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news

Meanwhile, Up On Zanzibar’s Roof…

UPDATED


For years, the roof above the Zanzibar Tavern has served as a peaceful escape for servers and strippers alike. But its days serving as such may be numbered.


In the early morning hours of July 23, 1984, Yonge Street at Elm was a scene of complete pandemonium. Properties around the Zanzibar Tavern were ablaze, and as firefighters were charging into the club, fifteen “striptease dancers” were charging out. According to a Toronto Star article from the time, an intentionally lit fire in a neighbouring business forced employees to run for their lives.
Many of the fleeing dancers were originally from Montreal and spoke no English. Rob Kaarto, the club’s bouncer, told the reporter at the scene: “All the French girls here were running around and screaming, but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Then I smelled smoke and got out of the building.”
As a result of the blaze, one firefighter was injured and several businesses were lost. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Though Zanzibar suffered extensive smoke damage, a firewall had prevented flames from destroying the property.
Today, a firewall of sorts continues to surround the bar. The neighbourhood is being tidied. As new commercial, residential, and academic tenants move in, Yonge Street is starting to shed its fun street image.
Zanzibar, however, resists change. That’s not to say the club isn’t doing its part to keep up with the neighbours—its Yonge Street façade hasn’t looked better, and the interior is tiptop. It has also been a member of the Yonge Street BIA since the association’s founding in 2001. Business is booming and regardless of how gentrified the community becomes, the club intends to stay put.
There is one change that Zanzibar may be forced to concede, though, and it has nothing to do with anything inside the club—rather, it’s what happens on top of it.
Brian Cameron is a Digital Initiatives Librarian at Ryerson University, who works across the street and several storeys up from Zanzibar’s rooftop at 359 Yonge Street. By email, he told us that for years it has been common knowledge among library staff that Zanzibar’s dancers and servers routinely venture onto the strip club’s rooftop. After moving offices a year ago, Cameron glanced out his window to discover his new work station afforded him a (slightly obstructed) view overlooking O’Keefe Lane and the rear of the strip club. Cameron, who is also a talented photographer, is continuously on the lookout for unique cityscape scenes; staff of the Zanzibar in repose fits this genre nicely. Over the course of a few months, Cameron photographed employees soaking up rays, catching up with co-workers, making calls, having a smoke, or just enjoying a break.
Back across O’Keefe Lane, when asked about staff taking breaks on the top of the club, Zanzibar management said that the women have been venturing on to their “rooftop patio” (their words) for years. Rooftop patio? Really? Between the lack of comfortable seating, the dilapidated fencing, stench pipes, and plank walkways surely treacherous for anyone in heels, we would hardly refer to this area as a patio. Considering patrons frequent Zanzibar in order to enjoy the talents of those performers, Torontoist wonders, would it be too much for management to provide lawn chairs for employees?
To date, Zanzibar have never received a single complaint regarding the women’s rooftop lounging, they say. In fact, they are of the opinion that, considering the layout of the roof and the configuration of the surrounding buildings, it’s impossible to glimpse the rooftop at all.
Newsflash, Zanzibar.
Cameron has not heard complaints from his co-workers, either—even when, at times, Zanzibar staff appear topless. That may change in 2013, when Ryerson University is scheduled to open their new student learning centre a few doors down from the Yonge Street club on the former site of Sam the Record Man, A&A Records, and World of Posters. When the multi-storey building is completed, the minimal privacy that Zanzibar staff are currently enjoying will be reduced even further.
The Zanzibar Circus Tavern—the club’s official name as stated on its operating license—has been in business nearly six decades. Before Zanzibar was Zanzibar, it was known as the Rosticceria Tavern. Billed as a dining lounge, it promoted after-show meals, booking nightly entertainment in its Elixir Room. As far as we can gather, Rosticceria staff was clothed. However, besides a menu of French and American cuisine, the restaurant also offered male patrons something they referred to as a businessman’s lunch.
Early in the 1950s, the Rosticceria went under. Zanzibar opened in its place, continuing to offer a dinner menu and live performances, though these were not nearly as racy as they would eventually become. In addition to performers like this, the Zanzibar also booked a variety of other talent, including jazz trios, lounge singers, and comedians.
Go-go dancing came to Zanzibar in 1965. In the 1970s, with Yonge Street at its raunchy best (or worst, depending on your point of view), the club boasted that “every bench was a waterbed” and promised that “the girls never stop.” From time to time, placard-waving protesters gathered on the sidewalk in front of the establishment.
In spite of the change in season, Cameron continues to see Zanzibar employees on the roof. As for where they go for smoke breaks in the depth of winter, Cameron was unsure. Last winter, he says he paid no attention to the goings-on outside his window.
Photo by Brian Cameron.

EDITOR’S NOTE: NOVEMBER 24, 2010, 9:55 PM When it was first published, this article featured ten of Brian Cameron’s photos of women who worked at Zanzibar, as they took breaks on the building’s roof. In several of those photos, their faces were visible; in almost all of them, they weren’t wearing much clothing. Sex, though, was far from the photos’ focus and far from ours in writing about them. We featured the photographs, instead, because they were compelling and unexpected—even beautiful—portraits, ones that complemented our story about Zanzibar’s history and what would come of what management called the “rooftop patio” once more neighbours moved in.
Most importantly, though, we featured those photographs thinking that the women depicted in them knew they could be seen.
While Zanzibar’s owner, Allen Cooper, mentioned to Torontoist that he didn’t think the roof was visible from nearby buildings, several other employees we’d interviewed for the article said otherwise. (“Who complained?” one male employee asked, half-jokingly, when it came up.) In short, we never thought that the women who were being photographed thought, themselves, that the roof—with buildings like Ryerson’s library overlooking it, and Yonge Street surrounding it—was private. But we don’t know for sure: we made a mistake, and didn’t speak directly to those women before featuring photos of them in which they could potentially, against their wishes, be identified. If we had spoken to them, and they had objected, this article would have been very different, if it was written at all.
Out of respect for those women and their privacy, then—privacy that they deserve, and that we did not for a moment intend to violate, but that we are very sorry if we have—we have removed all but one of Cameron’s photos from the article above.

Comments

  • W. K. Lis

    Oh my god! The horrors! We must put a stop to that activity. Of all things, SMOKING? The roof should be a no smoking area.
    What were you thinking I would be upset about?
    :^i

  • toronto_llb

    Both this post and Brian Cameron are sort of skeevy.

  • http://undefined rahrahraina

    Oh no! NOT FEMALE BODIES! Why are they ALWAYS causing trouble.
    Am I allowed to complain about male roofers not wearing shirts on my street in the summer?
    Not that I would, mind you.

  • mikeyteeth

    Great photos, especially the last one. Not sure what the article is trying to say though. Too much reporting, you know?

  • rek

    I’m glad someone it on top of this, because if there’s one thing university students hate, it’s sexuality.

  • http://undefined sjfbarnett

    Just because Brian Cameron is a “talented photographer”, it doesn’t mean the term “Peeping Tom” can’t be applied. Taking photos of these women while on a break from their indoor job is, as Toronto_llb put, “skeevy”.

