Two years ago, in mid-June, I decided to make use of my insomnia. I wanted to take reference shots of alleys for the popular comic book series Ashcan Alley. I figured that the best time would be early Sunday morning, when no one would be around. The drunks, junkies and whores would have gone to bed, and the churchgoers would still be asleep. So I got up at 4:30, by 5:00 I was wandering the alleys of Montreal's "Plateau" area, clicking away.

The one below goes for blocks, and has an overhead passage that crosses it, which you can see in the distance.

Some people try to beautify the alleys; others just dump junk in them.

Below: this part of the alley seems nice enough, but we're just half a block from the (above) dumping-ground, which you can see in the distance.

Below: and a little farther back; same alley.

Above and below: same alley. Seems to come to a dead end, but there's a way out to the left.

the graffiti you can see above on the left

Below: Almost a street; some houses have entrances on this alley.

Above and Below: same alley in different directions.

Below: Nicely fixed up as a studio (?). This garage would have once housed a horse and buggy. The upper part was a hay-loft; the bar was for hauling up hay. But the big double-doors are now a big picture-window.

Below: what some of these places look like from the front.

Below: This last one is from Toronto. It's another hayloft turned studio. It's where the mysterious artist known as Swamprose does her stuff. You can see her photos on MoBlog.