Prior to 1895, York County, the dissolved subregion of which Toronto was once the principal town, charged road users a fee for each passage through a series of gates set up at key positions around the city. The money was gathered by the county and used to maintain and expand the road network, which was often surfaced with planks and in need of constant upkeep.
Later, private companies were invited to bid on road building contracts and recoup construction costs through tolls, but this scheme also fell by the wayside as Toronto moved away from directly charging travellers.
This month marks the 113th anniversary of the original abolition of toll gates in Toronto.
30,000 people packed University Ave. and Nathan Phillips Square to hear the 71-year-old leader of the African National Congress party, still fragile from 27 years of incarceration, address the city. Security was tight, as if for a royal visit, but this occasion had a different feel.
As Walter Stefaniuk wrote in the Toronto Star: "Mandela is a black man and a black or coloured person cannot lead an apartheid nation, or aspire to a state in life another human being may have as a political birthright."
He would become an honorary citizen of Toronto before he could legally be elected South Africa's first black president, but the barriers to his historic term of office were beginning to tumble.
Unfortunately, there's no more skating on the Don or the Toronto Bay, as there was until around the 1930s and 40s - the temperatures don't get low enough and it was probably never all that safe anyway.
In winters of old, however, every patch of frozen water became prime real estate for skaters, even shallow puddles in vacant lots. Here's a look back at when skaters in Toronto looked like subjects in an L. S. Lowry painting.
Here are 5 picks for great gift giving you'll find at the ToronTOpia pop up.