"It seems that passport photos are a bit of pain in the butt for Canadian ex-pats in general."
No kidding -- I had a terrible time in Japan and was the facing the same here in France (cost of application, plus trip to Paris, plus photos, plus paying for them to 'authentify' me, etc...) until I decided to go back to Canada indefinitely. Will make things a lot easier to do it on the home turf. Of course, we have to do this every five years, not ten, as is the case in most other countries.
Lopaka -- I hear what you're saying, but the last time I was in Toronto and got photos done it took several attempts by the photographer to get the exact head and shoulders dimensions right. They do it all the time, everyday, but still face problems. Of course, with digital, it's easy and quick to see where the problem is and to make the adjustment, so it's a minor issue.