Art and Industry Exhibit – Now on at The Art Gallery of Burlington!

Industry Art Gallery of Burlington Tom Bochsler

The Art and Industry exhibit is now on at The Art Gallery of Burlington. Located in the RBC Community Gallery, the exhibit features paintings by artist Jim Eller and The Art of Industry photographs by Tom Bochsler, both exploring the representation of industry through commercial and historic perspectives.

Come by and see the exhibit from June 6 to July 4, 2017.

Opening Reception: Sunday, June 25, 2:00pm-4:00pm


The Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON  L7S 1A9

Tom Bochsler – Remember to Remember

Article from the May 2016 edition of The Photographic Historical Society of Canada:

Tom Bochsler Remember to Remember

Our April speaker took us on a journey back in time to honour fallen Canadian soldiers of the two world wars in France and Belgium. Tom Bochsler is a noted photographer and journalist. His studio is celebrating 60 years while his book, The Art of Industry, covers 50 years of his photographic work in journalism and industry.

Tom toured and photographed the European cemeteries, monuments and some of the battlefields a couple of years ago. Tom recalls leaving his wife on her own at one site so he could get the right shots, almost missing the bus as it was leaving for the next location (even though he was at each location for almost 2 hours). As a tribute to old age, Tom commented on needing his wife to sometimes help him up after he got the right shot from low to the ground. The tour benefited from nice weather. Skies were a mixture of sun and clouds – just right for good photographs.

During his Remember to Remember talk, Tom interspersed archival pictures with those he took during the tour to give a before and after view of the area. He photographed many famous locations including Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Nouvelle St. Fast (German Cemetery with 40,000 casualties), Cabaret Rouge, Passchendaele, Dieppe, Juno Beach, Abby Ardennes and Beny-sur-Mer.

At Vimy Ridge, tunnels were made in the land two years before the Great War battles. The tunnels were vermin infested, very wet, and very mucky. A war technique initiated by the Canadian forces was sporadic charges out of the trenches, catching the enemy off guard. Around the Vimy memorial over 7,000 Canadians are buried in the 30 cemeteries. We saw a memorial to John McCrea. Our membership secretary, Wayne Gilbert, also a professional photographer, came up and read a heart warming rendition of McCrea’s famous poem, In Flanders Fields.

Tom photographed close-ups of some of the individual headstones depicting symbols and the soldier’s name (if known). Many of the stones are simply marked Soldier of The Great War. Tom acknowledged that his photographs do not show the suffering of the soldiers but attempt to pay tribute to the many Canadians who were involved. For example, every night at 8pm in the town of Ypres, a group on buglers play the Last Post. Tom had us stand in silence as we listened to the haunting sound. All traffic stops while this ceremony takes place. The daily rendering has taken place since the 1920s. During part of WW2, the ceremony moved to London, England.

At each site, it is always very serene and calm. The area is immaculately kept and there is always a monument with descriptions of the battle that took place. One of the most interesting pictures were the life size outlines of some 9,000 people scratched out on the sand of the beaches of Normandy, representing the people killed in the D-Day invasion. The outlines Tom photographed were made on September 2013 and washed away during the next high tide.

Back home, Tom has been taking photographs of the Remembrance Day services in his native Burlington and Hamilton. A local motorcycle club, whose members placed candles on the headstones of deceased veterans, performed a touching part of one service. The increasing number of younger people attending their local Remembrance services has heartened him. He reminded all that our soldiers are well known for peacekeeping over the years. Tom ended the evening with the famous 2014 cartoon showing soldiers at the war memorial in Ottawa aiding Corporal Nathan Cirillo. And slides of some of the tributes to Cirillo in his native Hamilton. Remember to Remember offered a moving and touching look at the cost of war.

Featured on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin​​

Tom Bochsler on The Agenda

Enjoy the video of Steve and I chatting about my 65 year career in photography and The Art of industry which includes a collection of events, personalities and the many industries which were part of my everyday photographic experience.

Original air date Monday, ​April 4th at 8pm on TVO

The Arc of Industry

Tom Bochsler’s industrial photography and commercial photography used in this video, be sure to watch.

Video by Gary Kaulback

Striking industrial images from Canadian photographer Tom Bochsler

An article from The Globe and Mail published on November 17, 2014. Written by Theresa Suzuki, photo editor Report on Business.

A selection of photographs from the 1960’s through the 1980’s chosen from the book “The Art of Industry: 50 years of photography” by commercial photographer Tom Bochsler, a master of light and shape.

Underwater sonar components at Fleet Manufacturing in Fort Erie, Ontario 1968 by Tom Bochsler

Underwater sonar components at Fleet Manufacturing in Fort Erie, Ontario 1968.

Nuclear Power Plant Steam Turbine in Point Lepreau, N.B. 1978 by Tom Bochsler

Nuclear Power Plant Steam Turbine in Point Lepreau, N.B. 1978.

Stainless steel kegs made by Firestone Steel by Tom Bochsler

Stainless steel kegs made by Firestone Steel.

Reactor fuelling tube manufacturing, Westinghouse Canada 1984 by Tom Bochsler

Reactor fuelling tube manufacturing, Westinghouse Canada 1984.

