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Toronto in the 1900s Through these Interesting Historical Photos

Horses and carriages were still prevalent on city streets in the 1900s, when Toronto had about 210,000 people. The Temple Building, at ten storeys, and the Trader’s Bank Building, at 15 storeys, were the city’s tallest buildings, but the Bloor Viaduct had yet to link the city’s east and west sides. The city was devastated by one of the worst fires in its history, with nearly the entire main business area.

By 1900, the commercial center had shifted west of the historic Town of York location. A new downtown was developed to the west of Yonge and King Streets. The City of Toronto moved into a new City Hall, constructed at the intersection of Bay and Queen Streets. The Great Toronto Fire of 1904 destroyed much of this new downtown, but it was soon rebuilt.

Below are some interesting historical photos that will take you back to the 1900s Toronto.

#1 Yonge looking north from Temperance, 1903

Yonge looking north from Temperance, 1903

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#2 Jarvis Street, 1903

Jarvis Street, 1903

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#3 Crystal Palace (later destroyed by fire), 1906

Crystal Palace (later destroyed by fire), 1906

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#4 King Street, 1900

King Street, 1900

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#5 Weston Train Station, 1900

Weston Train Station, 1900

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#6 Eaton’s factory interior, 1901

Eaton’s factory interior, 1901

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#7 Laying asphalt on Elm Avenue, 1902

Laying asphalt on Elm Avenue, 1902

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#8 Entrance to U of T campus, 1903

Entrance to U of T campus, 1903

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#9 Sleighing at Queen’s Park, 1906

Sleighing at Queen’s Park, 1906

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#10 Board of Trade Building, 1900

Board of Trade Building, 1900

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#11 Hanlan’s Point Hotel and Regatta, 1907

Hanlan’s Point Hotel and Regatta, 1907

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#12 Dufferin Racetrack, 1908

Dufferin Racetrack, 1908

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#13 William Davies Store, 1908

William Davies Store, 1908

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#14 Toronto Street, 1908

Toronto Street, 1908

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#15 Cycling club, 1900

Cycling club, 1900

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#16 Fire aftermath, 1904

Fire aftermath, 1904

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#17 Fire aftermath, 1904

Fire aftermath, 1904

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#18 CNE midway, 1904

CNE midway, 1904

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#19 Candy department Eaton’s, 1904

Candy department Eaton’s, 1904

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#20 High Park, 1904

High Park, 1904

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#21 St. Lawrence Market, 1904

St. Lawrence Market, 1904

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#22 Newsboy, 1905

Newsboy, 1905

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#23 Tally Ho showing visitors around the city, 1905

Tally Ho showing visitors around the city, 1905

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#24 Yonge and Front, 1906

Yonge and Front, 1906

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#25 Bookies at Woodbine Race Track (original), 1907

Bookies at Woodbine Race Track (original), 1907

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#26 Carriage ride, 1907

Carriage ride, 1907

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#27 Cycling in Mimico, 1907

Cycling in Mimico, 1907

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#28 Bathurst north of St. Clair, 1907

Bathurst north of St. Clair, 1907

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#29 Old (but then new) City Hall, 1907

Old (but then new) City Hall, 1907

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#30 Diving Horse at Hanlan’s Point, 1907

Diving Horse at Hanlan’s Point, 1907

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#31 The Grange, 1907

The Grange, 1907

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#32 Confederation Life Building, 1907

Confederation Life Building, 1907

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#33 Yonge north of Bloor, 1907

Yonge north of Bloor, 1907

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#34 Queen and James, 1908

Queen and James, 1908

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#35 Government House, 1908

Government House, 1908

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#36 Yonge and Queen, 1908

Yonge and Queen, 1908

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#37 University Avenue (with Queen’s Park in the distance), 1908

University Avenue (with Queen’s Park in the distance), 1908

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#38 Collecting coal, 1909

Collecting coal, 1909

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#39 Queen and Spadina, 1909

Queen and Spadina, 1909

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#40 Ruins of Hanlan’s Point Hotel, 1909

Ruins of Hanlan’s Point Hotel, 1909

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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9 Comments

    • Many of the more significant, iconic buildings in these photos still exist today. The Toronto Board of Trade Building, Government House, and Crystal Palace were destroyed by fire. It’s incredible how razed when the new City Hall was built, but most of these architectural gems are still standing today.

    • Many of the more significant, iconic buildings in these photos still exist today. The Toronto Board of Trade Building, Government House, and Crystal Palace were destroyed by fire. It’s incredible how razed when the new City Hall was built, but most of these architectural gems are still standing today.