Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

A book that the City of Toronto published in 1912 was entitled “Toronto – Canada’s Queen City.” It was printed by the Industrial Publishing Company at 3 Jordan Street. Although the book extolls the virtues, accomplishments and facilities of the city, nowhere do the names of the mayor and the city councillors  appear. I doubt that this would happen today. The book provides an excellent snap-shot of Toronto as it appeared twelve years into the 20th century. It lists many facts about the city that I found interesting. I will only quote a few of them.

Population: 425,000

Total assessment value of lands, buildings, income and business: $343, 739,706

Number of building permits issued in 1911: 7296

Number of police officers and men: 531

Miles of sewers: 335

Number of churches: 206

Miles of streetcar rails: 107

Miles of streets: 412

Schools : 74 public, 20 Catholic

The photos contained in the book show a city with many magnificent civic and public buildings, many of which have since been demolished. Similar to today, the street scenes are bustling and filled with traffic and shoppers. The book does not identify the source of the photos, but it is assumed that they were taken from the city’s collection. They are today likely now in the City of Toronto Archives, although some of them not yet among the digitalized photos that appear on the web site of the archives.


Looking north on Spadina Avenue at College Street in 1912. The bank building on the left was demolished, but the old Knox College at the head of the street remains.


Gazing east along King Street from Yonge Street. The spire of St. James cathedral is evident.


                             Yonge Street looking north from King Street.


                           Bay Street looking north from King Street


Bird’s-eyes view of the retail district (Yonge Street) with clock tower of the Old City Hall in upper left


Yonge and Queen Streets. The building with the sign “H. Knox and Company” is on the northwest corner of the intersection. The building remains today.


                                               Spadina Avenue looking north from King Street.


Queen and Yonge Streets. The facades of bank building on the left remain today (on the north east corner of the intersection).

To view other posts about Toronto’s past and its historic buildings:

Bank on the northeast corner of Spadina and Queen Street is an architectural gem built in 1902.

Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina and Queen West.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

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