90-year-old Toronto man uses his photography to inspire others

When you walk into Jack Gilbert’s home, you feel like you’re walking into an art gallery.

“I fell in love with photography, perhaps, 85 years ago,” Gilbert said. “The reason for that is my dad was a photographer. He came to Canada in 1922, opened up a photography studio and that studio still continues to this day under my brother, Al Gilbert, who’s 95. I happen to be 90.”

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Gilbert has spent his working life as a corporate securities and business lawyer, and he still goes into the office every day. But his real passion is the art of photography.

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“The expression ‘art’ is a very interesting one,” Gilbert said. “Because art is subjective. I had one dealer tell me it’s art when the cheque clears.”

Today, Gilbert is known as the Photoshop guru. He takes his favourite pictures and transforms them into inspiring art. Then he uses those pieces as a way to give back to charities close to his heart.

Over the years, he’s raised tens of thousands of dollars for The Hospital for Sick Children and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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“In 2003, that’s the first show I had of my work, and it was extraordinary,” Gilbert said. “I sold about 68 pieces and it was written up in an art magazine at the time that ‘Jack Gilbert stunned the art world’ – and it stunned me.”

Gilbert’s work has been displayed on the walls of many Toronto health institutions and galleries.

“I’m 90 and I can’t wait to wake up and to get back into the office and then back into my photography,” Gilbert said.

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