  • http://undefined Panic

    Did anyone get permission from these women to publish these photos? Just because they dance inside Zanzibar doesn’t give you the right to post photos of them in various states of undress. What. The. Hell.

  • LittleRiddle

    Yay… I agree with most said above. (How refreshing!) I do like the last shot, the fact that it was caught so candidly is cool- but the context and the ‘model’ not knowing it would be in an article like this, is only a wee bit “skeevy”. They are in a public place, NOT their bedrooms after all. They could wear a robe outside if they were concerned. :) The result is authentic and kinda lovely all the same..and Hell, they are wearing MORE clothing than is legally required in Toronto’s streets (remember we’re ‘allowed’ to go topless folks? )… They are dressed about as modestly as your average teen girl anyway. So why should the ‘locals’ have an issue?
    Agreed, they should have a few lawn-chairs with pillows or something a little more comfy for their scantily clad tushes. :)

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Ummmm… Ewwwww… Creepy. Don’t you need to get permission from these people to publish their photos publicly? Just curious.

  • LittleRiddle

    Actually I believe photographers do have the ‘right’ to post photos of people in ‘public’ places or events. Sad but true. No model release forms are needed anymore, and if it’s for a journalistic piece- they can pretty much do what they want. (I’ve had photos of me used on several occasions in magazines and papers- with no permission or credits, it kinda sucks, but it’s how it’s done now.) I don’t think he’s assuming these women can be photographed just because they dance nude-but because they are truly not too concerned with being seen, otherwise they would cover up before going outside.
    (Been there, done that.)-It’s not a big deal! They look fantastic, why would they hide? :)

  • LittleRiddle

    Nope. Not anymore. See my reply to Panic above if you want. :)

  • http://undefined avp77

    I don’t think the guy who sent you these photos was that smart, this is gonna be trouble one way or another (especially since the photos are taken from his workplace, which was publicized as well).
    Making this public is like learning that they hooked up draft beer straight to your water tap, and then complaining about it!!

  • Dry Brain

    Not, “not anymore.” Permission has never been needed to publish photos of people taken in a public location. Freedom of the press and all.
    The question here is, was that freedom used responsibly?
    To be honest, while I understand the point of view of those concerned about these pics being invasive, I wasn’t creeped out. It’s up for discussion, though.

  • http://undefined avp77

    There’s also a question of what constitutes a ‘public space’. I remember several court rulings that being naked and/or engaging in sexual activity in situations such as a car parked in the shadows at night, or in a room where the curtains are not drawn, but someone would need to make a real effort to crawl up and see what’s going on, is not considered to be public indecency.
    I’m not sure if a small rooftop retreat that is partly observable from a single office window (as far as we know) is a space where people should not have a reasonable expectation of any privacy.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    I’d have to disagree. Wouldn’t they just smoke out on Yonge street then? They obviously seem to think they have some privacy on the roof.

  • http://undefined Panic

    Why would they hide? What if their families and friends don’t know they’re dancers?
    Just because you legally “can” do something does not mean you “should.” This is exploitative and morally suspect. Perhaps they didn’t know they should cover up because some asshole across the way was interested in taking photos of them in private moments. If I’m in public and the wind flips my skirt up, showing my underwear to everyone, I should have some reasonable assurance that I won’t be photographed and put up on the internet. It would be legal to take and distribute that photo, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t total bullshit. Or is it different because they’re strippers, they shouldn’t expect the same decency? Remember, they did not go to the roof for the purpose of being photographed, they went there — ironically enough — to take a break from being looked at.

  • http://undefined rek

    Nothing has changed, so I’m not sure what you’re referencing with “Sad but true. No model release forms are needed anymore…”. Model release forms are commercial agreements intended to secure the use rights and cover the asses of the people using the photos or video, it has nothing to do with privacy. The only legal issues surrounding the Charter-right to take photos have to do with trespassing and reasonable expectation of privacy, revealing the identity of young offenders, and libel caused by editing/captioning published photographs.
    What state do you think journalism, documentation of events, and art in general would be in without the legal right to take and publish photographs without release forms?
    More on the rights of photographers in Canada here.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Yea that is what I’m wondering too. How “public” of a space is this if it is “a (slightly obstructed) view” (of a rooftop none-the-less) only viewable (probably the girls are completely unaware of this) from one creeps work area?

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    And he published these photos to Flickr :\ Judging from his photosets, he’s got quite the perverse eye for photography to begin with. Not to mention an entire collection dedicated to “Strippers, strip clubs, sex shops, adult cinemas, etc…”
    Jus sayin’. Draw your own conclusions.

  • http://undefined rek

    They may think it’s private, but that doesn’t mean it is. It’s visible from this other building (not just his window, and that roof as well probably), possibly others too. If it isn’t enclosed in some way, I don’t think they’d have a argument in court.

  • http://undefined rek

    Oh no, sexuality and nudity!

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Which I’m totally fine with. I guess you missed the point entirely…

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    You know. I may “think” my bathroom window is not visible from outside, but if it was, you’d think the responsible thing to do would be to inform me, not hide in the bushes like a perv and take pictures of me.

  • http://robsonian.tumblr.com/ Robsonian

    yeah – I’m pretty sure citing chapter and verse about who’s allowed to take pictures where is missing the point here. These are really neat photos, but the whole thing leave a bit of an ‘ick’ taste in my mouth. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the word skeevy.

  • http://undefined rek

    The two situations are not necessarily comparable. I’m not a lawyer, but even with the curtains open I think there is a reasonable expectation of privacy when you’re standing naked in your bathroom. Not so when you’re on your 8th floor patio. Or the roof of the place where you work.

  • http://undefined heyba

    I think Torontoist should take down any shots that are identifiable.
    Would you publish identifiable portraits of an individual male construction worker working “in public”, without his consent?

  • http://undefined Dry Brain

    Why not?

  • http://undefined NancyC

    There’s the law, and then there’s ethics. Anyone who thinks the two are always the same is naive.
    Ick, indeed.

  • http://robsonian.tumblr.com/ Robsonian

    construction workers do work “in public” and are often photographed, albeit incidentally. I’m not sure I understand your comment…

  • http://undefined steviep

    This is just creepy.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    If you beleive that the rooftop is not visible to others, does that change your tune? But I digress, cause again you missed the point. Morals aside, it’s about ETHICS!

  • http://undefined Laura

    This is beyond sleazy. These photos should be taken down. Ever wonder why girls use fake names in strip clubs? They usually don’t want to be identified in “the real world”.
    Just because you’re legally allowed to take photos where these girls OBVIOUSLY AREN’T AWARE OF IT, doesn’t mean you should.
    Creep.

  • http://undefined rek

    Why does their belief they are invisible trump a) the reality that they are not, and b) the photog’s belief [supported by law, it seems] that they are fair game? It’s easy to toss around ethics if you refuse to consider all the parties involved (because he’s “perverse”, as you’ve called him).

