Toronto. Those of us who feel sympathetic towards the history of people – and places – lament the transformation of an old city into a modern metropolis. In the summer of 1980, I worked at Bloor and Yonge making it a fast subway ride west where my Leica and I spent lunch hours tracking down houses that my mother and her parents once lived in just east of that part of Toronto known as the Junction. I was fortunate the streets and houses were (and are) still there much as they were nearly a century ago when my mother was born in 1907 (in the semi shown here at 111 Emerson Avenue just above Bloor).
What caused this sudden bout of nostalgia you ask? It was a message I received from my friend and fellow PHSC member George Dunbar. George found an article on a site called hyperallergic.com. The article is called “The Photographers of 1870s London Who Documented Their Disappearing City“. In late 1800 London, like Toronto today, houses and buildings were rapidly being torn down and replaced by new structures. Many current Toronto photographers, including George, like to make “then and now” photos of parts of the city while the now photos are still recognizable to us older folk.