“When viewing the exhibit, the towers start to look not like hunks of concrete, glass and steel but rather giant filing cabinets of human life and memory. It also mixes Toronto with ‘“back home’” in beautiful ways.” – Shawn Micallef, for Eye Weekly and Spacing Magazine

2009 | installation, live performance, web documentary | director

Toronto is a city of more than 1000 towers. But we rarely hear from the people who live in them. Equipped with digital cameras and powerful personal points of view, six Toronto residents document their own vertical lives against the backdrop of the city’s ambitious tower renewal effort in The Thousandth Tower.

Their photo stories are the first installment of the National Film Board of Canada’s long-term collaborative documentary project, HIGHRISE, witnessing the human experience in vertical living across the globe.

The Thousandth Tower, produced by the National Film Board of Canada with Senior Producer Gerry Flahive, was originally conceived as a live performance, but was then built as a web experience with Flash software (a privately owned technology by Adobe), which allowed web users to interact with the images and audio recordings of the six residents.

Because Adobe discontinued Flash in 2020, the documentary is no longer accessible. Below is a video that illustrates what it looked like and how it functioned.



A demonstration of how the site and documentary work in HIGHRISE: The Thousandth Tower (0m 59s).