Vintage Settlement Photographs from Ontario

For Canada Day, I thought I would share some vintage settlement photographs from around Ontario. The website Ancestry.ca recently released thousands of images from Canada spanning 25 years from post-Confederation to the First World War. It is great to have a new resource to browse old photographs. I will be exploring them in more depth for a few more posts down the road.

Aerial image of Toronto Settlement PhotographsAerial image of Toronto

One of the collections is called “Canada, Photographic Albums of Settlement, 1892-1917” and it includes photos of villages, cities, vistas, landmarks, settlers & aboriginal Canadians from coast to coast, taking a look at everyday life for habitants during the earliest days of the country. I have included some of the photos below.

The albums were put together within the Department of the Interior circa 1892 – 1917. They were then maintained and updated by the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources from 1936 to 1939. Photographers John Woodruff and Horatio N. Topley were responsible for most of the images in the album. They were either employed by or under contract with the Department of the Interior. They would of had to take on a number of trips to complete the photo albums from 1903-1914.

Included are views relating to agriculture, railroads, ports, cities, and immigration.

Cave of the Winds, Niagara Settlement PhotographsCave of the Winds, Niagara

 

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Settlement Photographs
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara
Niagara Falls, Niagara Settlement Photographs
Niagara Falls, Niagara
Niagara Rapids from Railway Bridge, Niagara
Niagara Rapids from Railway Bridge, Niagara
American Falls, Niagara River, Niagara
American Falls, Niagara River, Niagara
The Whirlpool, Niagara River, Niagara
The Whirlpool, Niagara River, Niagara
The Whirlpool, Niagara River, Niagara
The Whirlpool, Niagara River, Niagara
Queenston Heights from Lewiston, Queenston
Queenston Heights from Lewiston, Queenston
Canadian Custom House on Bridge, Niagara
Canadian Custom House on Bridge, Niagara
American Falls, Niagara
American Falls, Niagara
Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara
Whirlpool Rapids, Niagara
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara
Hamilton, City Hall
Hamilton, City Hall
Hamilton courthouse, King St
Hamilton courthouse, King St
Hamilton courthouse (lower 2) copy 3
Hamilton ?
Cattle raising, Don Valley near Toronto, Ont.
Cattle raising, Don Valley near Toronto, Ont.
Cattle raising, Don Valley near Toronto, Ont.
Cattle raising, Don Valley near Toronto, Ont.
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park Settlement Photographs
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park
“Nominigan Camp”, Smoke Lake, Algonquin Park
Grave of Laura Secord, Lundy’s Lane Cemetery, Niagara Falls
Grave of Laura Secord, Lundy’s Lane Cemetery, Niagara Falls
Grave of Laura Secord, Lundy’s Lane Cemetery, Niagara Falls
Grave of Laura Secord, Lundy’s Lane Cemetery, Niagara Falls
501 Steamer “Corona” in the Toronto Harbour, Toronto
501 Steamer “Corona” in the Toronto Harbour, Toronto
Library, Queen’s Park, Toronto
Library, Queen’s Park, Toronto
Album 16, Ontario 365-501 (1939-433) - Image 36 copy
Toronto

Album 16, Ontario 365-501 (1939-433) - Image 36 copy 3 Album 16, Ontario 365-501 (1939-433) - Image 36 copy 2 Album 16, Ontario 365-501 (1939-433) - Image 31

(1939)
Main Building, Agricultural College, Guelph
Main Building, Agricultural College, Guelph
Main Building, Agricultural College, Guelph

Album 16, Ontario 365-501 (1939-433) - Image 31 copy 2 42588_83024005548_1131-00038 42588_83024005548_1131-00038 copy

Historical observatory on the grounds of the University of Toronto, Toronto
Historical observatory on the grounds of the University of Toronto, Toronto
University of Toronto, Toronto
University of Toronto, Toronto

To find more vintage settlement photographs, try these resources.

Check out more images on the Ancestry.ca website.

Check out photos on the Toronto Archives.

Check out photos on the Toronto Public Library Archives.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 799 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography