Tuesday, April 26, 2016

18 Black-and-White Toronto Vintage Streetscapes 1860-1974

King St. looking west from Yonge c. 1865
As even casual followers of this blog know, I love streetscape photography, vintage photography and combinations of the two!

Today we are going to look at 18 great examples of black-and-white photos of Toronto that span from as early as the 1860's up until the 1970's.

These are drawn from two books, both out-of-print. The first is Jay Myers' excellent 1977 popular history of Yonge St., The Great Canadian Road. It really emphasizes the importance the grand street has played in the development of Toronto and the other communities through which it makes its way.

The second is the well-written and very detailed To Serve the Community (1974) by G.H,. Stanford that is a history of Toronto's Board of Trade. For a leftist it is somewhat amusing to read a local history told entirely from the perspective of the capitalist class! It does, however, have interesting facts and anecdotes throughout.

Without any further ado, here are the photos in chronological order!

(Click on images to enlarge)


Looking north up Yonge St. from King St. c.1860


Horse-drawn streetcars on Yonge St. 1890


Stagecoach Stop, Yonge St. Richmond Hill 1896


Toronto Public Library 1897


Toronto Board of Trade building, Front & Yonge c. 1900


Pretoria Day celebrations at Yonge & Adelaide, June 5, 1901


The Yonge St. Radial Streetcar Line



A view of the city from St. James Cathedral, 1907


Lake front industry and railway lines, 1907


King and Yonge bustles with traffic, 1912


A "Peter Witt" streetcar heading north on Yonge St., December 24, 1912


A Peter Witt, still in service, picking up passengers northbound on Yonge
at College St., June 24, 1937


Toronto skyline, 1937


The King Edward Hotel, c. 1940



Subway construction on Yonge, 1950's


Yonge St. when it was a car-free pedestrian mall, 1970's


Toronto skyline, 1974



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