Yonge Street

100 Years of Yonge Street

Yonge Street has got to be Toronto's most interesting thoroughfare, particularly when one looks back at its history. Not only is it Toronto's longest street -- a fact which everyone seems to know and take some odd pride in -- but it's undeniably also the city's main artery. Over and above its choice as the origin of our subway system, the mere fact that it serves as the dividing line between east and west streets is evidence enough to underscore this point.

Although the downtown portion of it has been sanitized and corporatized over the last couple of decades, even today one can spot glimpses of its former glory as a retail strip. But to do so, it's useful to have a frame of reference. Luckily, Yonge Street has always attracted photographers. And because I'm always fascinated by its changing face when I do historical posts, I've managed to collect quite a few images of its many transformations.

Here's a look at Yonge Street over the last century (the lead images does duty as the 2000s photo).

1990s

At Dundas

20101229-1990syonge-main2.jpg


1980s

North of Dundas

20101011-90sYonge.jpg


1970s

So much more vibrant

20100926-70YONGEspc2.jpg


Record store days

20100926-70sYPNGE.jpg


Looking south from around Gerrard

20100926-1970sYONGEpostcard1.jpg


1960s

At Eglinton

201012290-1960sYonge_Street_outside_Eglinton_station_Toronto_1963.jpg


1950s

Near Gould, prior to Sam the Record Man

20070613_1950ssamsold2.jpg


Subway construction

20101121-1950YONGEConstructionking.jpg


1940s

Subway construction

20101214-TONGE1949_Toronto_TTC_YongeSubwayConstruction1.jpg


Ditto

20101214-YONGE1949_Toronto_YongeSubwayConstruction3.jpg


1930s

Looking north from Charles Street

20101129-Yonge_Street_north__Charles_1938.jpg


Near York Mills

20101129-Yonge_Street,_York_Mills1936.jpg


During the Great Depression

20101022-YONGEGR1.jpg


South from Bloor

20101129-Yonge,_south_from_Bloor,_1938.jpg


1920s

Looking north from Charles (x2)

20100822-Yonge_Street_looking_north_from_Charles_Street_(Postal_Station_northeast_corner).jpg


Near Lawrence

20100822-YongeLawrence1922.jpg


1910s

Looking north towards Queen

20101220-1910-QueenYongeWilliamJames.jpg


Southwest from the North Toronto CPR Station

20100822-Yonge_Street_looking_south_west_from_the_CPR_North_Toronto_Station.jpg


Northeast corner at Shuter

20101220-1912-Northeast_corner_of_Yonge_Street_and_Shuter_Street.jpg


At Queen

20101220-1913-BankofMontrealYongeQueen.jpg


1900s

Looking north from Temperance

20101227-1903-Yonge_Street_looking_north_from_Temperance.jpg


At Front

20101227-1906-Yonge_Street_at_Front_Street_in_Toronto.jpg


North of Bloor

20101227-1907Yonge_Street_Yorkville_1907.jpg


All images from the Wikimedia Commons and the Toronto Archives, except: lead photo by the author, photo of Yonge and Dundas from the 1990s via Toronto Life, postcards from Chuckman's blog.


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