Toronto Harbour Infill Reclaimed Land

That time Toronto filled in the harbour

Most of the land that currently exists below Front Street is the result of landfill. In the early 1920s, the Toronto Harbour Commission made good on a plan hatched years before to fill in a portion of the harbour, which eventually gave rise to Lake Shore Boulevard, the new street that can be seen in the above photo.

Subsequent projects dating as late as the 1950s extended the city even further south into the lake. For my money, the most interesting way to track this expansion of the city is via the relationship of the Harbour Commission Building to the shoreline. When it was built in 1917, it sat right on the water. Today it's more than half a kilometre away.

Check out these historical photos that show was Toronto was like before and after they filled in the harbour.

Before

Toronto Harbour 1883

The harbour in 1883

Yonge Street Dock

Yonge Street Dock 1906

Toronto Aerial 1918

Aerial of the waterfront in 1918

Harbour Commission Building

Harbour Commission Building 1920

Harbour Commission Building

Harbour Commission Building 1920s

Harobour Commission Building

Dredging the Lake

After

Harbour Commission Building

Harbour 1920s

Harbour Commission Building

Harbour 1926, post-infill

Harbour Commission Building

Harbour area in 1928

Harbour Commission Builidng

The waterfront from the Royal Bank 1929

Toronto Aerial 1938

Waterfront aerial 1938

Toronto Waterfront 1980s

Harbour Commission Building 1980s

Toronto Waterfront

The changing harbour
 

Photos by

Toronto Archives


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