense as well as freeing in the spiritual sense; pool hopping. At night during the summer months in Toronto, people can be found breaking into the cities outdoor swimming pools in an attempt to find salvation from the heat. I climb over with them, shedding my clothes and jump in the water. After a short time swimming I put together my camera rig and start shooting.
There's an interesting exchange that happens between people when they’re in the pool together. A collective vulnerability of breaking and entering as well as being completely nude (in most cases). The energy is raw and authentic. We’re all out looking for something lost on our generation perhaps, something that feels like a less constrictive time.
Pool hopping doesn’t last long. If you’re lucky you may get a half hour in the pool before authorities show up and kick everyone out. What a thing to see all these naked bodies frantically running around collecting their belongings in the dark. They sprawl over the fence, shoelaces undone, T-shirts on inside out, back into the city, refreshed and ready for whatever else the night has left.
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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.