The Twenties: Snapshots of Everyday Life

Continuing until August 2020.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the 1920s, The City of Toronto Archives has a new exhibit on Toronto in “The Twenties: Snapshots of Everyday Life.”

The exhibit explores this decade of great striving and deliberate optimism in Toronto. In this brief moment between the First World War and the stock market crash of 1929, Torontonians sought a new, modern way of life that promised possibility and abundance.

Returning soldiers flooded the workforce and munitions factories were converted to produce an incredible variety of consumer goods to feed the post-war demand for new things.

Cars, telephones, radios, and an abundance of new electrical devices all became widely available in this period of economic prosperity. The spirit of the age was reflected in the new Art Deco skyscrapers, reaching for heights never-before imagined.

This exhibit explores everyday life in Toronto of the 1920s, with sections on leisure, TTC services, radio, sports, clothing, architecture, letters, and work. Visit the Archives and check out the exhibit’s stunning black and white photos.


Cinematographer Willard van Enger with women around camera at Woodbine race track
Woodbine Movies, girls around camera
Photographer: John Boyd Jnr.
October 8, 1925
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 6429
Winners of Sunnyside Charleston dance competition on stage
Sunnyside, Charleston contest, two winners
July 20, 1926
Photographer: John Boyd Jnr.
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 8306