Banner photo is of King St looking west from Yonge in 1866. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. Last month, for Earth Hour, we took a stroll through early 19th century Toronto for a look at the most common lighting options available at the time. And they pretty much boiled down to, well, whatever you could […]Read more "Gaslit Toronto"
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"
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"
Banner image is a rooftop view looking northwest towards Lombard St from the east side of Church in 1876. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. Back in the 1830s, when the city was still being carved from the immense, dark forest but was already gaining fame for its boggy streets, Toronto had a problem neighbourhood brewing: March St. Just two blocks long, it […]Read more "By any other name …"
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"
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"
Banner photo is of Armistice Day celebrations at Bay and King streets on November 11, 1918. From the City of Toronto Archives. From the distance of nearly a century, it’s hard to imagine the tumult of emotions unleashed by the armistice which ended the First World War on November 11th, 1918. After four long, grim […]Read more "Armistice Day"