Old Rooftopping Photographs show Toronto’s Past

Think rooftopping is a new fad? I found these old photographs on the Toronto Archives that show that it was around over 100 years ago.

If you do not know what rooftopping is, it is the act of taking photographs from the tops of skyscrapers and buildings to capture cityscape and aerial photography, usually done illegally. Many Instagram users in Toronto have become known for these death-defying and breathtaking images that capture the beauty of a city from the sky.

Aerial photography from planes has also become popular with many of these rooftoppers and Instagram users taking to personal flight tour companies such as iFly GTA.

Check out these photos of people shooting from roofs and share them with your friends.

Rooftopping from the Royal Bank or CPR building - Intersection of King and Yonge streets. - [ca. 1930]
Rooftopping from the Royal Bank or CPR building – Intersection of King and Yonge streets. – [ca. 1930]
Nat Turofsky Rooftopping with camera - (ca. 1930)
Nat Turofsky Rooftopping with camera (ca. 1930)

Rooftopping looking east from old Union Station Tower 1926
Rooftopping looking east from old Union Station Tower [ca. 1926]
Aerial view northeast from Old Union Station Tower 1926
Aerial view northeast from Old Union Station Tower [1926]
Aerial view of Toronto from old Union Station Tower to the west 1926
Aerial view of Toronto from old Union Station Tower to the west [1926]
Aerial view of Toronto from the Continental Life Building May 6, 1919
Aerial view of Toronto from the Continental Life Building [ca. May 6, 1919]
Aerial view of Yonge Street, showing decking [ca. 1949]
Aerial view of Yonge Street, showing decking [ca. 1949]
Canada Life Building, skyscraper view from 16th floor. [ca.1930]
Canada Life Building, skyscraper view from 16th floor. [ca.1930]
Canada Life Building, Bank of Commerce from 16th floor. [ca. July 5, 1930]
Canada Life Building, Bank of Commerce from 16th floor. [ca. July 5, 1930]
Canada Life Building, Royal York Hotel from 16th floor. [ca. July 5, 1930]
Canada Life Building, Royal York Hotel from 16th floor. [ca. July 5, 1930]
Canada Life Building, University Avenue from 16th floor, [ca. 1930]
Canada Life Building, University Avenue from 16th floor, [ca. 1930]
From east annex tower, C.N.E 1927
From east annex tower, C.N.E [ca. 1927]
Looking north from the top of T. Eaton factory. - [ca. 1910]
Looking north from the top of T. Eaton factory. – [ca. 1910]
Looking northwest from the top of the Royal Bank building at King and Yonge streets. - [between 1914 and 1916?]
Looking northwest from the top of the Royal Bank building at King and Yonge streets. – [ca. 1914 -1916]
Looking southeast from Richmond and Bay streets. - [between 1912 and 1920]
Looking southeast from Richmond and Bay streets. – [ca. 1912-1920]
Toronto aerial view north side from Board of Trade building 1930
Toronto aerial view north side from Board of Trade building [ca. 1930]
1900 church street south
[ca. 1900] church street south
Aerial view northeast from Royal Bank Building 1915
Aerial view northeast from Royal Bank Building [ca. 1915]
Aerial view of Front and Church streets, looking southeast. - [1924]
Aerial view of Front and Church streets, looking southeast. – [ca. 1924]
Aerial view of Toronto looking northeast from railway yards 1926
Aerial view of Toronto looking northeast from railway yards [ca. 1926]
Bay Street at King Street looking north. - 1910
Bay Street at King Street looking north. – [ca. 1910]
Dirigible R-100 visits Toronto 1930
Dirigible R-100 visits Toronto [ca. 1930]
Toronto - from top Royal Park - Yonge Street [ca. 1924]
Toronto – from top Royal Park – Yonge Street [ca. 1924]
Toronto aerial view 1948
Toronto aerial view [ca. 1948]
Waterfront from top of Royal Bank Building 1915
Waterfront from top of Royal Bank Building [ca. 1915]
Toronto aerial view northeast from Bank of Montreal 1930-1950
Toronto aerial view northeast from Bank of Montreal [ca. 1930-1950]
University Avenue, looking north from roof of Canada Life Building. - 1929
University Avenue, looking north from roof of Canada Life Building. – [ca. 1929]
1915
[ca. 1915]
Aerial view looking east to Bay Street bridge 1926
Aerial view looking east to Bay Street bridge [ca. 1926]
Aerial view of Toronto east from A. R. Williams building 1927
Aerial view of Toronto east from A. R. Williams building [ca. 1927]
Aerial view of Toronto looking north from Royal Bank Building 1915
Aerial view of Toronto looking north from Royal Bank Building [ca. 1915]
Aerial view of Weston Road bridge district 1920
Aerial view of Weston Road bridge district [ca. 1920]
Canada Life Building - [ca. 1930]
Canada Life Building – [ca. 1930]
Canada Life Building, Toronto Armories from 16th floor.
Canada Life Building, Toronto Armories from 16th floor – [ca. 1930]
King Street East at Yonge Street, looking east. - [ca. 1910-1912]
King Street East at Yonge Street, looking east. – [ca. 1910-1912]
Aerial view of Orange Parade on University Avenue, looking south to Queen's Park 1930-1950
Aerial view of Orange Parade on University Avenue, looking south to Queen’s Park [ca. 1930-1950]
Toronto aerial view north from Royal York Hotel 1929
Toronto aerial view north from Royal York Hotel [ca. 1929]
Aerial view northwest from Royal Bank Building 1915
Aerial view northwest from Royal Bank Building [ca. 1915]
 

See more photos on the Toronto Archives website.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1721 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography