Tor0nto turns 182 , Happy Birthday, Toronto

Today marks 182nd anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Toronto, previously the Town of York.

The earliest known photographs of Toronto

When the Province of Canada was formed in 1840 by the Act of Union, the fledgling country did not have a permanent seat of government. Several cities, including Toronto, provided a temporary home for the parliament. There were obvious advantages in being the capital of Canada and competition to win this prize was fierce. The issue came to a head in 1857 when Toronto, Montreal, Kingston, Quebec City and Ottawa each submitted a report to the Colonial Office stating why it should be chosen as the capital.

Provincial Legislature building, Front Street

As part of its report, the City of Toronto included a set of photographs championing the advantages of its streets, buildings and its physical situation on Lake Ontario. These photographs are the earliest known images taken in Toronto. They give us a fascinating glimpse into our past, clearly showing the street grid that still exists, but also showing how much has changed. These photos proved to be an inspiration for author Michael Redhill when he wrote his book Consolation, which won the Toronto Book Award in 2007.

Second United Presbyterian Church under construction

-more at Toronto


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