Topless shoeshine girls were a thing in Toronto

Photographer Dick Loek captured many great historical images from Toronto over his years working at the Toronto Star. His images have become a part of the city’s identity as they open a window to the times that used to be. So much has changed over the years and it is great to be able to look back and see the changes is many of our life times. One of his images is this image of topless shoeshine girls in 1975 shining the shoes of their male patrons. The photo was taken at the business location in the Yonge and Dundas area. Yonge Street in the late ’70s was known for its strip clubs, massage parlours, and its sex shops, something that began to change at the dawn of the new decade.

Topless Shoeshine girl
Buffing Shoes In The Buff; Topless shoeshine girls have come to Toronto – and Charlotte (Nutsy) Webb; 19; of Toronto was working on Michael J. Freeman’s oxfords yesterday on Yonge St. near Dundas. The Metro Police morality department is taking a look at the operation today; remembering a topless manicure parlour that closed for lack of profit.

You can see more of Loek’s work on his Instagram page.


Toronto, Canada February 12, 1975A man gets a shoeshine from a topless shoeshine girl in a local body rub parlour. The shines are given free as a loss-leader to steer patrons into a local body rub parlour and nude photography studio – Underwood Studio / Contributor



About Joel Levy 2575 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography