Monday, September 15, 2014

The Earliest Known Photographs of Toronto

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. The history of Toronto began in the late 18th century when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The settlement established there became York, which lieutenant governor John Graves Simcoe designated as the capital of Upper Canada. In 1834, York became a city and renamed to Toronto.

Here, below is a set of photographs, via the City of Toronto, championing the advantages of its streets, buildings and its physical situation on Lake Ontario. These photographs are the earliest known images taken in Toronto. They give us a fascinating glimpse into our past, clearly showing the street grid that still exists, but also showing how much has changed.

Parliament Buildings: Front Street West, ca. 1856 or 1857. (City of Toronto Archives)

Second United Presbyterian Church under construction, ca. 1856 or 1857. (City of Toronto Archives)

King Street East: south side, looking west, ca. 1856 or 1857. (City of Toronto Archives)

Trinity College: Queen Street West, north side, ca. 1856 or 1857. (City of Toronto Archives)

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