Old photographs of the Toronto waterfront from the archives

While browsing the Toronto Archives and the Toronto Public Library Archives, I found a lot of great images taken along our city’s waterfront. From 1856 until 1999, these images illustrate how the Toronto waterfront has grown and, in detail, show the many changes that have occurred there.

Some of my favourite images include the first 3 which are part of a greater collection of cityscapes from Toronto taken in the year 1856. The dredge reminds me of the work we did to form the lands of our city and the infrastructure change throughout the images shows the transportation we built to get people around them.

I have included some of my favourite images as well as the descriptions I could find.

1856 - Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel - looking south
1856 – Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel – looking south
1856 - Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel - looking south 2
1856 – Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel – looking south 2
1856 - Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel - looking south-east
1856 – Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel – looking south-east
1856 - Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel - looking south-west
1856 – Toronto from the top of the Rossin House Hotel – looking south-west
1900? - Toronto waterfront
1900? – Toronto waterfront
1904 - march 2nd - Waterfront from the Bay
1904 – march 2nd – Waterfront from the Bay
1907 - Hanlan's Point west waterfront
1907 – Hanlan’s Point west waterfront
1910 - 1914 - Toronto waterfront at foot of York Street
1910 – 1914 – Toronto waterfront at foot of York Street
1910? - Looking south to waterfront
1910? – Looking south to waterfront
1910? - Waterfront at foot of Yonge Street - Toronto waterfront
1010 – Waterfront at Yonge St wharf grows weeds while question of viaduct remains unsettled.
1913 - Waterfront at York Street
1913 – Waterfront at York Street
1914 - Waterfront at foot of Simcoe Street, looking northeast
1914 – The building to the right was the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (1894-1896). The Toronto Harbour Commission building is at extreme right.
1918? - Aerial view of Toronto waterfront
1918? – Aerial view of Toronto waterfront
1920 - Aerial view of Toronto waterfront (Envelope says Yonge St. north at Montgomery Avenue)
1920 – Aerial view of Toronto waterfront (Envelope says Yonge St. north at Montgomery Avenue)
1920 - Toronto waterfront
1920 – Toronto waterfront
1922 - Boats docked at Toronto waterfront
1922 – Boats docked at Toronto waterfront
1922 - Toronto waterfront - dredge at work
1922 – Toronto waterfront – dredge at work
1923 - April 5 - Skyline from waterfront
1923 – April 5 – Skyline from waterfront
1923 - april 5 - Waterfront with boats, bird's-eye view
1923 – april 5 – Waterfront with boats, bird’s-eye view
1923 - Toronto waterfront and Island
1923 – Toronto waterfront and Island
1926 - Panorama of Toronto waterfront looking east to Bay Street
1926 – Panorama of Toronto waterfront looking east to Bay Street
1926 - Waterfront from Royal Bank Building, King and Yonge streets, looking southeast
1926 – Waterfront from Royal Bank Building, King and Yonge streets, looking southeast
1927 - Waterfront, abandoned boat, warehouse in background
1927 – Waterfront, abandoned boat, warehouse in background
1928 - C.N.E., women's swim, air views, general waterfront, Ontario Bldg
1928 – C.N.E., women’s swim, air views, general waterfront, Ontario Bldg
1929 - Aerial view of Toronto from waterfront
1929 – Aerial view of Toronto from waterfront
1929 - Viaduct work, view from foot of Yonge Street
1929 – Viaduct work, view from foot of Yonge Street
1929 - Viaduct work, view from under Bay Street subway
1929 – Viaduct work, view from under Bay Street subway
1929 - Waterfront, line of boats and warehouse in background
1929 – Waterfront, line of boats and warehouse in background
1930 - Toronto waterfront, ferry docks from water
1930 – Toronto waterfront, ferry docks from water
1930 - Viaduct work, train sheds, from foot of Bay Street
1930 – Viaduct work, train sheds, from foot of Bay Street
1936 - Waterfront at foot of York Street from Royal York Hotel
1936 – Waterfront at foot of York Street from Royal York Hotel
1959 - Toronto waterfront
1959 – Toronto waterfront
1969 - 1976 - Waterfront looking north to Royal York
1969 – 1976 – Waterfront looking north to Royal York
1973 - Pier No. 6, Toronto waterfront
1973 – Pier No. 6, Toronto waterfront
1977 - Waterfront looking north to city core from above
1977 – Waterfront looking north to city core from above
1980 - 1986 - Central waterfront looking west
1980 – 1986 – Central waterfront looking west
1980? - Aerial photograph looking north from waterfront to Royal York Hotel
1980? – Aerial photograph looking north from waterfront to Royal York Hotel
1981 - View of Toronto waterfront from Lake Ontario
1981 – View of Toronto waterfront from Lake Ontario
1981-1988 - waterfront
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay.
1981-1988 - waterfront 2
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 - waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1981-1988 – waterfront Harbourfront/Bathurst Quay
1990? - waterfront
1990? – waterfront

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1249 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography