20 throwback photos that show what Toronto looked like in the 1980s

Mar 23 2021, 1:44 pm

It can be easy to forget that in the not-so-distant 1980s, Toronto looked very different from the city we see today.

Toronto was, of course, still a bustling, vibrant city — just with fewer skyscrapers and a touch more mullets and spandex. And thanks to Toronto History‘s photo archive, we can take a peek at what exactly was going on in the city in the city 40 years ago.

From the CNE to Scarborough Town Centre, here’s what Toronto looked like in the 1980s.

Markham Street looking north to Bloor Street – 1982

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Street vendor outside subway station – 1985

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

CNE – 1985

toronto 1980s

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

Exhibition Place game stall – 1980

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

Dundas Street and Pacific Avenue, looking north – 1987

toronto 1980s

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

Premium gas station, Lake Shore Road – 1980

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

PCC streetcar on College Street – 1980

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Street performers at Ontario Place – 1981

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Ellis Wiley

Bye Bye Birdie rehearsal, Scarborough Theatre – 1985

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Peter Mykusz

South-east corner, Carlaw and Danforth avenues – 1989

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Balloon fountain, Scarborough Town Centre – 1980

Photographer: Peter Mykusz

Akropol Greek Bakery, 458 Danforth Avenue – 1987

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Building under demolition – 1980

Photographer: Ellis Wiley

PCC streetcar 4392 on Church Street, south of Richmond Street – 1980

Photographer: Harvey R. Naylor

Street vendor, Queen and Soho streets – 1988

toronto 1980s

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

The Silver Rail – 1980

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Ellis Wiley

South-west corner, Dundas Street and Pacific Avenue – 1987

Photographer: City of Toronto Planning and Development Department

PCC streetcar 4643 on King Street East – 1980

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Harvey R. Naylor

492 – 500a Danforth Avenue – 1982

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Greek Village Dining Lounge, 551 Danforth Avenue – 1985

toronto 1980s

Photographer: Toronto Planning and Development Department

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

+ Urbanized
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