BRITISH COLUMBIA

'The Stranger Project' Tackles Vancouver's Unfriendly Reputation (PHOTOS)

01/16/2014 02:18 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Vancouver's reputation for being an unfriendly place has challenged a photographer to meet one stranger a day in the city to make it warmer.

Colin Easton launched the "The Stranger Project" on New Year's Day. He approaches someone new every day, asks what their story is, takes their picture and posts it to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

"If everybody on the street talked to one stranger, we would be a much warmer city," Easton told The Huffington Post B.C. His project mirrors similar ones in the U.S., like the enormously popular Humans Of New York.

Check out "The Stranger Project." Story continues below:

"The Stranger Project"

A computer salesman by trade, Easton says he was inspired to start the project by Vancouver photographer Donovan Mahoney.

The Stranger Project's first photo was of Patrick, an ex-con from Reno, Nev. who now collects bottles in Vancouver.

The next day Easton met Emily, a UBC student who lives in Richmond, and wants to travel to Mexico and bring "peace and social justice to the world."

So far, Easton says his most fascinating character has been Tom, a former mill worker who was diagnosed with cancer shortly after he retired. Easton learned that Tom had donated a portable bladder scanner to Vancouver General Hospital after being treated there.

Tom's routine is simple: every day he leaves his house and stops by a cafe for a "mocha, a smoka and then a toke-a."

"I'm really grateful for this project because I wouldn't have met him, I wouldn't have talked to him otherwise to find out what a great human being he is," Easton said.

"The whole germination of this is we're so busy in our lives," he said. "I have thoughts in my head, you have your thoughts in your head, and I wonder if we were to speak, if we would find anything interesting about one another."

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