Stainless steel window frames at CIBC Commerce Court in Toronto 1971 by Tom Bochsler

Stainless steel window frames at CIBC Commerce Court in Toronto 1971.

Douglas Point nuclear reactor in Tiverton, Ontario 1968 by Tom Bochsler

Douglas Point nuclear reactor in Tiverton, Ontario 1968.

Brick wall in the theatre at Hamilton Place 1972 by Tom BochslerValley City Manufacturing Dundas, Ontario by Tom Bochsler

Image on left: Brick wall in the theatre at Hamilton Place 1972.
Image on right: Valley City Manufacturing began in 1884 and first entered the woodworking business crafting telephone boxes eventually evolving into church, courthouse and office furniture. Dundas, Ontario 1967.

National Research Council Ottawa 1972 by Tom Bochsler

National Research Council Ottawa 1972.

Dorsey rectifier station near Winnipeg 1972 by Tom Bochsler

Dorsey rectifier station near Winnipeg 1972.

Remembrance Day 2014 – Burlington, Ontario

Some images from the Remembrance Day Ceremony along Brant Street in Burlington held by The Royal Canadian Legion:

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Royal Canadian Cadets

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Burlington Ontario Brant Street Ontario Provincial Police OPP

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Burlington Ontario Firefighters on Brant Street

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Burlington laying wreaths

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Flags

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 Military Veterans Burlington Ontario on Brant Street

Tom Bochsler photography Remembrance Day 2014 War Veterans in Burlington Ontario on Brant

Visit HPL During Supercrawl 2014!

art of industry tom bochsler hamilton public library supercrawl
(as seen on home page)

Hamilton’s Supercrawl, which is taking over James Street North for the 6th time on September 11-14, has become a huge, high-profile festival celebrating art, music, fashion, and culture. Naturally, Hamilton Public Library is very excited to once again be a part of this amazing event, offering a host of free activities and attractions on Saturday, September 13.

This year, HPL will be hosting an exhibition of photographer Tom Bochsler’s work, called The Art of Industry. This collection of striking industrial photography fits perfectly with Hamilton’s proud industrial heritage.

HPL staff will also be running special programming for families, including puppet shows in the Kids Area on York Boulevard, and a special sale of Local History & Archives merchandise, including a brand new for 2015 calendar, rich with incredible photography from Hamilton’s past. Library staff will also be demonstrating one of HPL’s new 3D printers! To learn more, visit or contact Central Library.

The Art of Tom Bochsler

The Art of Tom Bochsler on Cover of The Hamilton Spectator

A great article from the cover page of The Hamilton Spectator written by Mark McNeil for Tom Bochsler’s large donation. The article “The art of Tom Bochsler” is a brief summary of his successful career as an industrial and commercial photographer with a variety of his photography, have a read below:

The Art of Tom Bochsler

Tom Bochsler The Art of Industry Dofasco skyline landscape in 1971
Photo above: Skyline photo of Dofasco in 1971.

You think you have a lot of old photos kicking around the house?

Commercial photographer Tom Bochsler, 83, decided it was time to find a long-term home for his collection and recently passed on more than 500,000 images to the Hamilton Public Library‘s Local History and Archives section.

They had to bring the collection in on skids, four feet high.

The library couldn’t be happier.

Bochsler, 83, has been taking brilliant pictures of life in Hamilton, and around the world, for more than a half century and his collection is particularly noted for capturing the glory age of industry in the city.

“He has a unique talent for capturing industrial images,” says chief librarian Paul Takala. “We are thrilled to have the collection.”

Tom Bochsler The Art of Industry The Hamilton Place in 1971Tom Bochsler International Harvester Worker in 1960
Photo on left: 1971, in the nearly completed Hamilton Place, where two people pose for the photo. The names of the people in the photo are not known. Photo on right: An International Harvester worker from 1960.

Takala said the library plans to digitize it “over time” and will put together a special display of the work for Supercrawl, which will run Sept 11 to 14.

Highlights of his work are featured in Bochsler’s 2010 coffee table book The Art of Industry, which he will be signing at The Hamilton Store as part of Friday night’s Art Crawl on James Street North.

Bochsler got into business by working at his brother Joe’s wedding and portrait photography company in the early ’50s after he finished high school. Then in 1956, he started his own business out of his home.

Early on, he made a name for himself with contract work at Westinghouse and then landed jobs at the city’s steel companies and other industries where he found, “the dirtier it was, the more challenging it was to take pictures.”

Tom Bochsler history photography Westinghouse in 1962Tom Bochsler car production photography Studebaker factory Hamilton Ontario in 1960
Photo on left: This is a picture of Westinghouse from in 1962. Photo on right: The Studebaker factory in Hamilton from the 1960s.

He also did work for the Russell T. Kelley Advertising, the City of Hamilton and travelled around Canada taking pictures of nuclear reactors for the Atomic Energy Board of Canada.

Tom Bochsler cultural photography Nuclear Reactor McMaster University in 1962Tom Bochsler historic photography Westinghouse in 1968
Photo on left: McMaster University’s nuclear reactor in 1962. Photo on right: An unidentified worker at Westinghouse in 1968.