  • http://undefined Laura

    Also, isn’t this the same photographer who was hiding in the bushes just to take a photo of the front of Filmores during G20?
    This guy has issues.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Please don’t misquote me, I said he seems to have a perverse eye for photography. It’s fine, you think there is a reasonable expectation of privacy if standing in my bathroom but not on a private rooftop. I doubt that they are aware that anyone can see them. You keep citing the law, but avoiding the idea of ethics, which you skewed to your points to paint a picture that I called the author a pervert. I mean what do you even MEAN when you say: Consider all parties involved? What would I consider with the author? Puh-lease.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Wow. Like. Fucking. Wow. Torontoist shouldn’t be enabling these kinds of people.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    I also think you’re mixing up the words morals and ethics ;)

  • http://undefined Laura

    I know a few of the girls in those photos personally and I can promise they would most certainly NOT be okay with having their photograph taken.
    Obviously the girls are up there in their work outfits because they feel safe and comfortable. This loser completely violated that.

  • http://undefined avp77

    It’s Torontoist’s new format: “Downtown & Up-skirts” ;)

  • http://undefined Craig C

    If this Cameron guy was enjoying his view, then he’s a bit of an idiot, because I’m sure he’s just lost any chance of these girls continuing to use their roof now that they know it has no privacy.
    In my opinion, this is ridiculously disrespectful to share these images publicly.

  • http://undefined bigdaddyhame

    Just to point out…
    If the photographer can see them on the roof, then they can see where he took the photograph from. Meaning, there are buildings with windows within ‘shooting distance’ of the roof.
    Ethics aside these girls, if they are actually concerned about their privacy, could be reasonably expected to have sussed out the general area to see if there were points of view from which they could be seen while having a break in their uniforms. It would definitely be possible for them to see wherever the photographer took the photos from and decide whether or not they wish to be viewable. Downtown is getting quite dense with condo towers and such so I don’t know if a low-level roof could ever be considered private nowadays.
    To echo Craig C’s comment, Cameron’s more or less blown the possibility of seeing strippers on-break on that roof now that it’s been made obvious that they can be seen and photographed – others will definitely try to get the same kind of shots.
    Who knows? Maybe the strippers already know and will continue to do their thing.

  • http://undefined Japhet

    Whoop-te-fucking do!
    Cameron’s a perve and while there’s nothing wrong with that, taking photos without someone’s permission is wrong and publishing a pointless article about it is doubly so.

  • http://undefined bigdaddyhame

    Just to point out…
    If the photographer can see them on the roof, then they can see where he took the photograph from. Meaning, there are buildings with windows within ‘shooting distance’ of the roof.
    Ethics aside these girls, if they are actually concerned about their privacy, could be reasonably expected to have sussed out the general area to see if there were points of view from which they could be seen while having a break in their uniforms. It would definitely be possible for them to see wherever the photographer took the photos from and decide whether or not they wish to be viewable. Downtown is getting quite dense with condo towers and such so I don’t know if a low-level roof could ever be considered private nowadays.
    To echo Craig C’s comment, Cameron’s more or less blown the possibility of seeing strippers on-break on that roof now that it’s been made obvious that they can be seen and photographed – others will definitely try to get the same kind of shots.
    Who knows? Maybe the strippers already know and will continue to do their thing.

  • http://undefined Mi-jo

    I have no problem with the female body, I can’t see how anyone would be offended by these ladies taking their break up there, but it seems rather unethical to post pics of them while they are not aware, especially at their place of business.
    You can’t take pics in strip clubs for a reason, these women deserve more respect than this :(

  • http://undefined rek

    The girls may feel they are completely hidden, that the roof is isolated and private, but the photographer can’t read their minds. From his perspective they may as well be on the sidewalk out front, because he can see them, and if he can then so can others. This is what I mean when you fail to consider both parties.
    (There is also the issue of this being a place of business rather than a private residence – how much privacy can they expect, or be entitled to, when on the premises but outside?)

  • http://undefined bankzy

    SHAME ON THE TORONTOIST for creeping on dancers on their smoke break. just another example of control that society feels it has over sex workers’ careers and bodies – a lack of respect for a woman’s privacy. This isn’t an issue about the dancers’ intentions, this is an issue about the Torontoist’s intentions… to make publicity off of creepy pictures from a secret cameraman from women clearly looking for a break from prying eyes.
    let’s home the constitutional case against sex work is successful, so that finally sex workers may be able to regain some semblance of control over their line of work, their privacy, and their bodies.

  • http://undefined heyba

    Generally when I see a photo of one man (not a group), in an editorial context (not an ad), and he is the subject of the image, he is identified by name. I believe it’s because men are not perceived as decorative, but as individuals.

  • http://undefined Carrie

    By using the tags: #Discovery! and #sex, The Torontoist blows apart their argument for #Journalism and #Credibility
    And really, since when does “discovery” deserve an exclamation point?

  • http://undefined Nico

    This is creepy and wrong – morally and possibly criminally as well. This sounds an awful lot like criminal voyeurism. These women are on the roof of a private building and clearly had no idea they were being photographed.
    I am deeply disappointed in Torontoist. The editors should be ashamed of themselves and make a formal apology – to the women photographed without their awareness or consent, and to their readers. Assuming there are any left.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    If the photographer can see them on the roof, then they can see where he took the photograph from. Meaning, there are buildings with windows within ‘shooting distance’ of the roof.

    You failed geometry didn’t you?

  • http://www.weekendpictures.ca weekendpictures.ca

    Regardless of the beauty of the women and/or the photographs, Canadians have a right to privacy even in public spaces. Check out Aubry v. Éditions Vice-Versa inc., [1998] 1 S.C.R. 591.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    The girls may feel they are completely hidden, that the roof is isolated and private, but the photographer can’t read their minds.

    You’re serious? Please tell me you’re not serious? I can’t read their minds, so I’ll just make up their minds for them? Is that your belief? Using some tact and common sense may be helpful here.

    From his perspective they may as well be on the sidewalk out front, because he can see them, and if he can then so can others. This is what I mean when you fail to consider both parties.

    I have considered both parties. Believe me. Concluding that, just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The sidewalk analogy is ridiculous. Don’t create fake scenery please.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Brian Cameron is a Digital Initiatives Librarian at Ryerson University, who works across the street and several storeys up from Zanzibar’s rooftop at 359 Yonge Street.

    When I look at this from Google Street View, the only buildings across the street are 3 stories tops, same height as Zanzibar. What’s up with that? Did he get a room at the Delta to take these?

  • http://undefined ridonkulous

    What a tragic story: Strippers without chairs! It is breaking my heart. Is there somewhere we can donate to end this horror?
    And what about the creepy librarian who is sneaking pictures of women unknowingly? Uh, isn’t he supposed to be working? Pay attention Ryerson! Where do you find ‘creepy, stalker’ in the Dewey Decimal system?

  • http://undefined Headonist

    of course it’s probably legal, lots of rude, disrespectful, creepy things are legal. Cameron is no better than paparazzi hiding in the bushes so they can get a pic of a celeb when she leaves the house in sweatpants and no makeup – and the Torontoist is no better than the grocery store rags that publish that shit.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Welcome, Ned Flanders…
    The guy has almost 3,000 photos on his stream. He has one set with the OUTSIDE of strip clubs, etc., with 39 pics, one for Pride with 16, and a bondage one with 61.
    That’s just over 100 of almost 3,000 pics.
    Yeah, a real second Larry Flynt…

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    You failed history, didn’t you?

