Days Gone By: A Summer Guide to Toronto

With the first day of summer quickly approaching, the people of Toronto are flocking outdoors to enjoy the many events and activities taking place across the city. And although there are endless ways to take advantage of such a lively time of year, the pages of a Toronto family scrapbook may help to determine how best to enjoy the season.

 

The following is a list of activities to consider this year, recommended by Torontonians circa 1913:

Enjoy a promenade through Allan Gardens, one of Toronto’s oldest parks founded in 1858. While you’re there you may want to drop into Allan Gardens Conservatory, built in 1910, just a few years before these photographs were taken.

Scenes from Allan Gardens. [ca. 1911]

Scenes from Allan Gardens [ca. 1911]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

Visit one of North America’s largest fairs, taking place annually at Exhibition Place.

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?])

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

First held in 1879 to celebrate the best in Canadian agriculture and technology, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has become a major city attraction. These photographs were captured in 1911, the final year the fair was known as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition before changing its name to CNE in 1912.

First held in 1879 to celebrate the best in Canadian agriculture and technology, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has become a major city attraction. These photographs were captured in 1911, the final year the fair was known as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition before changing its name to CNE in 1912. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

 

Venture out to the Scarborough Bluffs and explore a unique geological feature of the city’s landscape.

The first side of a spread in the scrapbook dedicated to a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs. 1913.

The first side of a spread in the scrapbook dedicated to a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs, 1913. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

The second side of the scrapbook spread featuring images from a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs. [ca. 1911]

The second side of the scrapbook spread featuring images from a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs, 1913. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

Gather some friends and head to one of Toronto’s many parks and beaches.

Taken at Kew Beach, summer 1911. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

 

The waterfront is at its best this time of year. Venture out on the Toronto Harbour and hop aboard a boat cruise, or take out a canoe. Maybe pay a visit to the Island.

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

The S. S. Cayuga, launched in 1906, sailed from the Toronto Harbour to the Niagara Region transporting passengers and cargo until 1960. Photos taken circa 1912.

The S.S. Cayuga, launched in 1906, sailed from the Toronto Harbour to the Niagara Region transporting passengers and cargo until 1960. [ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

[ca. 1912]

[ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

 

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Bike along a trail or through your favourite neighbourhood.

'Some boy' posed in front of a bike. [ca. 1911]

‘Some boy’ posed in front of a bike, [ca. 1911]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

 

 

Wander over to your favourite store or market.

Moore's Ltd. would have been located at the North West corner of Yonge and Gerrard.

Moore’s Ltd. would have been located at the North West corner of Yonge and Gerrard [ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

Shoppers at the crosswalk between Eaton's and Simpsons. [ca. 1905]. Image from: "The Simpsons Century." (Toronto, Ontario: Toronto Star Limited, 1972).

Shoppers at the crosswalk between Eaton’s and Simpsons. [ca. 1905]. Image from: “The Simpsons Century.” (Toronto, Ontario: Toronto Star Limited, 1972).

 

 

Embrace local history and check out how the city has evolved.

Image from "A Souvenir of Toronto." (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Image from “A Souvenir of Toronto.” (Toronto: The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Limited: [1913?]).

Scarboro Beach Park was an amusement park located near the present site of Beaches Park. It operated from 1907-1925.

Scarboro Beach Park was an amusement park located near the present site of Beaches Park. It operated from 1907-1925, [ca. 1911]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

 

If the city has become too overwhelming, maybe it’s time to get away and take a weekend or day trip to the surrounding area.

“Dingle near Simcoe” [ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

“Summer time in ‘Johnstown'” [ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is a popular recreational attraction during the summer months.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is a popular recreational attraction during the summer months, [ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

 

So long as there are friends and family, there are no shortage of ways to appreciate summer in and around Toronto.

[ca. 1912]

[ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

[ca. 1912]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

A family posed in front of a monument at the corner of Sherbourne and Carlton Streets, with St. Luke's United Church in the background.

A family posed in front of a monument at the corner of Sherbourne and Carlton Streets, with St. Luke’s United Church in the background, [ca. 1914]. Album reference number: 2008.001.049.

 

 

This blog features items from the Historical Collection, the Robert MacIntosh Collection on the History of Toronto, and the Rare Books Collection held at Ryerson’s Special Collections on the 4th floor of the library. Drop in and see what else these collections have to offer. Call 416-979-5000 ext. 4996 or email specialcollections@ryerson.ca to make an appointment.

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