Thu. May 19th, 2022

The 1950s were a decade of major changes for Toronto: the Yonge subway line opened, the Gardiner Expressway was completed, and the official municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was formed.

When you look back at photos from that time, the city feels completely different – and it’s not just because none of the Leafs players have helmets on game photos. There are noticeably fewer tall buildings, old school newspapers, retro TTC cars and even photos of a healthy community dance held in the Don Mills Shopping Center parking lot.

So if you feel nostalgic about the old days of Toronto, here are 20 photos from the city in the 1950s, courtesy of the Toronto History Photo Archive.

506 Queen Street West – 1958

Howard McDonald / City of Toronto Archives

Toronto Daily Star Newsstand – 1950

Toronto 1950s

Alexandra Studio / City of Toronto Archives

Crowds entering the CNE through Princes’ Gates – 1954

Harvey Naylor / City of Toronto Archives

Northeast corner, Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue West-1955

Alexandra Studio / City of Toronto Archives

Santa’s Parade – 1956

Toronto 1950s

Gilbert A. Milne Co. Ltd./City of Toronto Archives

PCC tram 4107 on Queen Street East – 1954

Earnest Edgar Strathy Smith / City of Toronto Archives

Crowd at Sunnyside Beach – 1950

Toronto 1950s

Alexandra Studio / City of Toronto Archives

Power Supermarket, 2055 Danforth Avenue – 1953

Alexandra Studio / City of Toronto Archives

Barclay Hotel – 1955

Ellis Wiley / City of Toronto Archives

Hockey Game, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Black Hawks, Maple Leaf Gardens – 1958

Toronto 1950s

Alexandra Studios / City of Toronto Archives

Golden Mile Plaza, northeast corner of Eglinton Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue-1954

Toronto 1950s

Gilbert Milne / City of Toronto Archives

Government House, Chorley Park, main entrance

Dorothea Skinner / City of Toronto Archives

Glen Road bridge over Rosedale Valley Road – 1955

Canada Pictures Ltd / City of Toronto Archives

Lansdowne and St. Clair Avenue – 1959

Howard McDonald / City of Toronto Archives

Crowds at transfer terminals – 1955

Toronto 1950s

Canada Pictures Ltd./City of Toronto Archives

Ossington Avenue and Queen Street West – 1958

Howard McDonald / City of Toronto Archives

Community dance, Don Mills Shopping Center, southwest corner, Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East-1955

Toronto 1950s

Gilbert Milne / City of Toronto Archives

673 Mt. Pleasant Road – 1953

Howard MacDonald / City of Toronto Archives

141-147 Queen Street West-1953

Toronto 1950s

Howard McDonald / City of Toronto Archives

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