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What Toronto looked like in the 1910s

Toronto in the 1910s was a city of contrasts. On the one hand, the population was growing rapidly, and the economy was strong. Many immigrants were coming to the city, which added to its diversity and vibrancy. The city was also undergoing significant industrialization, with many new factories and businesses being established. This led to the creation of new jobs and opportunities for the people of Toronto.

On the other hand, the city also faced some challenges and growing pains. The influx of immigrants put a strain on the city’s infrastructure and services, and there were instances of overcrowding and poor living conditions in some areas. The city was also dealing with the effects of World War I, as many young men from Toronto enlisted to fight and the city experienced economic uncertainty due to the war. Many people in the city were employed in the manufacturing sector, and the city was a hub for trade and commerce. On the other hand, the city was also deeply impacted by the war.

The city was undergoing major changes and was at the forefront of Canada’s industrialization and growth. Many of the institutions and organizations that define the city today were established during this period, including the Toronto Transit Commission and the Toronto Public Library. Overall, Toronto in the 1910s was a dynamic and rapidly changing city.

#4 Ted Dodd an employee of the Toronto Electric Light Company, 1918.

Ted Dodd an employee of the Toronto Electric Light Company, 1918.

This company was the first to string and power 50 street lights in the city from their steam powered generation plant at the foot of Scott Street on the Lake Ontario waterfront.

#5 Arrival of immigrants at (old) Union Station, 1910s

#7 April 9 is Vimy Ridge Day. Six months after that battle, in October 1917, this photograph captured recuperating veterans gathered on the southwest corner of Yonge and College Street, referred to as Shrapnel Corners.

#8 King Street West, looking east from west of York Street, 1914.

#9 Looking northwest from Queen and Bay streets, 1910.

#10 Workers in horse-drawn buggies excavate building 7 of Kodak Heights, Mount Dennis, Toronto. (Eglinton Ave. W. & Weston Rd.), July 27, 1914

#11 Sleeping in doorway on a hot summer night, The Ward, 1910.

#12 Street railway strike meeting, Massey Hall, 1919.

#13 Bay and Albert streets, view looking southeast, 1918.

#14 Stonecutters commemorative photo of those involved in creating the intricate carvings on the north wing of the Ontario Legislative Building in Queens Park, Toronto, 1913

#15 Polson Iron Works Shipyard in Toronto, 1917. View shows six mine sweepers being fitted out for use in WWI, including the Festubert, St. Eloi, St. Julien, Vimy, Ypres and Messines.

#24 Beach Hebrew Institute, Kenilworth Avenue, east side, south of Queen Street East, 1919

#25 The Royal Canadian Dragoons Escort the Prince of Wales as he visits Toronto, Fall 1919.

#26 Jewish missionary Henry Singer in ‘The Ward’, 1912.

#29 Here is a view of the Old City Hall as it looked from the air in 1919.

Here is a view of the Old City Hall as it looked from the air in 1919.

The image is of particular interest on Remembrance Day for two reasons. Firstly it is unusual to see the location without its familiar war memorial Secondly the aerial view was taken while the Old City Hall was decorated to welcome home the 75th Battalion who would have been on their way home to Mississauga.

#30 “Early bargain” crowds waiting for the Eaton department store doors to open, Labour Day 1919.

#31 Oblique aerial view of Hogg’s Hollow, which was taken by the Simpson Bros, 1910s

#32 Billing and entering office, ‘Kodak Heights’ 1917. Kodak of Canada headquarters, Eglinton Ave. W. & Weston Rd., Mount Dennis, Toronto.

