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.
The harbour in 1883:
Yonge Street Dock 1906:
Aerial of the waterfront in 1918:
Harbour Commission Building 1920:
Harbour Commission Building 1920s:
Dredging the Lake:
Harbour 1926, post-infill:
Harbour area in 1928:
The waterfront from the Royal Bank 1929:
Waterfront aerial 1938:
Harbour Commission Building 1980s:
The changing harbour:
Photos from the Toronto Archives
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