bloor viaduct then and now

The Toronto of the past and present (and past again)

It's no secret that I have a thing for historical photographs of Toronto. So when I was selecting our photo of the day this morning, I was intrigued to see that blogTO Flickr pool member, squirrel brand (a.k.a Erik Mauer) had recently uploaded a number of additions to his series of then and now photos. So intrigued, in fact, that merely selecting one was too difficult a task, and I choose a different photo (which is also pretty darn good) for our daily feature.

Mauer's work on this series has already been

Toronto City Hall past present

written about on Torontoist, so I won't rehash the back story, but I will share the new photos. It's really is amazing how well the images of the past align with the structures in the present. But perhaps what is most interesting of all is the degree to which these hybrid photos are themselves historical documents. Instead of a Photoshop merge, the combination at work is as much about the past as it is about revealing the present to be fleeting. This is something all photographs do, but this basic fact really takes centre stage here. One could, of course, take one of these photos and try to add a third (or really fourth) layer to the mix at some point in the future, but I suspect that even the very awareness of this possibility proves the point has been made.

The Modern Battlefield
"Tank at old City Hall"
Toronto Archives. Fonds 1244, Item 732, 1917.

Group Shot

Toronto past present


"Mayor Simpson and Visiting Shriners in front of Old City Hall." Toronto Archives. Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 41, Item 375,
April 8, 1935.

Speech

Toronto city hall past present


"General Knox with Mayor Fred J. Conboy and others on steps of Old City Hall." Toronto Archives. Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 3309.

CN Tower Construction

CN construction


Toronto Archives, 1974.

Emerging Back in Time

subway construction toronto


"Subway Construction." Toronto Archives. Fonds 16, Series 574, File 95, 1952.

Next Stop.... Union Station

subway construction toronto


"Safety First." Toronto Archives. Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 9358, August 5, 1932.

Subway Construction

subway construction toronto


"Installing the Top Decking for the Subway." Toronto Archives. Fonds 16, Series 574, File 22, 1950.

Victory Loans

Victory Loans Toronto


"Victory Loan Drive with old tank Britannia in front of City Hall." Toronto Archives. Fonds 1231, Item 1137, 1917.

First image of the Bloor Viaduct is titled Spanning the Distance. "Bloor Viaduct." Toronto Archives. Series 372, Sub series 10, item 841, July 18, 1917.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto protestors engage in standoff with police and successfully prevent eviction

Toronto introducing dedicated police officers to focus on COVID-19 enforcement

Doug Ford goes off on street racing yahoos after 1,000-person car rally in Ancaster

Toronto artists are painting free garage door murals in response to hateful letter

18 more schools in Ontario now have cases of COVID-19

You can now get a COVID-19 test at your home in Toronto

The minimum wage in Ontario officially goes up next week

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario surpass 400 once again