The Archives has over a million photographs, dating from 1856. The best way to find them is to use our online database. In the keyword field, type any topic. For example:

  • the name of a street, building, or place eg. Yonge, CNE
  • a topic, e.g. dogs, sports

Over 100,000 scans of photographs and maps are viewable in the database. To see only these, click “Scanned photographs only” box.

You can also browse our list of fonds and series with photographs you can see online.


  • The earliest known photographs of Toronto, by photographers Armstrong, Beere and Hime (1856)
  • Globe and Mail photographs of important local and international events (1922-1953)
  • City of Toronto Works Department photographs that document public works projects, such as the construction of the Bloor Viaduct and the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant (1911-1940)
  • Photographs documenting the Northern Railway in Toronto and other locations (1858-1863)
  • Photographs of Toronto locations and events taken by one of Canada’s first photojournalists, William James (1906-1939)
  • Photographs taken by Canada Pictures Ltd. to document the construction of the Yonge Street Subway (1949-1953)
  • Aerial photographs of Toronto (1947-1992)