  • http://undefined Paolo

    Gee, Torontoist, your stripper pics reminds me of when I would take pictures of random hot guys on the beach. I was so scared of those guys beating me up. But with girls, it’s totally ok apparently.
    Would you have taken their pictures if they were clothed? Would you have take pictures of the roof of Remington’s? I have so many questions right now.

  • http://undefined oceanpark

    this all seems like an excuse to post pictures of scantily clad women, and it’s a very poorly argued, unfocused and morally suspect excuse at that. did you ever think you might be outing them to family and friends, or putting them at risk? was it worth it?
    if i wanted this garbage i’d read the toronto sun. at least their sunshine girls gave their consent

  • http://undefined Scorbutic

    Could people please stop referring to grown women as “girls”?

  • http://www.torontoist.com David Topping

    We’ve removed all but one photo from our Zanzibar gallery. Here’s why, and what happened.

  • http://undefined Chester Pape

    That case only applies in Quebec because it depends on a very different expectation of privacy in the Napoleonic code.
    Further it only applies to publishing of the image, it’s still perfectly legal to take the pictures for personal use.
    As others have said, it may have been technically legal, but a grade A jerkwad thing to do.

  • http://undefined Joe

    “Between the lack of comfortable seating, the dilapidated fencing, stench pipes, and plank walkways surely treacherous for anyone in heels, we would hardly refer to this area as a patio. Considering patrons frequent Zanzibar in order to enjoy the talents of those performers, Torontoist wonders, would it be too much for management to provide lawn chairs for employees?”
    Is it too much to think that THE TORONTOIST, rather than sleazily paying a photographer to take a series of photos of a group of paid entertainers without asking their permission to do so, might take that same money that paid the photographer and then furnish the dancers at the ZANZIBAR with a few lawnchairs, rather than crying transparently fake crocodile tears when the whistle is blown on them for being the unethical jerks the article in question shows them to be.
    Considering that you have the nerve to say “If” when you say “Out of respect for those women and their privacy, then—privacy that they deserve, and that we did not for a moment intend to violate, but that we are very sorry if we have” maybe you should put somke money where your apology is. Sleazy, sleazy, sleazy, jerks, whoever “vetted” this piece.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Do you think women who work in a place that advertises “Girls, Girls, Girls” really care?

  • http://undefined Joe

    It’s not the women who work there who put up that sign…

  • http://undefined Joe

    Do you honestly think that photographer wasn’t paid by THE TORONTOIST for his photos? Those photos were not for his “personal use”.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Indeed. And its not the girls who work there who refer to themselves as women.

  • http://undefined Joe

    Is it a “public” space if the public has to go through a private business or residence to gain access to it? Just because someone can find a vantage point and snap a photo doesn’t make the place that they are photographing “public”. That’s like saying someone can take a photo of someone through a hole in a wall around a private space and then claim that the space was public all along – it doesn’t wash.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Without having read any of the comments (and having only read this late in the mix, after some 64 comments were posted), this entire piece is just effing creepy, David. And to boot, you gave a “talented photographer” ::groan:: an effectively free PR by aiming to draw notice to a given in what titillates many readers: “chicks and intrepid voyeurs,” the age-old peeping tom model.
    While I’m sure others have carved and lambasted you above accordingly, and while I know nothing I can say really affects you whichever way, one thing to set out anyway: you can do better than this, David, even if this piece meant instant happiness for Torontoist‘s advertisers and better revenue generation orchestrated by the blog’s “imagineer.”
    ::another groan, but this time at the lazy Disney paean::
    And to think this fell right on the heels of yesterday’s big kerfuffle and ado about Toike Oike‘s poor editorial judgement for the quoted homeless guy being used for the cheap laugh. Cheap is as cheap does, but I would really hope that Torontoist is better than that. Seriously.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Yes, Caligula, they do.
    They also need to maintain a roof over their head and food in their craw.
    Doing so doesn’t instantly negate the previous.
    Zanzibar is no Lusty Lady, but the women who work(ed) at both are equally women irrespective the marquee draw.

  • http://undefined Joe

    Are you saying that ZANZIBAR’s hiring people under the age of consent to work for them, or are you just being a smart-ass about how they earn their living?

  • http://undefined Joe

    Actually, the belief that the subjects of the photos have that it’s a private place they are standing in is the fact that determines whether the photographer is engaged in Criminal Voyeurism, and THE TORONTOIST might be in a shitload of trouble if they paid for these photos if this goes to court.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    rek, as a photographer, I hew to this four=point test criteria for ethical composition when candidly shooting photos of absolute strangers (except in Québec, where candid photography is illegal without express consent):

    • “public space” is, as a planner, what I define as land owned by a public (governmental) entity, or a commons (Y-D L7 would functionally qualify here);
    • “public space” means that I, as photographer, must either be in a space that meets the “public space” test above, or adjacent thereto if no obstruction (i.e., sitting next to the panel window of a café);
    • the subject must also be in “public space”, or be in plain view from that public space. “Plain view” is a judgement call, but generally if I have to work at getting a shot of someone due to some sort of obstruction which puts them out of view of a “public space,” then it’s probably not a good plan; and
    • if I’m obscured from that “public space” — that is, if a subject would have difficulty from their vantage in that “public space” to see me (i.e., using a telephoto from a balcony a few storeys up), then it’s probably not okay.
    • and if still I’m unsure — should any or all of the above criteria fail to be met — an identifiable face in the shot pretty much makes it an instant “hell no, sorry Charlie” scenario.

    Yeah, I know this is an age-old debate, and it’s one which has roiled the ethics forum on the Analogue Photographer Users Group site a few times over, as with other forum gatherings. Yes, this is restrictive and will make some photogs whine in their breakfast. And yes, it may be that some photographers will entirely dismiss forthwith the above criteria in leveraging a decision to shoot or not. So be it. But for the sake of discourse and clarity, defining “public space” must be clear and, done properly, is clear.
    What our “talented photographer” at Ryerson did failed to meet this test on every single point. This was something that the editor should have at least grasped beforehand since the Ryerson guy clearly did not. But our fearless editor already got the dressing-down.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    W to the ord.

  • http://undefined Laka Dukus

    If you are in public then you don’t need permission.
    I can photograph all of you for my next article (I don’t work for Torontoist by the way) all I want.
    There is a difference between legality and morality/ethics.
    Some people can say these “ladies” have low ethics for what they are doing.
    The media outlets can follow you as soon as you step out of your house and until you go inside your work place and take photos all they want of you during your ride to work.
    The “ladies” are on top of the rooftop since it is private property (zanzibar’s building).
    Technically no one should talk about ethics since these “ladies” don’t have a job with a lot of ethics or morals.
    They are no better than the prostitutes on the streets, both of them sell their bodies for money.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    You are no better than these women.

