Toronto 1970s

Toronto of the 1970s

Toronto of the 1970s gives me an immediate, if not odd sense of nostalgia. I wasn't around to experience much of the decade, much less remember any of it, and yet when I look at these photographs I feel the urge to return to this time somehow. I've already said as much in a shorter photo post about both the 70s and the 80s in Toronto, but having just uploaded all these images, the freshness of the sentiment compels me to repeat myself.

The Toronto of the 1970s was, in the words of Anthony Astrachan, "a city that works." Unlike a number of major urban areas in the U.S., Toronto's downtown core was not rendered a ghost town by suburban emigration, and with the rise of the Parti Québécois in Quebec, the city experienced such an influx of English-speaking Montrealers and Montreal-based companies that it became the fastest growing in North America. In spite of this, it's worth noting, Toronto was yet to become the cultural and culinary destination it is today.

And just as Toronto experienced a building boom -- most notably in the rise of concrete apartment structures, downtown office towers, and the construction of the CN Tower -- urban planners held little regard for historic structures, knocking down such iconic buildings as the Temple Building, the original Toronto Star Building, the Mercer Reformatory and many more.

But, lest I digress into what is surely a topic for another post, I'll draw the introduction to a close and present the photographs. Where possible, I've included the date that the photographer has labeled the image with, but many don't have specific years affiliated with them. Enjoy!

Lead image of a wonderfully saturated red TTC bus by skaliwagg66.

Gone but not forgotten, 1970s record shops at Yonge and Gould

Toronto 1970

Photo by cthompsonx.

Maple Leaf Gardens with the Odeon Theatre in the background, 1970

Odeon Theatre

Photo by cgfletcher.

Pre CN Tower skyline and Pier 6

Toronto 1970s

Photo by mcwidi_2.

Here it comes!

Toronto 1970s

Photo by Photoscream.

Flatiron building and skyline

Toronto 1970s


Joy Oil gas station from above (ca. 1970-73)

Toronto 1970s


City Hall (ca. 1970)

Toronto 1970s

Photo from Toronto History.

University Theatre in the background

Toronto 1970s

Photo from Toronto History.

Approaching Yonge and Bloor (ca. 1971)

Toronto 1970s

Photo from Toronto History.

Nathan Phillips Square 1973

Toronto 1970s

Photo by Robert Taylor.

Lewis Hine-esque photo of CN Tower under construction

Toronto 1970s

Originally published in Time Magazine.

Red Subway 1971

Toronto 1970s

Photo by Robert Taylor.

Postcards (these somehow really seem to capture the 70s feel to me)

Toronto 1970s

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For more of 1970s Toronto, take a look at this YouTube video from Love4SK (don't mind the longish intro and the few examples of repetition).

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