Our Favourite Photos
Looking for gift ideas? The Archives sells ready-made prints of some of our favourite photographs. Choose from our selection below.
These beautiful, archival-quality prints are available in the following sizes:
- 8″ x 10″ – $30
- 11″ x 14″ – $40
- 16″ x 20″ – $50
You can also order a reproduction of any other image you find in the Archives. See our guide on Using the database to find and request archival records of our photographs, or contact us. For a complete list of images by series, see our list of digitized photos. If you can’t find what you are looking for on our website, come and pay us a visit.
This photograph of the Bloor Street Viaduct under construction was taken by city photographer Arthur Goss. It was used as the cover image for the City of Toronto Archives’ book Toronto’s Visual Legacy, celebrating the city’s 175th anniversary. The viaduct gained fame internationally through Michael Ondaatje’s novel In the Skin of a Lion.
This image of a previous Union Station was captured by freelance photographer William James. It shows the old Union Station in the heyday of steam locomotion. The station was located west of the present station and was demolished in 1927.
Another William James image catches Toronto’s famous diving horse plunging into Lake Ontario. J.W. Gorman’s horse show was a popular attraction at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island.
Commissioned by the Toronto Health Department, this Arthur Goss photograph was included in a report about the poor state of Toronto’s housing. The property was located in “The Ward,” a notorious slum in the heart of the city. It stood where the Nathan Philips Square ice rink is today. You can see Old City Hall in the background.
This shot was captured by John Boyd, a photographer for the Globe and Mail. It was taken on Bay Street on the day Germany unconditionally surrendered to the allies at the end of World War II. The Archives has over 140,000 photographs in the Globe and Mail collection, taken from 1922 to 1953.
Three members of the Toronto Fire Brigade are shown in this William James image. They are walking down Lansdowne Avenue, north of Davenport Road. Apparently the firemen had to walk half a mile, leaving their fire wagons behind because the wheels could not make it through the mud!
This William James photograph shows fox hunters and their hounds cantering over the ravine bridge on Bathurst Street, just north of St. Clair Avenue.
This rustic scene was taken on the banks of Grenadier Pond in High Park. The pond has been used by anglers since the early nineteenth century. You can still fish in the pond today, as long as you have a licence.
Commissioned by the City Engineer’s Department, this photograph shows construction of the “subway” (underpass) at Queen and Dufferin streets. In the background you can see the Gladstone Hotel.
Taken by F.W. Micklethwaite, this photograph shows a drinking fountain just south of Spadina Crescent. These drinking fountains were common in Toronto in the late nineteenth century, with a trough for horses, a common cup for people and even a basin for dogs! The Health Department later deemed them a public health hazard and replaced them. One remains on King Street East near St. James Cathedral.
One of the earliest photographs taken of Toronto, this 150-year-old image shows Toronto’s main commercial thoroughfare at that time, King Street East. In the foreground is The Golden Lion, a dry goods store and one of the city’s most famous retailers. Constructed in 1847, this building was substantially altered and expanded in 1866.
William James’ photograph reminds us of how industrial Toronto’s lakeshore used to be in the early 20th century.
What used to be the Merchant’s Bank of Canada is now a Starbucks. Aside from that, not much has changed in this view.
This greengrocer’s store would make the Danforth proud today, especially with apples at 15 cents a basket!
This photograph by William James captures much of the commotion and excitement of one of Toronto’s busiest intersections.
This photograph was taken in those halcyon days when you could not only swim in the Humber River, but also wash your car there too!
These gates of Trinity College are at the entrance to Trinity Bellwoods Park. The college building itself was demolished. The gates are the only survivors of what was one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Canada.
Here, Yonge Street in North York appears to be a mere country lane rather than the main arterial route north out of the city. The railway track parallel to the road is a streetcar line that took weekending Torontonians all the way to Lake Simcoe.
The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was operated by the largest producers of whisky in the British Empire. The Distillery District now houses shops, cafes and restaurants. It is the largest collection of Victorian industrial buildings in North America, with over 40 heritage buildings. It is a National Historic Site.
The Beach area of Toronto was once “cottage country” for wealthier Torontonians. The structure in the right of the image is the old Kew Beach Public School.