  • http://www.weekendpictures.ca weekendpictures.ca

    Correct, Quebec operates under civil law. The decision still serves as a helpful reminder that it’s always best to ask permission before sharing.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    It is less that Québec operates under état civil and more that a specific provincial court ruling was meted on this specific matter. État civil had been in place for well over a century, post-Confederation, before the Québec supreme court opinion was made.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    I got pretty good marks in geometry, so I feel pretty qualified to say that he’s pretty right.
    Geometrically, if he can see them, they can see him; and they can certainly see “where he took the photograph from”.
    The biggest exceptions to the former are: 1) lack of suitable optics (zoom lens, binoculars, etc) which has nothing to do with geometry, and 2) one-way-mirror effect, like you would encounter trying to look into a high-rise window, which has to do with geometry in the same way half of our daily life phenomena do.

  • http://undefined holly

    It’s cute how you think the photographer, in this instance, was paid. The only thing more naive than that is thinking this was an assigned photo essay.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    Character assassination. Jus sayin’.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Glad you were able to follow my instructions. Also glad you looked REALLY deep into the photosets to see what I was talking about :P
    No need for the 50 something, lame insult though…

  • http://undefined the_lies

    Accozzaglia are you inferring that what these women do is wrong?

  • http://undefined holly

    Scratch that, the only thing more naive than that would be the expectation of privacy (“no one can see me”) on a Yonge street rooftop that is surrounded by taller buildings.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Yes! Cause CLEARY a recent change in geography equates to an academic history failure. God, where do you people come from?

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Buy a dictionary. Jus’ sayin’

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    2 words: Elliptic geometry. In this case the sphere is the angle from the building (up) to the building (down) and vice-versa, which doesn’t necessarily share an axis point. It’s the entire reason you can’t see into a 5th floor window from the ground floor or from street level. However, a 5th floor window can see to the ground floor often, completely hidden, because of the differing angles.

  • http://undefined Laura

    Oh, you’re one of those.
    No morals or ethics? Most of the girls in the industry are making a legal, honest living. Maybe you should take your head out of your ignorant ass.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Only if you get your ethics & morals cues from some sort of bible or other religious fanaticism.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    No. The inverse. He failed.

  • http://undefined Craig C

    Thank you Torontoist for correcting yourselves and taking down those photos. This was an excellent example of why one shouldn’t assume in journalism or elsewhere for that matter.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    I prefer not to kill trees unless I have to. Did you have anything specific in mind?

  • http://undefined Neville Park

    This was creepy, prurient, and ethically dodgy.
    “Sex, though, was far from the photos’ focus and far from ours in writing about them.” Why is the story tagged “sex”, then? Why the coy insinuations that people didn’t complain about the women taking breaks on the roof because they found it titillating?
    “If we had spoken to them…”—well, why didn’t you speak to them? Why did you interview Cameron, Cooper, and other Zanzibar employees, but were completely disinterested in speaking with the people who were actually pictured? Why didn’t you consider that their consent might be important?
    Simply because someone is out in public doesn’t mean it’s okay to take photos of them—especially if they have a presumption of privacy, especially if they are routinely disrespected, stigmatized and objectified by virtue of their work. You should have known that publishing the photos was essentially outing the women pictured.
    I’ve read Torontoist for years, but I’m unsubscribing. Topping defending this shit on Twitter yesterday was the dealbreaker. Sorry, Torontoist; it’s been great. Mostly. Up until it wasn’t.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    You can kill trees and other natural resources by finding it on the internet too. Jus’ sayin’

  • http://undefined the_lies

    You didn’t read her response. I misunderstood her response, commented on it and then you reacted to that without waiting for her answer. Laka called sex workers and strippers the same thing and also called them garbage, basically. Making Laka a judgemental, puritan jerk. Ethics and morals are methods of control, read some Neitzche for more on that, it will change your life. If you’re a religious person and that’s the cause for your indignance then “judge not, lest ye be judged”. Or keep denying that which is human nature and pretend you’re better than all of us for having that stick up your ass.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    Well, that’s certainly an interesting explanation, but really: fifth floor can see the ground with a continuum of two extremes: 1) ground far away from the building, if standing far away from the window, and 2) ground near the building, if standing right by the window. Ground can see into the fifth floor with a continuum of two extremes: 1) deep into the room, if standing far away from the building, 2) piece of ceiling right by the window, if standing near the building.

  • http://undefined rek

    I’m pretty much done replying to you here, you’re starting to give the_lies a run for his-or-her money in the incoherent response game. “Fake scenery”, whatever that means, casting aspersions on everyone and everything you disagree with (perversion, being unethical, being Nazis, take your pick), and feigning incredulity, all make for a very tiresome discussion.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    Did you have anything specific in mind?

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Who is speaking to whom, and about what specifically? Can we de-tangle this, please? Thanks.

  • http://undefined rek

    A number of tags used on Torontoist have, or had, exclamation points. Notably Vandals!
    Tag this reply with #not-a-newspaper and #blog.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    You’re making the grave assumption to the degree of angle though ;)

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    And yes, ironically I realize I am too. Let’s just say, it’s completely possible to see someone that doesn’t see you, depending on the angle. Or wait. what were we talking about again? oh boy.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    “Let’s just say, it’s completely possible to see someone that doesn’t see you, depending on the angle.”
    Yes, it is, but only because of the windows in the way. With no windows, if you can see their eyes, they can see yours, period.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    I can agree with that.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    “You didn’t read her response. I misunderstood her response, commented on it and then you reacted to that without waiting for her answer.” Was for Laura.
    The rest was directed at Laka.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    You subscribe to the torontoist? I just read it on the webernets.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Factor these criteria, please and thanks.

  • http://undefined rek

    This whole thing has gotten ridiculous, and I’m disappointed by the (now-revealed) lack of consultation with the involved parties, but also with the photos being pulled. If you aren’t going to stand by what you publish, why publish it in the first place? The most you should have done is blur the faces and leave it up to people to go to Flickr if they wanted.
    The fact remains that regardless of how you feel about the photographer, his actions, or Torontoist publishing the photos, that roof is exposed to a number of taller buildings in the area. There should be no more expectation of privacy than there would be standing behind a window at street level: If you can see them, they can either see you (depending on distance) or know they are visible. This isn’t remotely the same as peeking at someone through a hole in a fence or one-way glass or any other example offered above. The staff chooses to go up on the roof with full knowledge that there are taller buildings in sight, so being photographed is a risk they take whether or not they acknowledge it.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    (.(.) oh man, i’m going to hell for that aren’t i? I love all the moral indignance in the posts here, everyone’s coming out of the woodwork to show how much holier than the rest of us they are, it’s great. Ever look at porno on the web? Ever not-so-accidentally snuck a peak down someone’s shirt becasue they bent over in front of you with a low collar, or caught yourself looking at some guy’s package? (ok well, that last one prolly doesn’t happen that much, women’s bodies are more aesthetically pleasing than guys, in general terms i guess and for other reasons i’m sure). These are all things that coudl be considered both an invasion of privacy (would these same people be disgusted with themselves for havign foudn out soem of the porn they watched was not all material for which express consent was given?) and reprehensible. This whole article, this whole thing is in a grey area in that it happened in a place where it’s debatable that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. I mean, you’re on a rooftop, downtown where there are a plethora of vantage points from which you could be seen, some of them are topless, some are scantily clad. That doesn’t mean i’m saying they have no right to privacy, but their expectation fo privacy is debateable and I’m sure that’s what led the Torontoist to post this story and the pics. They weren’t acting in a morally reprehensible way, w/e that means, they were simply reporting a story and failed to consider ALL the factors involved in that. I’m sure it was not a derogatory action on their part. I ahven’t heard any news of any of those girls, the club or anyone else bringing forth a lawsuit against the Torontoist or the photographer, mayeb they will later, idk, but it’s telling that they’ve not yet (i think everyoen here is much mroe worked up about it than the people involved).

