port lands

Here is all the cool old stuff Toronto is finding while digging up the Port Lands right now

Toronto's Port Lands are in the midst of a major overhaul that will leave the city with new parks, a new path for the Don River, millions more trees and plants, and an entirely new island community, among other things.

While the site may not look like much now while excavation is taking place, residents certainly have a ton to look forward to with the advent of Villiers Island, which will have its own housing, ocommercial buildings and green spaces, all surrounded by marshlands that will prevent the newly-rerouted Don River from flooding.

This means great things for the future of the city, and in the process of its creation, we're also getting to learn a lot about our past.

port lands

Charles Wilson was a popular pop brand started all the way back in 1975. The squirrel logo is very on-brand for Bellwoods. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

While chipping away at the $1.25-billion project, workers have found some pretty awesome historical artifacts that have been buried for decades, lost under land that was filled in during the early 1900s.

port lands

Some very interesting newspaper headlines from another century. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

Old-timey newspapers, pieces of clothing, everyday items in fragments or in surprisingly good condition...

And bottles. Tons of bottles:

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Glassware seems to be the most common thing that workers have dug up. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

Also shoes — a shocking number of shoes that are quite evidently from another era of fashion (and have quite evidently been rotting underground for some time) have been recovered.

port lands

Lots of shoes of all sizes have been recovered. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

An early toothbrush has also made an appearance...

port lands

Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

...alongside some rather unique branded items, like this relic of a silver-plated spoon created by Chiclets gum to help stores advertise their product:

port lands

A Chiclets spoon from the early 1900s. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

The makers of some of the found objects are still around today, like Chiclets and Borsalino, which manufactured this men's hat:

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An old hat by Borsalino, a still-operational clothier started in Italy in 1857. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

Also Bredin's Bakery, which has operated out of Toronto ever since the 1880s:

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An old newspaper advertisement for Bredin's bakery that was recently discovered on the Port Lands site. Photo by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker for Waterfront Toronto.

Though trawling through discarded trash isn't everyone's idea of fun, hopefully the Waterfront Toronto team is at least a little intrigued by the little history lesson they're gleaning from coming across items that are potentially more than 100 years old.

Lead photo by

Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker, Waterfront Toronto


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