A Ribbon of Highway

A Photographic Exploration of Canadian Identity

By (author): Taylor Roades
ISBN 9781771605793
Hardcover | Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Book Dimensions: 8.5 in. x 11 in.
176 Pages

About the Book

An adventurous and thoughtful photographic exploration of Canada and Canadian identity.

This collection of images, taken over a decade and in every corner of the country, explores and questions what being a Canadian means. The photographs depict Taylor’s poignantly observed, first-person experience, visiting both recognizable and remote places that vary drastically in geography, history, socio-economic status, and overarching lifestyle.

Roades intrigues the viewer with images of the cultural threads that hold Canada together, and effortlessly weaves local idiosyncrasies together with iconic landscapes from coast to coast. If you have travelled in any part of Canada, you will see something delightfully familiar, and in a country with so much to explore somewhere new to add to your list.

About the Author(s)

Taylor Roades has been a working photographer since the age of twenty, and has travelled the world with her camera. Her love of travel, her curiosity in the realms of the sciences, and her compassion for issues related to climate change have led to a variety of documentary-style assignments across the globe. She was a part of Canada C3, a 150-day voyage around the three coasts of Canada on a retired Coast Guard icebreaker, and worked with Hasselblad in South Africa on the launch of their new X1D II camera. Her work has been featured in countless publications, including Maclean’s, The Guardian, The Narwhal, Canadian Wildlife, PhotoED, and Beside. She spent her time during the pandemic working on A Ribbon of Highway, her first book. Originally from Toronto, Taylor now lives and runs a photo studio in Victoria, British Columbia.


“The highway beckoned and Taylor Roades responded. Looking at these photographs I’m reminded of the words of John Steinbeck: “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” — George Webber, award-winning photographer, author of Last Call, Prairie Gothic, Borrowed Time: Calgary 1976–2019, Saskatchewan Book and Alberta Book

“Taylor Roades takes us on a classic Canadian road trip coast to coast, showing a less familiar viewpoint, piecing together a country of vast expanse with the mighty land as protagonist. The inhabitants are mere punctuation marks on the horizon. Clever visual pairings form a visual tapestry that weaves its way like a long Canadian highway. The outcome leaves an impression that there is more that unites us than separates us.” —Clare Vander Meersch, photo editor at The Globe and Mail

“In a country that’s always asking itself how it wants to be represented, Taylor Roades’s photos resound with a vibrancy, resilience and solitude that many will identify as uniquely Canadian. Her photos are rich with watchful observations and a simple love of a complex land that stretches far beyond what most imaginings can hold. As an audience, we are wiser — and perhaps even kinder — for meditating on the profound candour Roades brings to Canadian portraiture.” —Carol Linnitt, co-founder and executive editor of The Narwhal

“Photographer Taylor Roades takes us on a journey across Canada, spanning the immense region between three ocean coastlines with this collection of images from more than ten years of trips. The book mirrors Taylor’s spontaneous style of exploration, allowing one to get lost along the way as an essential component to self discovery.” —Scott Forsyth, author of the award-winning The Wild Coasts of Canada

“Jacqueline Salomé’s foreword reminds us that “home is not a place but a feeling.” This sentiment is eloquently illustrated by Roades’s selection of imagery, ranging from the dense rainforest of the Pacific Coast to her cousin’s spare room in Claybank, Saskatchewan. Through her imagery we find ourselves in familiar yet vastly differing terrain, from a Muskoka autumn fire to the concrete cloverleaf of a Highway 427 intersection. The ice roads connecting small northern communities to vital supplies, and the site of a demolished residential school in Alert Bay, conjure an awareness of Canada’s remote communities with a reminder of our current struggle to reconcile the disturbing facts of Canada’s history within the context of our present society.” —Scott Forsyth, author of the award-winning The Wild Coasts of Canada

“Perhaps it is less important to define what it is to be “Canadian” than it is to forge a bond between all of us, until we all feel at home in this varied landscape of place and time. In this manner, the challenges of climate and weather, and the triumphs of cultural achievements, are all felt collectively. A Ribbon of Highway provides us with a welcome step in this direction.” —Scott Forsyth, author of the award-winning The Wild Coasts of Canada