Toronto 1970s

Toronto postcards from the 1970s

It's safe to say that Toronto has a 1970s fetish. I've speculated as to why this is in past posts about the decade, but I think, suffice it to say, we're fascinated by the degree to which the city looks both familiar (the CN Tower and many of the major towers of the Financial District can be traced back to this point or just before) and yet profoundly different (parking lots galore). It's a compelling tension, and one that's only increased by the curious sepia tone that seems to define images derived from this period. People really seemed to like brown 40+ years ago.

If there's an ideal set of images that shows off the historical allure of the decade, it might very well be postcards. I've posted a number of night shots from the 1970s before, but the slightly faded day images really show off the sparsity and grit of the city back then, even as they are intended to sell the city to tourists. The 1970s were a decade in which Toronto grew up (both in terms of its built landscape and a population boom), which is why it's so intriguing to see how undeveloped everything looks.

Here's a collection of some of my favourite Toronto postcards from the 1970s.

Toronto 1970s

The foot of Roncesvalles

Toronto 1970s

St. James Park

Toronto 1970s

Sparse, yellow-toned skyline

Toronto 1970s

Yonge St.

Toronto 1970s

Looking down from the CN Tower

Toronto 1970s

Yorkville

Toronto 1970s

Eglinton and the DVP

Toronto 1970s

Freighter in the harbour

Toronto 1970s

No condos here

Toronto 1970s

City Hall

Toronto 1970s

Glory days at the CNE

Toronto 1970s

Skyline at dusk

Toronto 1970s

Yonge north of Gould

Toronto 1970s

Yonge looking south from Gerrard

Toronto 1970s

Nighttime on the Gardiner

Toronto 1970s

Ontario Place

Toronto 1970s

Yorkdale in its infancy

Thanks to Chuckman's Blog, which is an excellent resource for Toronto postcards across the decades.


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