ttc 1960s

Toronto of the 1960s

Given that Mad Men -- and its yellow-tinged look at 1960s New York -- remains all the rage, I thought it might be fun to take a photographic tour of the Toronto of the 1960s. Well before my time, it's fascinating to see just how undeveloped the city was prior to the 1970s. Although the Viljo Revell-designed (new) City Hall was completed in 1965, many iconic features of Toronto's current landscape had yet to be built.

Particularly obvious is the lack of the CN Tower (completed 1976), but the photos below also reveal a skyline that's yet to feature First Canadian Place (completed 1975), Commerce Court West (completed 1972) and Scotia Plaza (completed 1988). In fact, in the early 1960s, Toronto looks a lot more like Buffalo than the city most of us know and (maybe) love.

Notably present -- and much more dominant on the skyline -- is the Mies van der Rohe-designed Toronto-Dominion Centre. And, not to be forgotten, the seemingly ever-present Royal York Hotel seems to loom much larger back then.

On a somewhat cliche level, the 1960s in Toronto was a time in which the subways were red, the Leafs were Stanley Cup Winners, Nathan Phillips was still mayor (at the very beginning of the decade) and Yorkville was a hippie hub.

Decidedly less cool than New York, but captivating nonetheless.

1963 (Buffalo-esque skyline)

toronto skyline 1963

Royal York 1963

royal york hotel 1963

View from the observation deck of City Hall 1966

toronto 1960s

Nathan Phillips Square looking south 1966

nathan phillips square historical

Bay and Wellington ca. 1966


Gerrard Street ca. 1966

yorkville 1960s

Skyline 1967

toronto skyline 1967

Skyline 1967 (different angle)

toronto skyline 1967

Bathurst and Sheppard 1960s (year not specified)

toronto 1960s

View from Cliffside Drive in Scarborough 1961

scarborough 1960s

1967 Stanley Cup Champions

1967 Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo Credits (in order): petespix75, National Geographic, Old Time Trains, kurtkomit (x2), Toronto History/Toronto Archives (x2), Toronto Archives, pjs_deceased, Toronto Maple Leafs.

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