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December 5, 2011 4:40 PM   Subscribe

The history of Toronto in photos is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.
posted by netbros (20 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:46 PM on December 5, 2011


I can't get enough of these. Yonge Street and Queen West used to be magical places in the 1980s.
I would spend my entire Boxing Day bouncing between Sam's and A&A Records.
posted by rocket88 at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow, that picture of Bathurst station blows my mind. Great post. I lived in Toronto for three years and would move back in a heartbeat.
posted by pravit at 5:15 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are some great historical pictures of my neighborhood online at the Toronto archives, and I really enjoy looking at them and seeing how things have changed. My apartment window is just barely outside the frame of one from the 60s -- I'd love to get a print of it.

Recently one of the stores down the block has been under renovation, and when they tore down the terrible modern signage the revealed the name of the former meat market that occupied the space carved right into the brickwork. I would guess it dates back to the 40s or earlier.

Compared to Europe, Toronto is laughably young but it's still pretty cool to be reminded that there is a history to many of the places I take for granted.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey! There's my high school.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:02 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey! There's my high school.

Mine too! Is it just me or does Mt. Pleasant look narrower there than it does these days?
posted by saturday_morning at 6:09 PM on December 5, 2011


It looks normal to me. I'm just confused that there aren't 50 people out smoking at the SE corner. Maybe it was taken on a Saturday?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:19 PM on December 5, 2011


Times were simpler. You could probably smoke indoors, between canings.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was worth it just to see this image.
posted by In The Annex at 7:13 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


For quite a few years Mies Van der Rohe's TD Towers completely dominated the Toronto skyline.
I hadn't realized quite how long it had preceded its contemporary neighbours.
posted by Flashman at 7:24 PM on December 5, 2011


WOW. Outstanding collection. And huge. I'm going to be going through these for quite a while. Thanks so much for this post.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:26 PM on December 5, 2011


That was worth it just to see this image.

Puts Rosie the Riveter to shame, doesn't she?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:33 PM on December 5, 2011


> I lived in Toronto for three years and would move back in a heartbeat.

Toronto's seen better days, I'm afraid, and worse are ahead.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:44 PM on December 5, 2011


I was in Montreal for a couple of weeks in November. I walked the dog and chatted with lots of nice folks but if I ever mentioned that I was visiting from Toronto, each one felt COMPELLED to shit all over Toronto. It also seemed important to them that I understand that they too could had lived in Toronto if they had chosen to.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:13 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a shame. I thought only Vancouverites were that insecure. Montreal should just keep getting on with its sexy self.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:46 PM on December 5, 2011


I am sort of falling out of love with Toronto, for a bunch of complicated reasons, and these photos, they made me love it all over again.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:58 PM on December 5, 2011


I live in Calgary but spent my first three years as a Canadian (1997-2000) in the Big Smoke. I loved--LOVED--living in Toronto; I just wish it had loved me back. When I moved to Cowtown I had my defenses up about moving from TO but the response I got constantly was "oh, you must find it quiet here." That wasn't really the case- living in a tower at 8th and 8th downtown was a lot "louder" than was Seaton Village, but I really encountered no abuse for coming from Toronto, which I didn't expect. But when I went to Vancouver in February of 2001- oh my dear God. Most folks (outside of the gay bars, which was a WHOLE other story) were fine with my being from Calgary, but when I mentioned that I'd recently moved from Toronto? It went like this- every time:

Me: I moved there from Toronto.
Them: I hate Toronto.

That experience really soured me on Vancouver. It's taken many subsequent visits to get my love back for the place but that's mostly because it's been almost 12 years since I lived in TO and don't bring it up.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:55 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I lived in Toronto for three years and would move back in a heartbeat.

Toronto's seen better days, I'm afraid, and worse are ahead.


If this turns into a gripe-fest about Toronto's current civic politics, I'd be okay with that.
posted by ovvl at 6:25 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am sort of falling out of love with Toronto

Me too. The problem is that I am falling out of love with everywhere. The world has become one big giant open air shopping center with all the same shops everywhere. I travel between England and North America all the time and these days I bring next to nothing with me and next to nothing home. Why? Because you can get all the same useless shit everywhere*.

I really miss Young Street's seediness and Queen Street's edgy punky past.

Of course it could just be that I am now old and the cool places are things I, as a silver beard, am not allowed to know about.


*Except cheaper maple syrup.
posted by srboisvert at 7:18 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


i know the cool places, and get invited to the cool parties, and i can't be bothered, maybe it is post Will Munro, but for me, i just want to give it up and go some place else.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:46 AM on December 6, 2011


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