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

20100814-baywellington.jpg


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.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

A skywatcher's guide to spring in Toronto

Toronto's new subway line is nearing completion

The end could be near for Toronto's bizarre cube house

10 new summer jobs in Toronto for 2017

What the Esplanade looked like over the last 150 years

Toronto sign shows off how we really say our name

Sold! What a $2 million bay-and-gable home looks like

Roncesvalles braces for more streetcar construction