What car accidents used to look like in Toronto
As long as cars have been driving on Toronto's streets, drivers have been crashing into things: unyielding lampposts, streetcars, bridges, and other immovable, fixed objects. In the days before airbags, crumple zones, and other safety features the risks were higher, even if the speeds were lower.
The images here capture the aftermath of fender benders and other spectacular accidents from 1920s to the 1960s. Some were deliberately staged, like the one above, for grandstand events at the CNE or by the Ontario Safety League to promote good driving skills. One, showing a car "crashing" in to a pole at the sight of two girls, was taken as part of an ad campaign.
I tried my best to find accidents that didn't result in serious injuries, so as to placate historical curiosity without being morbid.
An early electric automobile hangs precariously off the Glen Road Bridge in the winter of 1912. Another view of the close call below.
A crowd looks on as the back of a truck pokes out of a sinkhole on Margaretta Street.
A driver and passenger look forlorn at the side of their truck, which is missing a wheel.
The tangled wreck of a car on Bloor Street near Walmer Road in March 1918.
An Overland car undergoes repairs on Coxwell Avenue following a fender bender.
A burnt truck and streetcar on the Danforth at Glebemount in 1935.
A truck sits beside a highway following an accident.
An Ontario Safety league staged shot warning against battling streetcars.
Cars crash, wagons, stop and men leer as two girls stroll down the street for a photo shoot.
A wrecked Buick following a collision with a motorcycle at Dundas and Gerrard.
A rainbow of Tide laundry detergent covers the tarmac of the 401 in Toronto.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Images: City of Toronto Archives, Toronto Telegram.