Toronto Instagram account documents city's disappearing payphones

Oct 26 2016, 3:13 pm

When was the last time you used a payphone?

Seriously, do you even know how much it costs to make a call these days?

The relics of a bygone era are often ignored as the advent of cell phones has made them almost obsolete. (Quick, think: where’s the nearest one to you right now?)

To witness one in use has become such a novelty that, for me, it merits a comment almost every time. Nothing too enthusiastic, just a nonchalant “hey look, someone’s using a payphone. Weird.”

Toronto designer, Josh Nelson has made Bell Payphones the subject of his ongoing series, the Bell Pay Phone Project. On Instagram, over 400 photos have captured payphone banks in subways, booths covered in graffiti and looking lonely on desolate city streets.

Rarely are the iconic fixtures photographed in use, and even then it’s sometimes hard to tell if the occupants are just using it as a perch or posing with the phone ironically.

It kind of brings to mind that Ikea lamp commercial. Is it weird to feel sad for stuff?

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