toronto history

This is what Toronto looked like from 1856 to 1991

The earliest photos of Toronto date back to 1856. They depict a small lakeside city of 30,000 people dominated by church spires and Georgian homes. Around the same time the camera arrived in the city, so too did the railway, which ushered in a period of intense development that continues today.

Lead photo by

Ellis Wiley / Toronto Archives. With files from Derek Flack.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Ontario just hit its vaccination target to enter Step 3 of reopening

Toronto criticized for heavy police presence at Trinity Bellwoods Park encampment

Toronto ranked 2nd most expensive city in Canada but not high on world list

There's a new TTC station coming to the ferry docks and here's what it will look like

People in Toronto are furious about the eviction of homeless campers from Trinity Bellwoods

Here's what the latest plans for Toronto's new Waterfront LRT line look like

Man arrested with large butcher's knife outside Premier Doug Ford's home

Toronto police announce biggest drug bust in the force's history with Project Brisa