Toronto of the 1940s was a tale of two halves. The draining effects of the second world war kept the city in a state of austerity until 1945, when the six-year conflict finally drew to a close.
In the years that followed, an uptick in the economy saw the construction of new affordable housing, the start of building work on the Yonge subway line, and increased attention to solving slum conditions in the inner city.
The decade also brought unspeakable tragedy. In 1949, 118 people died when the SS Noronic, a lake steamer docked overnight on the Toronto waterfront, caught fire and rapidly burned. The disaster is still the worst loss of life from a single event in the history of the city.
Here's a look back at Toronto of the 1940s.
Northeast from the old Bank of Montreal building at the corner of King and Bay, demolished for First Canadian Place.
Store selling bankrupt stock at Dundas and Bay carrying an ad for Clayton's department store.
A Joy Oil gas station earmarked for demolition at Dundas and Parliament prior to construction of Regent Park.
Peggy's Cigar Store and Gold Seal Pharmacy on Dundas St. E. in Regent Park.
A muddy laneway that had drawn the attention of the Department of Street Cleaning.
South side of Queen Street W. at York. Now the site of the Sheraton Hotel.
The Scholes Hotel on Yonge St.
Fire at Lyons Furniture Store.
Kids playing on Gerrard.
Crooked store on Adelaide St. W.
"A Good Hotel"
The old Toronto Star Building on King Street W. near Bay.
A Toronto Star newspaper stand.
The Maple Leaf stockyards in the Junction.
Sweet Caporal cigarettes for sale at University and Dundas.
Collection of trailers being used as homes near Centre and Gerrard streets.
Street cleaning team inspects a pile of garbage.
The exterior of the Union Hotel.
The historic Walker House hotel at Front and York streets.
Construction of the Bank of Nova Scotia building on the northeast corner of King and Bay.
North up Bay from Adelaide.
The pool at Sunnyside.
Bathers on Sunnyside beach.
Boathouse on the Toronto Islands.
Sailboats on a tranquil Toronto bay.
Toronto police show off their new uniforms,
Kids in a "typical classroom," 1940.
High school fitness class, 1942.
Dentist prepares to examine a girl at a high school clinic.
Doctor performs a routine health examination at a Toronto school.
Kids sleeping on cots at the Wilkinson Open Air School. Outdoor educational facilities were established to help combat tuberculosis on the assumption fresh air and good ventilation would be beneficial to health.
Visiting nurse feeds a baby.
Toronto Island milkman makes deliveries using a sled.
Toronto's Department of Street Cleaning's baseball team.
The baseball Toronto Maple Leafs take to the field.
Ticket lineup at Maple Leaf Stadium at Bathurst and Lake Shore.
The view from the stands.
The Toronto snowstorm of December 11, 1944 is a contender for the worst of all time. In just over 72 hours, 55 cms of snow fell on the city, burying streets waist-deep. The wind and weight of snow was so severe that a Queen streetcar was knocked on its side, killing one. 21 people died as a result of the weather, 13 of them from cardiac arrest while shovelling.
A snow-covered parking lot during the storm of 1944.
Crews armed with shovels attempt to dig out a clear path on Bay Street.
Dutch immigrants at Union Station puzzle over a 1947 Ontario road map.
The typing pool at in unidentified office building.
Wartime "Food for the People of Britain" drive by the city's Department of Street Cleaning.
Food packages being wrapped for shipment to the UK.
Contestants in the Miss War Worker beauty contest.
Soldier with a baby at Union Station.
Returning soldier embraces children at Union Station.
Soldier locked in a passionate embrace on return to Toronto.
All smiles as a soldier returns from the second world war.
Miss Toronto 1947 poses for photos at Union Station.
City of Toronto tug "Ned Hanlan" in dry dock.
The Royal York hotel and skyline from the gutted upper deck of the SS Noronic. The lake steamer nicknamed The Queen of the Lakes caught fire while docked on the Toronto waterfront in early hours of September 17, 1949, killing 118 people.
The side of the burned out SS Noronic. In the aftermath of the fire, an investigation found the design of the ship was partly to blame for the high death toll. Many people leapt to their death on the dockside, others died from smoke and burns.
A machine prepares to break ground for construction of the Yonge subway in 1949.
Dignitaries pose for ceremonial groundbreaking photos in the cab of a digger.
Subway construction workers begin digging down on Yonge St.
The excavated ground beneath Yonge St. in the late 1940s.