The 1950s was a decade of big change for Toronto: the Yonge subway line opened, the Gardiner Expressway was finished, and the official Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was formed.
Looking back at photos from the time, the city feels entirely different — and it’s not just because none of the Leafs players are wearing helmets in the game photos. There’s noticeably fewer tall buildings, old-school newspaper stands, retro TTC cars, and even photos of a wholesome community dance held in the Don Mills Shopping Centre parking lot.
So if you’re feeling nostalgic for the old days of Toronto, here are 20 photos from the city in the 1950s, courtesy of Toronto History’s photo archive.
506 Queen Street West – 1958
Toronto Daily Star news stand – 1950
Crowds entering the CNE through the Princes’ Gates – 1954
North-east corner, Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue West – 1955
Santa Claus Parade – 1956
PCC streetcar 4107 on Queen Street East – 1954
Crowd at Sunnyside Beach – 1950
Power Supermarket, 2055 Danforth Avenue – 1953
Barclay Hotel – 1955
Hockey game, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Black Hawks, Maple Leaf Gardens – 1958
Golden Mile Plaza, north-east corner of Eglinton Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue – 1954
Government House, Chorley Park, main entrance
Glen Road bridge over Rosedale Valley Road – 1955
Lansdowne and St. Clair Avenue – 1959
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