20 vintage photos of Toronto during the holidays that you need to see

Dec 8 2021, 8:27 pm

Toronto may have changed quite a bit over the last 100 years or so, but looking back on vintage photos from the holiday season lets us know that some things in the city that are entirely timeless.

From the Santa Claus parade to outdoor ice skating to tobogganing in the park, some Toronto traditions will never change — and we have the photos to prove it.

Thanks to the Toronto History archive, we can get a glimpse into the city’s holiday season as far back as 1908. And from the looks of things, there is not only documentation of the many things we still love today about Toronto’s holiday season, but also some of the things that we’re less enthused about, like slushy and slippery city streets.

From early 1900s winter scenes to the 1973 Toronto Symphony Christmas concert, here are 20 vintage holiday photos that you need to see.

Snowy Yonge Street looking north from Queen Street, 1915

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

City Hall Christmas tree, 1955

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade, 1930

Toronto History/Flickr

Shriners Santa Claus at Empire Theatre, 1925

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

North York market Christmas display, 1920

Toronto History/Flickr

Children looking at toys in window, 1922

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Children’s Christmas party, 1917

Toronto History/Flickr

Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade Mother Goose float, 1930

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Toronto Regiment Christmas tea, 1928

Toronto History/Flickr

Christmas display at Old St. Charles Hotel, Yonge Street, 1908

Toronto History/Flickr

High Park toboggan runs, 1914

Toronto History/Flickr

Toronto Symphony Christmas concert at Massey Hall, 1973

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Women playing hockey, 1912

Toronto History/Flickr

Toronto Hydro-Electric Yonge Street store decorated for Christmas, 1919

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Rosedale children on toboggans and sleds, 1912

Toronto History/Flickr

Christmas bus: Avenue Road Run, 1957

Toronto History/Flickr

Delivering milk on Toronto Island, 1944

toronto vintage holiday photos

Toronto History/Flickr

Toronto home Christmas lights, 1956

Toronto History/Flickr

Children with Christmas presents, 1955

Toronto History/Flickr

Rosedale children in the snow, 1920

Toronto History/Flickr

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

+ Urbanized
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