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Good I’m done with your hyberbolic responses to me. Lambasting me based on your own “take” of what I’m saying. It’s actually very unlike you. Not sure where we went wrong.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    (ok well, that last one prolly doesn’t happen that much, women’s bodies are more aesthetically pleasing than guys, in general terms i guess and for other reasons i’m sure).

    How very heterosexual man of you. Too bad not everyone can be that, eh?

  • http://undefined the_lies

    LOL, it’s not a matter of sexual attraction I speak on, but a matter of aesthetics:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics
    PS: not a heterosexual male and I don’t consider my not being one to be “too bad”.

  • http://undefined Chester Pape

    Firstly I was making three points there, in three paragraphs, that was a hint. The first two were generically in relation to misconceptions about the impact of the Aubry decision (point 1, it does not apply outside Quebec, point 2, it applies to publishing images, not taking them, point 3, I wanted to make it clear that repudiating the applicability of Aubry in this case wasn’t a defense of the publication of these images)
    In terms of your other assumptions, you made a pretty big leap there, let’s keep a few things in mind, a) these images were posted to flickr long before Torontoist got involved, it’s arguable if simple posting to the internet constitutes personal use or not and this remains a gray area as this has never been tested in a Canadian court case. b) Torontoist doesn’t pay for photographs it gets from it’s flickr contributors, at least they’ve never paid me.
    I know Brian, I think he was wrong to post these to flickr in the first place (and if the topic comes up I have no problem telling him this to his face), and I think Torontoist was doubly wrong to publish an otherwise pointless article to feature them. But this has nothing to do with the question of legality.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    You do seem to like to push this hard-done-by attitude all the time, poor you etc.

  • http://undefined dwf

    The implication that these photos were posted for the sake of titillation is simply over-the-top ridiculous. These photos were not titillating in the least; they depicted bored, oddly dressed people smoking or talking on cell phones. Arguably the photos did more to humanize strippers than all the subsequent bitching and moaning did.

  • http://undefined Loozrboy

    Funny you should mention that. One of these photos is plastered on the front page of the Sun today.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    *sigh* It’s all over their website too. At least they had the decency to pixelate the faces of the people in the photos.

  • http://undefined Laura

    I was agreeing with you against Laka’s inital comment. I hate when people think that way about strippers.

  • http://undefined Laka Dukus

    It is just so funny that people make personal attacks because I don’t think strippers have a respectable jobs.
    They were in lingerie on the roof that everyone around the building could see.
    If you are not ashamed of your job then why hide it?
    Not everyone is going to find strippers morally correct or a job with good ethics.
    Not everyone wants women to be treated like sex objects.
    Guess what? if you go to a prostitute, you give her money for sexual gratification.
    You do the same to a stripper. Different sexual gratification but still sexual gratification.
    Many people find strippers a morally wrong “profession”.
    So they dance around in their underwear and many times topless/nude…….oh gee everyone MUST find them respectful.
    This has nothing to do with religion or anything like that.
    Not everyone will have your views, who are you to force your views on others?

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Also glad you looked REALLY deep into the photosets to see what I was talking about :P

    Sounds Victorian, i.e., finding a crotch in every tree.
    Point them out if you found something to object to. Like most censors, I’m sure you’ll find something…

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Hey, don’t cry just because I pointed out that you use a two or three year old view of something to make your point.
    Jesus, they bust eighth graders for using Wikipedia.
    Might was well use a map of 1810 and point out that there are no towers at all…

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Laka: you’ve pointed out a flaw in logic that doesn’t seem to have occurred to these scolds: they simultaneously want us to believe that stripping is morally defensible AND its practitioners need privacy.
    I hope these “debaters” can get some of their university money refunded…

  • http://undefined oceanpark

    it’s not a flaw in logic. it’s an acknowledgment that even though they/we may not see it as morally wrong, many in society at large still do.
    it’s like saying there is a flaw in logic in arguing that homosexuals have the right to decide to when and where they wish to disclose their orientation and that they deserve privacy. it is not that homosexuality is morally wrong, it is that enough people still think it is for an accidental outing of someone to be a safety or economic risk to them.

  • http://undefined rich1299

    In my opinion one of the sadder outcomes of this story is that these folks won’t be able to feel relaxed and comfortable while taking their breaks on the roof any more, unless perhaps the owner builds some sort of privacy screen for them but then if they do that they won’t be able to smoke there any more due to some ridiculous anti-smoking rules that you can’t smoke where there’s something over your head protecting you from the elements and peeping toms in this case.
    I suspect for these women the roof will never be the same sort of comfortable refuge for them that it used to be all because of this story and I think they deserve to have a space away from the men who go to see them where they can relax, be themselves and smoke if they choose to. I’m sure they realized before this that it could be possible for someone in the surrounding buildings to see them, but that’s far different than knowing they’re being watched for sure, plus knowing that there are many photos of themselves on the internet against their wishes must also be upsetting for them. The Torontoist did the right thing and removed them but I understand they’re still online in Flickr, or whatever site it is and that’s a shame, everyone deserves a bit of refuge but that’s been taken away for these women.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    a space away from the men who go to see them where they can relax,

    Um…that space is called…a dressing room. No men allowed. Trust me on that one.
    That they can’t smoke there? Tough shit. As it is, they probably already are breaking Toronto’s smoking bylaws.
    As for the very concerned club managers. Yeah, I’m sure they’re very worried about the strippers. More like “damn, our insurance company knows we let them up there with those shoes…”.

  • http://undefined Scorbutic

    My neighbour sunbathes on her balcony, below mine, in the summer. Because her balcony protrudes further from the building than those above it, I can see her by looking out my window, or by stepping out to my balcony and looking down. So can many other people living in units above mine. Does this make it OK for me to take her photo and publish it on Torontoist?

  • http://undefined Scorbutic

    Not everyone wants women to be treated like sex objects.

    And your method of preventing this is to defend the posting of pictures of women in lingerie on the internet without their permission?

    Many people find strippers a morally wrong “profession”.
    So they dance around in their underwear and many times topless/nude…….oh gee everyone MUST find them respectful.

    Strippers aren’t worthy of respect, so anything that happens to them is “fair game”? There is a huge fucking problem with this attitude.

  • http://undefined iamDoomed

    as someone who works in the ad industry, model-release forms are absolutely still in play. you cannot just snap a picture of a person (particularly an image that shows the person’s face) and place it in a magazine or billboard without consent. whether that applies to online blogs, well that’s a different story cause no one edits the internet, but i imagine new laws are coming into effect everyday because of the shit happening on the WWW.

