The Archives hosts exhibits and events throughout the year. Find out what’s on.

If These Walls Could Talk – Researching the History of Where You Live

Open now! Runs until August 2024. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m – 4 p.m. Free entry.

Every home has a story to tell. No matter the location or the income or origin of its residents, there are stories to be discovered in the traces buildings leave behind in the archival record. This new exhibit from the Toronto Archives explores the unique stories of 11 homes from across Toronto, ranging from a Georgian house in the downtown core to a strip mall in the inner suburbs. Each property features a variety of archival resources used to plot key points on its timeline – the building blocks used to assemble the home’s history. As you’ll discover, you don’t need to be an archivist or a historian to do this kind of research. Your starting point is an address and your own curiosity.

Colour photo of small white house with lawn in foreground.
12 Alexis Boulevard, North York
Photograph by Locrin Stewart
Copyright City of Toronto
Black and white photo of 3 suburban homes with lawn and trees in foreground.
293-289 Birkdale Road, Midland Park subdivision, Scarborough
October 19, 1959
Photograph by Gilbert A. Milne & Co. Ltd.
City of Toronto Archives
Series 975, File 9257, Item

Hickox, Pahwa, Woolaver – Scenes from Toronto

Open now! Runs until August 2024. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m – 4 p.m. Free entry

Today, technology is the tool we use to create and experience photography. Increasingly, photographs arrive at the Toronto Archives not in slide carousels but on hard drives. Our newest photography exhibit showcases recent digital donations from three Canadian artists, April Hickox, Vik Pahwa and Avard Woolaver. Featuring photos of Toronto from the 1980’s to the late 2000’s, the show explores how contemporary artists use photography to capture the ever-changing city. Hickox’s vernacular photographs document the uniqueness of the Toronto Island community. Pahwa surveys the city with a camera, photographing its architecture and neighbourhoods. Woolaver, whose collection is comprised of digital photos created from colour slides and black and white negatives, explores composition and repetitive likeness. Toronto is a city seen in shadows, shapes and store window reflections.

Colour photograph of unfinished concrete multi-story apartment building. with sidewalk in foreground.
Sutton Place Hotel stripped for development
Photograph by Vik Pahwa
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 546, Item 43
Colour photograph of street corner with crowd of people and ice cream vendor.
Street Scene at corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets
Photograph by Avard Woolaver
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 620, Item 583
Colour photograph of blue cottage with grass and path in foreground.
Four Channel Avenue, Ward’s Island
Photograph by April Hickox
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 565, Series 2546, File 13, Item 1