Vintage photographs of Toronto at night
Vintage photographs of Toronto at night are a somewhat rare sight in the City's online archives. Despite the hundreds of historical photos we've shared over the last year or so, the number of night shots that have found their way into these posts could probably be counted on one hand. That's rather astonishing when you think about it for a second.
One of the reasons for this, no doubt, is that prior to the rise of the single-lens reflex camera and faster film in and around the 1950s, night photography wasn't that common in general. Sure, accomplished photographers did use their view cameras to take night shots prior to that period, but the excruciatingly long exposures made the prospect of crisp images quite challenging.
Nevertheless, when you set out to look for them, there's a hauntingly good little collection of night photographs that are available online. Photos like the one above — taken from the Canada Life Building in 1934 — testify to just how fantastic these images can be. Other captures of Old and New City Hall in Toronto featured below are equally stunning.
Credit for this admittedly belated discovery on my part should go to the Toronto Archives Flickr stream, which was recently populated with a number of the images that appear below. Although I've sourced numerous additional photos, the inspiration for this post sits squarely with the archivist who manages that page.
The Auditorium Theatre Toronto (382 Queen Street West), 1910
The Comique Theatre (Yonge south of Dundas), 1910
Toronto celebrates Hydro Electricity at Old City Hall, 1911
Wow. Old City Hall, 1919
376 Dupont, 1923
CNE Ferris wheels, 1924
Sunnyside at night, 1925
Hanlan's Point concession stand, 1928
Whitney Block at night, 1929
St. Clair approaching Christie, 1933
Davenport TTC garage, 1934
Toronto Coach Terminal, 1935
Midtown Theatre (now the Bloor Cinema), 1941
Snow blower, 1943
University Avenue gets streetlights, 1943
CNE midway at night, 1952
Club One Two, 1952
Yikes. Check out the apron. Barbecuing in 1957
CNE arche, late 1950s
So Young, So Bad at the Midtown (now the Bloor) in the late 1950s — image via Silent Toronto
Glenhome and St. Clair, 1958
The O'Keefe Centre opens, 1960
Eglinton and Yonge from above, 1962
Stunning. Opening week at New City Hall, 1965
University looking south to Queen, 1969