  • http://undefined Tim

    Men are seen as individuals? What planet are you from?
    Men are seen as objects just as much as women. Like a construction worker. You don’t know his name – only his role. He’s a robot that moves building materials.

  • http://undefined Tim

    Why is it creepy to take photographs of people who are out in plain view?

  • http://undefined Tim

    They thought a roof had privacy?
    Know all those windows all over the place? They’re made of glass. People often look out of them.
    How stupid can you be?

  • http://undefined Tim

    Some of the most famous photographs we have were taken without the subject’s permission.
    The famous photo of the sailor and nurse kissing in Times Square at the end of WW2 for example.

  • http://undefined Tim

    They weren’t “in a strip club”.
    It’s the same thing as if they went out onto the street to take a break. They were outside of the building.

  • http://undefined Tim

    Exactly.
    This is all moral panic.
    It’s the sort of caffuffle that people who have *never* looked at classic photography would stir up. It’s an argument rooted in ignorance.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    This argument has gotten ridiculous. It’s liek the real disussion happened over the last few days (or stopped a day and a half ago) and now the rabble has come out to take shots at logic and morality.
    Here’s what I think about your fucking morality:
    It was a system created by the weak and disadvantaged as a way to take the power back from those that had it. They created values that were opposite the ruling class instead of pride – humility, instead of riches – poverty, instead of the ability to garner power – love for your neighbor, that’s what “good” people are). Unfortunately those are the same values which serve to hold them down. Your, “morality” is a system created by the weak to raise themslves out of slavery to the ruling class, but they created values and definitions of good people that only hold them back and allow them to be controlled. That’s your morality, a method of control created and serviced by you and yet somehow used against you. Any desire to make money, to gain power is seen as an affront to your morality. Now you want to quote morality to me and others on here to say that somehow takign your clothes off for money is “wrong”? Yet it seems you knwo not what morality is nor where its definition comes from, and to say that you speak on morality but not from a religious standpoint is absolute garbage, it wasn’t created by religion but it has since been used by religion to control and create feelings of guilt. The fact is there is no good or evil, there is us and we are what we are, you’re nto better than me because you deny “life” and I embrace it. There’s nothign wrong with strippign, but everything is wrong with your perception “moral superiority”.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    Which is why it was a question. Duhhhh…

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    I also guess that the fact remains that when a smoker is blowing smoke in your face, you legally have no recourse about it, your lungs are fair game and you can kiss a smoker’s ass if you think they should in any way/shape or form have any respect for you at all.
    The parallel argument you were making about smoking in a previous thread has serious commonalities with this thread (ie, respect, what is right/wrong, ethics and morals trump law, etc, etc.). It’s odd that you take this stance about strippers, while getting mad at smokers for treating you the same way you feel these people should be (mis)treated.

  • http://undefined rek

    She does it with full knowledge she can be seen. She is making a choice. She doesn’t get to tell you (or your neighbours) you aren’t allowed to look down when she’s on the balcony.

  • http://undefined rek

    See the red “REPLY” below each post? Please use it. It’s impossible to tell who you are talking to.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    Well aware of the reply button, tips. See my post, it refers to more than one person, it’s a general note to anyone that subscribes to the same bs as Laka, and there are many in here lately.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Unacceptable, rek. A rooftop or balcony is not public space, and if the observer has a vantage above that plane, then they certainly are not in a public space themselves.
    You think this has gotten ridiculous. It seems the photographed women would feel it has gotten ridiculous, though not for the same reason you contend. They are now saying on the CBC that what Brian Cameron did was unacceptable and it could end up severely disrupting their lives outside the workplace.
    Then again, a lot of what a lot of dudes did here — Brian for shooting, Edward for investigating, David for letting it go public and then being weaselly about his rationale as editor — was unacceptable.
    What it comes down to is that you and a steady minority of individuals — either in this discussion or in debates on places like APUG — philosophically believe something which is counter to what most people out there (certainly most women, if not a few men, too) consider a reasonable level of discretion. And should it come to it, I’m hedging that provincial jurisprudence will find this to be the case as well — perhaps not as completely as what the Québec Supreme Court handed down, but probably citing from a portion of it in their opinion.
    At this point, I do anticipate that Brian Cameron will be heading to a courtroom sooner than he realizes.

  • http://undefined Chris Hutcheson

    You might want to read – http://ambientlight.ca/laws.php

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    The key difference, of course, that the cultural value and political currency of men-as-objects versus women-as-objects are not comparable. Which has more value, and who has more agency over their objectification? Who is marginalized more by that objectification?
    I don’t think I need to insult your intelligence by giving you the answer.

  • http://undefined AVESTA

    Yeah, Torontoist has used one of my pics in the past and I wasn’t paid…
    So, not that unbelieveable

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    “Plain view” is not congruent to “public space.”
    The photographer in this case was not in, as you put it, “plain view.” For it to begin even being okay for a photographer to shoot someone candidly, both parties must be readily visible to one another. Brian Cameron was not readily visible. Optimally, both photographer and subject should be in public spacing. In this case, neither was.
    QED.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Stupid enough to believe that the civility of law doesn’t terminate the moment you leave ground level?

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Correct. The couple in that photo — and the photographer — were not only all in a public space, but all parties were readily visible to one another. Same is the case with many of Weegee’s photos, and to a lesser extent, Henri Cartier-Bresson as well.
    The example you make is inapplicable here.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    They were atop a building. A cadastral map places that within the property of the building — a private space. The sidewalk as a commons is a public space.
    Each argument I have read from you seems to be oblivious to this fundamental point. Maybe after today you’ll understand a bit better.

  • http://undefined GregoryA

    Registered to throw in my two cents.
    Sounds like a lot of mistakes were made on all sides. Cameron took photos in a location that skirts the line (no pun intended) between what constitutes a public or private area. The dancers smoked away on the rooftop, either knowing that there were vantage points people could see them from or they willingly disregard the signs that were already in place letting them know people could see them. This blog also fueled the fire by making aside comments which gave it a bit of a sleazy tone (explaining Cameron’s constant photography of the dancers over a several-month long period didn’t help matters).
    The whole situation hasn’t been helped by the media “outrage” and sudden appearance of people arguing about morality. What happened happened. Steps were taken to correct, so everyone needs to move on.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    I just read that article (thanks for posting the link). Torontoist & Cameron should be shamed for this!

    Norma-Jean Anderson, a bartender and waitress at Zanzibar, said two women quit over the photos and many left the club in tears Thursday morning.
    One of the girls who was photographed is a Ryerson student, Anderson said.

    There was no need to negatively affectd these people’s lives. This wasn’t some investigation piece. You outted a bunch of women for your own pleasure. SHAME!
    Even futher insult to injury is Cameron’s disengenious response to the CBC:

    Cameron “was stunned and embarrassed” by the article that ran in the Torontoist, he said in an email Thursday. The librarian said he was not paid for the photos, but would not comment further.

