Old photographs from 100 years of the Toronto Sewer System

On my latest visit to the Toronto Archives and the Toronto Public Library Archives, I found some very interesting photos of the Toronto sewer system and those who worked on it.

The images date back to the late 1800s and show some of the workers throughout the years as well as the design and materials used on our early sewers.

Take a look at the pics and let us know anything interesting you notice via social media.

Toronto Sewer System - 1890? - Avenue Road sewer
1890? – Avenue Road sewer
Toronto Sewer System - 1890? - Avenue Road sewer copy
1890? – Avenue Road sewer copy
Toronto Sewer System - 1890? - Avenue Road sewer copy 2
1890? – Avenue Road sewer copy 2
Toronto Sewer System - 1890? - Bellmouth, Northwest Branch, Garrison Creek sewer
1890? – Bellmouth, Northwest Branch, Garrison Creek sewer
1890? - Garrison Creek sewer, northwest branch
1890? – Garrison Creek sewer, northwest branch
1910 - Sewer construction
1910 – Sewer construction
1910? - Davenport Road sewer, brick work
1910? – Davenport Road sewer, brick work
1910? - Sewers
1910? – Sewers
1925 - Sherbourne Street sewer extension from south
1925 – Sherbourne Street sewer extension from south
1926 - Berkeley Street sewer forms and steel
1926 – Berkeley Street sewer forms and steel
1927 - North Toronto Sewers, Leaside tunnel heading
1927 – North Toronto Sewers, Leaside tunnel heading
1927 - Sewer construction workers, west heading, contract 43 - Russell - mining invert, 10 feet, 9-inch diameter, 32 pounds air pressure, material clay
1927 – Sewer construction workers, west heading, contract 43 – Russell – mining invert, 10 feet, 9-inch diameter, 32 pounds air pressure, material clay
1927 - Sewers, air lock, contract 18, W. R. Worthington Construction Company
1927 – Sewers, air lock, contract 18, W. R. Worthington Construction Company
1927 - Sewers, excavation of complete sewer showing crown planks supported on bench, 10 foot 9 inch diameter - mining, west heading, contract 43, Russell Construction Company
1927 – Sewers, excavation of complete sewer showing crown planks supported on bench, 10 foot 9 inch diameter – mining, west heading, contract 43, Russell Construction Company
1927 - Sewers, north heading completed - workers, contract 18, Worthington
1927 – Sewers, north heading completed – workers, contract 18, Worthington
1927 - Sewers, north heading completed - workers, contract 18, Worthington copy
1927 – Sewers, north heading completed – workers, contract 18, Worthington copy
1931 - Rosedale Creek Sewer near Ramsden Park
1931 – Rosedale Creek Sewer near Ramsden Park
1933 - Spadina Rd. sewer, looking northerly, showing cave-in on east side of trench
1933 – Spadina Rd. sewer, looking northerly, showing cave-in on east side of trench
1940? - East Toronto and Midway storm sewer - Coxwell and Ashbridge
1940? – East Toronto and Midway storm sewer – Coxwell and Ashbridge
1940? - East Toronto and Midway storm sewer - Coxwell and Queen
1940? – East Toronto and Midway storm sewer – Coxwell and Queen
1960? - Sewer construction, Eglinton Avenue and Bermondsey Road
1960? – Sewer construction, Eglinton Avenue and Bermondsey Road
1975 - After 9-year-old Simon Wilson was reported missing in January, 1975, police officers and volunteers explored Etobicoke's sewer tunnels and Searched Mimico Creek. No trace of Simon was found
1975 – After 9-year-old Simon Wilson was reported missing in January, 1975, police officers and volunteers explored Etobicoke’s sewer tunnels and Searched Mimico Creek. No trace of Simon was found
1975 - Andy Try, 14, and Peter Ostrowskie, 12, beam a flashlight down a side tunnel inside the network of storm sewers in Rexdale where some people believe missing 9-year-old Simon Wilson may be hiding. Brennan, Pat
1975 – Andy Try, 14, and Peter Ostrowskie, 12, beam a flashlight down a side tunnel inside the network of storm sewers in Rexdale where some people believe missing 9-year-old Simon Wilson may be hiding. Brennan, Pat
1984 - Site engineer Eric Pullerits looks up from 27.4 meters below Jarvis St. at Queen's Quay - where work is in progress on a new $3.7 million - half-mile storm sewer line being built to facilitate water run-off to Lake O - Beaty, Keith
1984 – Site engineer Eric Pullerits looks up from 27.4 meters below Jarvis St. at Queen’s Quay – where work is in progress on a new $3.7 million – half-mile storm sewer line being built to facilitate water run-off to Lake Ontario – Beaty, Keith
1987 - Bonie Bertumen stands in a 12-foot sewer; one of the many running below Metro. The smelll stops bothering you; he says; after working there 20 or 30 years - Mike Slaughter
1987 – Bonie Bertumen stands in a 12-foot sewer; one of the many running below Metro. The smell stops bothering you; he says; after working there 20 or 30 years – Mike Slaughter

 

If you want to browse more old photographs from the city, visit our Toronto History column or visit the Toronto Archives and Toronto Public Library Archives.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1421 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography