Tommy Ton Talks Dream Locations and Ottawa Style

We do love a good Tommy Ton collaboration around here. And really, who wouldn’t? The Ottawa native all but invented the genre of street style photography with his original (now defunct) fashion blog, Jak & Jil, so of course he was our first choice to photograph the flavor of our new stylish neighbors. That’s right: the brand new Nordstrom Ottawa is coming soon.

Check out our Ton-lensed style profiles, and get inside this iconic documentarian’s style history here.

The Thread: Where were you born?
Etobicoke, Ontario

Where did you grow up?
Oakville, Ontario

Where do you live now?
Mostly on a plane but when I’m not, I’m still in Oakville, Ontario.

How did you perceive style and fashion in your hometown?
It was kind of non-existent back then. I had to retreat to the library to find inspiration.

Was “Fashion”—you know, with a capital “f”—a part of your childhood or early adolescent experience?
My sister had quite an interest in fashion and she had clippings and ads plastered over her walls. I slowly followed and became interested when I was in my teenage years—once I discovered fashion, it became an obsession.

Was there a certain style seen while growing up in your hometown, or in that area, and has it changed since then?
If anything it was very casual, nothing too out of the box. It still hasn’t changed, but if anything it’s kind of nice to come home to a modest town after traveling to so many international cities.

What was your favorite location during the Ottawa shoot?
Being able to shoot at the museum was pretty special, considering we had the hallway to ourselves. Shooting on top of Nepean Hill, and being able to see the Ottawa River and Parliament, was truly special as well.

What did you discover about Ottawa and the people there during the shoot?
Everyone is nice in every part of Canada. It doesn’t matter what city in Canada, everyone is genuinely kind and enthusiastic.

What did you discover about Ottawa style during the shoot?
It’s as fast-paced and rapidly developing as any of the metropolitan cities in the country.

If you could teleport to any city on the planet right now, where would you go and why?
I would love to transport to Tokyo. It’s truly my favorite city in the world, and it’s a constant source of inspiration for me.

—Laura Cassidy