Old Toronto

I’m currently (or should be) doing research for a paper due at the end of the semester where we focus on one street of Toronto from 1911 and try to put together an idea of what it was like to live on such street at such time. It’s actually really cool (oh, I am such a nerd). Most kids (slackers (not really)) are focusing on an ethnic or religious enclave, but I am trying to find an occupation enclave, of which there is little information (me = idiot overachiever).

Long story short, here are some awesome pictures of Toronto in the 1900s that I stumbled upon on Blog TO during said fruitless reserach.


The cycling club (what?)


King Street


U of T campus entrance (!)


the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)


St. Lawrence Market


Sleighing in Queens Park


Diving Horse at Hanalan’s Point (this one’s my favorite, it is utterly absurd).


3 thoughts on “Old Toronto

  1. Emma, I hope you have looked my book, Toronto: A Literary Guide for ideas for your essay on Toronto streets. Off the top of my head, I’d suggest King Street between Yonge and University because that was Newspaper Alley a century ago–where Hemingway worked at the Toronto Star for example. All of the big T.O. papers were centred there, and you might contrast the smell of ink which permeated the area with the seemig death of newspapers today–except that Toronto is remarkable by N. American standards in having five daily newsapers in English, and dozens more in other languages (for instance, I rthink there are two dailes in Mandarin alone).
    Alternatively, you might consider Han;an’s Point itself. The diving horse was a big hit there, Think a Coney Island North. It’s named after the father of Ned Hanan, probably the greatest sculler who ever lived, There is a huge statue of him in bronze at the Ferry Docks.

  2. Greg seems to have given you a lot of leads, but is there any documentation about Cabbagetown? Because being that your grandmother is an Irish immigrant, you might have an interest in the immigrant experience Toronto-style. Unfortunately, these communities are often NOT written about at the time or documented well because the powers-that-be wanted them invisible (and therefore powerless), unless it was to sweep the steps and clean their houses.

  3. @Greg: I considered that actually! Unfortunately, however, we’re supposed to be focusing much more on the individual people themselves on a street rather than businesses. As far as I’ve found, there doesn’t seem to be a “newspaper” enclave in terms of residence and it would be difficult to incorporate census data. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    @ Mom: Actually, there is a TON written on the Irish in Toronto, like boat loads upon boatloads. It’s my back-up topic, but not my go to.

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