Where to buy vintage photographs of Toronto
One of the questions I'm commonly asked after publishing a set of vintage photographs of Toronto is where one can buy such images. On some more recent posts, I've taken to including a link to this information, but given the amount of attention these types of photos get on this site, it makes sense to do up a quick little buyer's guide.
Thankfully, the vast majority of Toronto images that we've shared are quite easy to acquire from the Toronto Archives. Depending on the size of image that you want, they're also not particularly expensive. An 8" x 10" print costs $25, and 11" x 14" come is at $40, and a 16" x 20" will set you back $50. If you're looking to go bigger than 16" x 20" then it's best to order an electronic file, which the Archives will send out on a CD-ROM. The price on these is generally $25, but varies depending on file size.
There are many thousands of digitized photos in the Archives collection eligible for printing/sale, the lists of which you can peruse here.
The next best bet for purchasing vintage images of the city is the Toronto Public Library. Although the local holdings aren't as extensive as those of the Archives, the prices are basically the same, and there are plenty of excellent historical images of Toronto and the other areas in Ontario. You can check out their collection on their Special Collections page.
In addition to these surefire sources (both with easily searchable databases), I've had some luck on Ebay, but it's difficult to know what kind of print quality you're going to get with the cheaper offerings, and it's always possible that you're buying materials that aren't supposed to reproduced for sale on account of copyright laws. In other words, caveat emptor.
For a selection of historical images in the Archives collection organized by decade, have a look at our series Toronto in photos from the 1850s to the 1990s.
Know of another place (besides Craigslist) to buy vintage images of Toronto? Let us know in the comments!
Lead photo of Yonge & Queen streets in the 1910s from the Toronto Archives