Tom is retired now. But he still regularly pops into the family business — Bochsler Photo Imaging in Burlington — where his son John, and grandson Jesse, both work.

“I’ve done this all my life, basically,” he said. “I loved what I was doing because I felt I was doing the best for the client as I knew how to do.

“To see the customer satisfied was part of making me happy. Dollars and cents didn’t really enter into the way I did business … It was doing things right.”

Tom Bochsler industrial photography Bridge Tank Company of Canada in 1977Tom Bochsler architectural photography of CKOC Loblaws promotion
Photo on left: 1977 of a large tank that was manufactured by a company called Bridge and Tank Company of Canada that used to be on Gage Avenue North. Photo on right: CKOC during a Loblaws promotion. At the time CKOC operated out of that buidling that was just east of the Royal Connaught.

2014 Venues for Tom Bochsler’s Presentation ‘Remember to Remember’ a Tribute for November 11th

November 3, 2014 – Burlington Women’s Probus Group

Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON

November 5, 2014 – Oakville Probus Club

Location: Oakville Probus Club, Water Street, Oakville, ON

November 10, 2014 – Burlington Historical

Location: Burlington Public Library, Centennial Room, 2331 New Street, Burlington, ON

November 20, 2014 at 8pm – Remember to Remember

Locations: Waldie Blacksmith Shop Meeting Room, Milton, Ontario
Contact: Bruce Carlin –

Burlington Post Article For Tom Bochsler’s Donation

A great article from the Burlington Post written by Hilary Caton for Tom Bochsler’s large photographic donation “Burlington photographer donates 500,000 negatives to Hamilton Public Library” and a brief overview of his career as a professional photographer, have a read below:

Tom Bochsler’s 50-year career in photography has taken him all across Canada and to the far corners of the world.

His collections of photographs spill into the hundreds of thousands, ranging from film negatives to digital files that make up his lengthily career in newspaper [photography], commercial [photography] and industrial photography.

Recently, the 82-year-old Burlington resident chose to donate 500,000 images from his collection to the Hamilton Public Library.

“It’s just great….It was the best thing to happen,” said Bochsler.

“My work started off there (in Hamilton) in ‘56. But it evolved from a social, newspaper thing to a specialty of commercial and industrial.”

It’s one of the largest donated image collections in Canada and the library couldn’t be more thrilled to get its hands on it.

“It’s a wonderful donation and it’s a significant donation with natural importance,” said Karen Milligan-Thurston, manager of local history & archives at the Hamilton Public Library, referring to Bochsler’s designation of Outstanding Significance and National Importance by the Heritage-Cultural Property Export Review Board.

“Having these half-a-million images adds to the collection. They are unique items that aren’t available anywhere else and it’s great that he was able to capture Hamilton’s history and all of Canada in photographs.”

Images of nuclear reactors, salt mines and steel factories from across Canada will now be in the hands of the library. According to Milligan-Thurston, the photos will stay in a climate-controlled archival vault, or archival enclosure to ensure the images don’t decay over the years.

Bochsler says he donated the photos because he didn’t want them to succumb to the alternative — ending up in the trash.

Bochsler lengthy career started when he took a job in 1950 working with his older bother Joe, who had a photography business of his own. Back then it was flash bulbs, film packs, 10-lb cameras and black and white photography. Bochsler spent time in darkrooms developing film, that’s where he learned the basics of photography, he says.

He also dabbled in newspaper photography for the Globe and Mail, The Hamilton Spectator and Hamilton News, to name a few. But it was industrial photography that captured his full attention. It was the type of photography he likes to call dirty, dark and dangerous.

“That’s really what I enjoy doing because it took me to places I could apply my skills,” said Bochsler.

“The skills I learned from newspaper work and dark rooms I applied to industrial photography.”

Since he started down the industrial path he never looked back. Bochsler has photographed every single nuclear power plant in Canada and published a book The Art of Industry, which features 272 of his favourite photographs from 1950-2003.

He says he always tried to show his audience, in some way, how the industrial item was being used and where. Its purpose should be shown to the audience. He added that although he’s had a full career in industrial photography it’s a disappearing niche.

“Very few companies have you photograph what they make or do anymore. The market place has changed.”

He’s now retired from photography and has his own business, Bochsler Photo Imaging that he started in 1958. His oldest son, John, is currently the president of company and Bochsler pops in a few times a week to the company’s studio on Sheldon Court in Burlington. It specializes in food [photography], product [photography], lifestyle [photography], portrait [photography], architectural [photography], automotive [photography], industrial  [photography] and aerial photography.

The library already has plans for some of his images. It wants offer the public a sneak peek into his collection through a special presentation that will display some of Bochsler’s work during one of Hamilton’s Supercrawls in the fall.

Overall Bochsler says he’s happy that his pictures will be in the capable hands of the Hamilton library because it has “the dedicated space and people.”

“I think it’s really commendable, as far as I’m concerned, that there’s a source out there that feels it’s worthwhile.”

Next Page »