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What the press corps used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / January 28, 2014

Toronto press corpsIf there was a glory period for print journalism, it would likely be the years captured in this photo collection recently posted by the Toronto Archives. Forget Twitter, this was a period before SLR cameras, when press photographers would cart around large format Speed Graphic cameras secured to unwieldy tripods all about town in search of the next big story. Newsrooms were smoke-filled places occupied almost exclusively by tie-clad men furiously typing away in an effort to hit hard deadlines.

As popular as it is to bemoan the state of journalism nowadays -- an act that always involves some underlying and tortured nostalgia -- another way to approach the subject is to track the various ways in which the enterprise has changed over the years. Toward that end, here's what it used to look like (the first part of the story).

These photos offering a fascinating if altogether brief glimpse into the newsrooms of the past, which are visually alluring at the very least. There's a certain unspoken optimism on display here that's easy to spot if you look at the expressions on the faces of the reporters and photographers captured below. The changes on the horizon don't exist in these men's minds, and their enthusiasm for the profession appears unbridled.


2014128-toronto-star-city-desk-1908.jpgToronto Star city desk, 1908

2014128-photographers-qp-1914.jpgPhotographers at Queen's Park, 1914

2014128-reporters-street-1915.jpgReporters waiting for a story, 1915

2014128-press-chevy-1919.jpgPress members crowd into a Chevrolet, 1919

2014128-city-hall-1926.jpgCity Hall on election night in 1926

2014128-fox-news-truck-1929.jpgFox News truck, 1929

2014128-tor-star-newsroom-1930.jpgToronto Star newsroom, 1930

2014128-hemingway-1930.jpgHemingway at the Star, 1930

2014128-track-1935.jpgAt the track in 1935

2014128-lord-bessborough-press-1933.jpgLord Bessborough and press, 1933

2014128-photographer-track-1946.jpgPhotographers at the track in 1946

2014128-press-room-1957.jpgPress room in 1957

2014128-tor-star-newsroom-1964.jpgToronto Star newsroom, 1964

Photos from the Toronto Archives



Steven / January 28, 2014 at 02:37 pm
The truck above (guy standing on the roof with the film camera) has Fox Movietone News What was current in those days is now our history.

Great article along with the pictures!!!

Here's film footage of that era.
Spike / January 29, 2014 at 03:26 am
A tragedy that Canada couldn't have developed its film industry back then so that we could have our on version of the Pathe newsreel or Fox Movietone news; it would have been amazing. I wonder what an Alliance Atlantis newsreel would be like....
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