    Stunned and embarrassed? If any of these types of photos of myself showed up on his Flickr account, I’d be very upset. He obviously doesn’t get it. Or his fanaticsm of voyeurism outweights his ability to think straight.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    He has a paraphilia, and it is one that is also predatory.
    Otherwise, he wouldn’t be worth talking about on the merit of his Flickr shots — which, with all due respect as a photographer, are no better than the fair-to-middling photography I shoot of, graciously, other subject material. Because he is all the talk, though, this returns to his core motivation for the topical photo serials he has posted as being voyeuristic, leering, and predatory over people who did not provide informed consent — some of whose identities are instantly made in his shots.
    Any surprise he and others like him might feel by having the spotlight so brightly on him (for a change) is because it brings attention to his own paraphilic activity. He should just own it and man up to doing something that is legally questionable, ethically debatable, and morally uncouth.

  • http://undefined rek

    Argumentum ad populum doesn’t make a well-intended fiction, that we should all act like we can’t see into (or onto) privately owned space, whether we’re on public land or another private property, a viable reality. If you can see a window, patch of sidewalk, or other vantage point from where you’re standing, then someone on the other side of the window, standing on that sidewalk, or occupying that vantage point, can see you. It’s ludicrous to pretend otherwise – if only it were true, there would be no outdoor advertising! Who would invest thousands of dollars in billboard ads that nobody can “see” from off-property? (And who would waste their time at the CN Tower when most of the view is invisible?)
    At some point these women made a choice to go outside, in view of windows, in their stage costumes and/or with their faces visible. It’s an open rooftop in the downtown core! The shame they feel about their line of work is unfortunate, but they also chose that line of work and chose not to be open about it. More importantly, their reaction to these photos doesn’t change the matter at hand.

  • http://undefined rek

    “Any surprise he and others like him might feel by having the spotlight so brightly on him (for a change) is because it brings attention to his own paraphilic activity. He should just own it and man up to doing something that is legally questionable, ethically debatable, and morally uncouth.”
    Will you say something similar of the now-tearful women caught in his lens? Should they also “own it”? “Man up”?

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    At this point, I do anticipate that Brian Cameron will be heading to a courtroom sooner than he realizes.

    Indeed. I would imagine he has enough grounds to sue for defamation.
    Which would mean that YOU may (notice the subtle difference there, oh expert-on-many-things?) be heading a court sooner than YOU realize.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    In the words of Charles Simic:
    “No man whose sex life was satisfactory ever became a moral censor.”

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Oops, that is, of course Mina Loy, being QUOTED by Simic.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    Russell Williams’s sex life was satisfactory.
    Others had to pay for it.
    Genghis Khan’s sex life was satisfactory.
    Others had to pay for it.
    The men who make up the market for child porn content have satisfactory sex lives.
    Others have to pay for it.
    And on and on.
    You lack a compelling case.

  • http://undefined the_lies

    Rek generally started acting like a wierdo a while ago. It was a very sudden event. Happened around the cigarette discussion.

  • http://piorkowski.ca/ qviri

    So just to clarify: it’s okay for you to dish out “you failed at school, didn’t you?” but not for you to receive the same?

  • http://undefined another country hear from

    OK I know this horse has been beaten beyond recognition but I cannot resist putting in my two pesos……
    Lets imagine another scenario. I have seen an upshot photo from the rooftop in question and it is obviously in plain sight of others’ windows regardless of privacy legalities.
    It could have been just as easily a story about a prepubescent child, of one of our indignant moral superiors, found to be ogling these women from afar. It would then be seen as an outrage that these women are exposing themselves “this way” and corrupting our impressionable children. Would the staff be quitting and going home crying then?
    Every job has risks. Mine is physically dangerous: theirs is socially questionable but we do it because we wear the golden handcuffs.
    In fact, what I saw in the pictures was the humanisation, not objectification, of the woman who were being themselves for a moment of down time from a job that requires their being in character at all times. An incongruos juxtaposition of a real person in a fantasy costume.
    How about they hang a coat rack by the rooftop door, everyone hang a cover up there and they all just move on?

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Was there a contest for most irrelevant reply or something? I think you won!
    If you don’t like that quote, how about one from Frank Zappa:

    There are more love songs than any other kind. If songs caused people to do things, we’d love each other a hell of a lot more than we do

    You should stick to artistic arguments, where you have some damn good ideas (reply to #7 at November 25, 2010 12:12 AM, for instance).
    When you get into this amateur legal or psychoanalysis, you’re a bit thin. And, as mentioned, setting yourself to be served with papers.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    You’re not terribly adept at trolling, really. Your bait isn’t even appetizing.

  • http://undefined jamesr368

    They are strippers and hookers !! Who cares what upsets their drug racked pea brains think !!!!

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Hey you went “Full Landsberg” on me. Don’t label me a troll, m’keh?
    What’s next? Quoting from “Not a Love Story”?
    You, and others here, are moral censors. Live with it. You want to go through thousands of pictures, pick out a few and say, “SEE? Smut!”, like picking the fly shit out of pepper.
    As I said, you Ned Flanders-types see a crotch in a tree branch. How post-modernist Victorian can you get?
    When you can’t even come close to a legal argument, you bring up some half-remembered shite from first-year psych.
    For all your over-educated mind, you can’t yet see that you don’t have to show that something is merely distasteful, disturbing or disgusting. You have to prove it is DANGEROUS.
    As most modern art deals with the REACTION, as opposed to the ART, this can now be described as ART.
    Christians had to sit back and deal with a tax-payer funded crucifix in a jar of urine.
    YOU and a few strippers can deal with daddy finding out his little girls shoves her anus in a complete stranger’s face for a fiver on the Internets, as opposed to him accidentally walking in on her.
    Luckily, we’ll have a full-blown war in Korea in about 6 hours, and this will seem a bit…less.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    If you’re interested to see the humanization of adult dancers, the go to the library and pick up The Lusty Lady by Erika Langley.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    You could sure use a tension release.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Can you at least wait until tomorrow:
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/894804–ontario-prostitution-laws-could-die-saturday
    I need to find out if I can accept your kind offer AND hit the bank machine.

  • http://flickr.com/aged_accozzaglia accozzaglia

    I’m not offering.

  • http://undefined CaligulaJones

    Tell THAT to the judge.
    Anyway, you save me a call to my lawyer, and a stop at the bank machine.

  • http://undefined Scorbutic

    She does it with full knowledge she can be seen. She is making a choice. She doesn’t get to tell you (or your neighbours) you aren’t allowed to look down when she’s on the balcony.

    C’mon Rek, be real. Don’t dodge the question. I didn’t ask if you thought it was OK to look at my sunbathing neighbour, what I asked was “Does this make it OK for me to take her photo and publish it on Torontoist?”
    And does your answer change (to whether it is OK to publish my neighbour’s photo on Torontoist) if she is inside her unit instead of on her balcony, but I can still photograph her through the window? By your logic there is no difference: if I can see her window, she can see mine. She walks in front of her window with the full knowledge that she can be seen.

  • http://undefined Solex

    Or better yet, don’t go to university at all, since their minds can’t handle anything else beyond first year studies.