Just before moving away from Toronto in October, 2011, I attended the Toronto Zombie Walk with a photography group I was a part of there. The TZW was started in 2003 and has been scheduled for the week before Halloween:
The zombie walk started one gloomy Sunday, a week before hallows eve in 2003. A handful of the living dead rose from their graves to wander the streets of Toronto in search of brains.
The plague returned every year, and the zombie count grew into a large and deadicated legion of the undead. Not only did the plague hit Toronto, it hit New York, Vancouver, Ottawa, Melbourne and numerous other cities around the world. In 2006 The Toronto Zombie Walk joined forces with the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, to ensure zombies have an enjoyable evening of flicks to see after their flesh eating endeavors. 2012 marked our ten year anniversary and we hoarded in over 10,000 people!
In anticipation for this photography event with the group, I had rented a 70-200mm zoom lens to get up close and personal to all the “zombies” that were walking around. The zombies all met at the Trinity-Bellwoods Park in downtown Toronto. From talking to a few people, normally they just start the walk along a pre-determined and permitted route around downtown but this year was special. The creators of the walk, who were obviously big fans of zombies, were getting married before the walk, in their zombie outfits. Let me be clear… the groom, the bride, wedding party, minister, and everyone else involved in the wedding were all dressed up as zombies and hence a zombie wedding took place. It was pretty much like a typical wedding except there were moans and groans from the watching zombies as the ceremony went on. Once they were declared zombie-man and zombie-wife, the walk was on with them in the lead!
I’m not a crazy fan of zombies although I enjoy watching the occasional movie like Zombieland, or a show like The Walking Dead. I read in a blog post after the event that there were over 6,000 zombies in attendance for TZW 2011 which is pretty awesome. The coolest thing is that a lot of zombies got into character and at one point I had my face in my camera and the lens zoomed in to 200mm and one of the zombies actually lunged at me. This was early on in the day and I hadn’t yet gotten used to them getting into character so I, of course, was caught by surprise and ended up falling over backwards right onto my ass! I have to say though, being surrounded by 6,000 zombies, especially since most of them had some awesome makeup on, was a little bit nerve-wracking!
I’ve included a selection of my best photos in this post but for the full set of my favorites from that day, click HERE to link to the set on my Flickr page.