Toronto 1990s

Toronto of the 1990s

The Toronto of the 1990s is just distant enough to make a nostalgic exercise like this one worthwhile. I had originally planned on starting this series of photo tours of Toronto history in the 1980s and heading backwards, but after some determined searching, I was able to come up with a selection of 1990s images that give a decent representation of what the decade looked like in Toronto.

Perhaps surprisingly, photographs from the 1990s aren't the easiest to come by. One becomes accustomed to the digitization of the present day and almost forgets that something like Flickr is a relatively recent invention (2004) and that loads and loads of images shot on film still sit in boxes out there never to be scanned and uploaded online. That's a bit of a shame, but it also helps to establish just how much has changed.

For some reason, when I hear references to '90s culture, none of it seems rooted so far in the past, despite the 20 some odd years that have passed since the beginning of the decade. No doubt a function of my age -- these were my high school years -- I still have relatively crisp memories of the Jays World Series wins, U2 bringing the ZooTV tour to Maple Leaf Gardens, what Yonge and Dundas looked like before the square, watching movies at the Uptown theatre, the snowfall of 1999, and a whole host of other things.

But, as the photos below show, Toronto was a very different place in the 1990s. For the better part of the decade, the megacity didn't exist, the so-called cultural renaissance had yet to arrive, and most LCBOs and Brewers Retail locations were closed on Sundays.

Here's what it all looked like. Lead photo by billcummins (subsequent captions above each photo).

1991

Um, is that Jack Layton? (photo by

Jack Layton Star Trek

scott3eh)

Near Avenue and Davenport (photo by

Toronto 1990s

skaliwag66)

Toronto Life Fashion (photo by

2011114-90s_magazine.jpg

the MagazineShop)

Now Magazine

2011114-90sNOW.jpg


The Skyline (photo by

Toronto skyline 1990s

gaymay)

1992

Skyline again (photo by

Toronto 1990s

cliffordstead)

Honest Ed's (photo by

Honest Ed's 1990s

Sgeulachdan)

El Mocambo (from

90s El Mocambo

Sgeulachdan)

PCC streetcar were on the tracks until 1996 (from

2011114-90s_pcc_streetcar.jpg

Sgeulachdan)

Lichtmans (from

Toronto 1990s

Sgeulachdan)

MLG was still home to the Leafs (from

Maple Leaf Gardens 1992

Sgeulachdan)

Kensington Market (from

Toronto 1990s

Sgeulachdan)

Eaton Centre (photo by

Eaton Centre 1990s

Neal1960)

1993

New Terminal (photo by

Toronto 1990s

CanadaGood)

Chinatown (from

Toronto 1990s

CanadaGood)

Ditto (from

2011114-90sChinatown2.jpg

CanadaGood)

Doug Gilmour (from

2011114-doug_gilmour.jpg

dougglimour.com)

The winning home run (photo from

2011114-CARTER.jpg

the Philadelphia Inquirer)

1994

Certainly not as dense in the core (photo by

2011114-90sSkyline_train.jpg

Court_Jester_Creative)

From the CN Tower (photo by

1990s Toronto

anver44)

Inside Maple Leaf Gardens

2011114-90sLeafs.jpg


Yonge and Dundas (photo by

2011114-90s-Yonge-Dundas.jpg

Olga S)

1996

Pride Parade (photo by

2011114-90s_pride.jpg

hypersapiens)

1997

Dundas West (Photo by

2011114-90s_Dundas.jpg

Travelawyer)

1998

Queen looking east (Photo by

2011114-90sQueen.jpg

nothingtoseehere)

Royal York (from

2011114-90sroyalyork.jpg

nothingtoseehere)

Metropolitan Toronto (from the Wikimedia Commons)

2011114-metro.jpg


1998

Canary Restaurant (photo by

2011114-90s_canary.jpg

collations)

Lastman wins the megacity mayoralty

2011114-1997_election_resutls.jpg


Check out the rest of the series:


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