Toronto by Candlelight

Banner photo is George Morse’s Soap and Candle Factory, Don Station, in the 1870s.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. Tonight, millions of people around the world will pause at 8:30PM (in their respective time zones) to turn off their lights in observance of Earth Hour.  As you no doubt are aware, this annual event was […]

Read more "Toronto by Candlelight"

Of Lives and Limbs

Banner image is a detail from A Treatise on Marks’ Patent Artificial Limbs with Rubber Hands and Feet, published in New York, 1894. In the late 1850s an enterprising Torontonian named Norris Black began a sideline business offering the city something it was sorely lacking: prosthetics. Though a great variety of prosthetics had been designed through the ages, […]

Read more "Of Lives and Limbs"

Christmas Catalogues

Banner image is a T. Eaton Company print, pre-1900, from the City of Toronto Archives. When I was growing up the Christmas season was heralded by the Consumer’s Distributing catalogue being tossed on your doorstep.   Of all the catalogues you were likely to receive, it was the thickest and could provide hours – days even – of […]

Read more "Christmas Catalogues"

Billiard Halls

Banner photo is of the exterior of the Orr Bros Billiard Academy, circa 1913, from the City of Toronto Archives. Growing up, I had an oddball idea of adulthood – though I suppose most kids do.  As I’ve mentioned here before, I’d steeped myself in old detective novels and film noir movies as a kid and […]

Read more "Billiard Halls"

The T. A. Lytle Story

Banner photo is of the T. A. Lytle factory on Sterling Road in 1912.  From the City of Toronto Archives. When I first began this page, a year and a half ago, I wasn’t quite sure where to start.  For several years previous I’d been taking photos of old buildings I loved and feared for […]

Read more "The T. A. Lytle Story"