#36 Looking south from Richmond and Bay streets, 1910s

#37 Northeast corner of Yonge and Shuter streets, 1910s

#38 Public Library at Broadview and Gerrard street, 1910s

#41 Bank of Montreal Building at Yonge and Queen streets, 1910s

#44 Carlton street looking east from Yonge Street, 1910s

#47 Timothy Eaton Memorial Church on St. Clair Avenue West, 1910s

#56 Queen Street looking West from River Street, 1910s

#57 Streetcar track work at Queen and Bond streets, 1910s

#59 Car accident on Bloor Street near Walmer Road, 1910s

#67 The 19th battalion somewhere between August 1914 and May 1915. This is at the exhibition grounds where they trained prior to shipping out in Toronto, Ontario

#68 Royal Flying Corps Canada. Lecture on airmanship, No. 4 School of Military Aeronautics, University of Toronto, 1915

#69 Royal Flying Corps in front of the School of Practical Science (Engineering Building) at UofT, 1917.

#70 Daniel McDougall and Bobby Mitchell outside barber shop at 625 Gerrard Street East, sometime just after 1912.

#71 Mayor Church standing with the Prince of Wales and other dignitaries at Toronto’s City Hall, 1919.

#72 Going to Major Moss’ wedding at the Garrison Church, 1919. Location is Stewart Street west of Portland, south side, looking west.

#73 Mr. Darroch and ‘Majestic”; Black 4 yr.g., driving on Jarvis Street, 1911.

#75 Chicken warehouse, Agnes Street (Now part of Dundas St. W.), 1910.

#76 Imperial Oil service station after modernization, Toronto, Ontario. Station opened in August, 1918. Located at Danforth and Broadview. Where at Broadview & Danforth.

#77 Imperial Oil service station before modernization, Toronto, 1918

#78 A photo of the gents at Milnes Coal Co. Limited, it was on Esplanade East between Church & Market, 1910s.

#79 Happy Victoria Day! Group at statue of Queen Victoria, Queen’s Park, 1912.

#80 The Prince George Hotel in 1919. Located on the SE corner of King & York streets, it was originally named the Rossin House. The building was demolished in 1969 to make way for the TD Centre.

#81 R.A.F. (Canada) training plane C327, its tail broken during an accident at Camp Leaside, 1918. The camp was located at Laird Drive & Wicksteed Ave., within today’s Leaside neighborhood in Toronto.

#82 299 Queen Street West, as it appeared back in 1919.

#83 Two ladies have their picture taken beside a train at the Grand Trunk Railway’s West Toronto station, 1910s.

Two ladies have their picture taken beside a train at the Grand Trunk Railway's West Toronto station, 1910s.

The view here is looking south down the line to the area west of where Old Weston Rd. & Westport Ave. intersect. The station eventually served CNR and VIA but became vacant and was demolished in the 1990s.

#84 They may not look it, but these buildings are a jail. Toronto Municipal Farm for Men opened at Falstaff (now Thornhill) in 1912 and closed in 1939 (it was converted to a hospital). It housed short-term inmates who worked on the farm during their sentences

#85 Toronto Municipal Farm for Men opened at Falstaff (now Thornhill) in 1912

#88 Morse Street Playground — Festival – August 28, 1915

#89 Inside of 363 Sorauren Ave., 1913.

Inside of 363 Sorauren Ave., 1913.

The building was owned by Columbia Graphophones. The lighting was gas lamp lighting. The building has now been converted to The Robert Watson Lofts. The wood pillars and overhead support beams are still there as are the window openings.

#90 High Park Mineral Baths, Bloor St. W., n. side, e. of Parkview Gardens, 1916

#91 Cattle in the snow at Robinson dairy farm in Newtonbrook, located west of Yonge St, south side of Steeles Ave, Feb 10, 1915.

#93 The former mess hall of the Victoria Park Forest School was looking rough around the edges by the time this photo was taken in 1910. A repurposed building that was originally created for Victoria Park amusement park.

#94 Victoria Park Forest School, Mess Hall, July 29, 1913. A repurposed building, originally created for Victoria Park amusement park.

#95 Kodak Heights Pond, 1916. Kodak of Canada headquarters, Eglinton Ave. W. & Weston Rd., Mount Dennis, Toronto.

#96 ‘Kodak Heights’ factory construction, looking NE, Building 5, Mount Dennis, Toronto. (Eglinton Ave. W. & Weston Rd.), October 15, 1915

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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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