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Monday, December 28, 2015

Dazzling colour footage reveals the Toronto of 1943

Toronto 1943The 1940s is a period well documented photographically in Toronto, but it's quite rare to see colour video from this period. That's why the clip below from the Periscope Film Archive is such a gem. Yes, it's silent and not much happens, but once you see the first bright red Peter Witt streetcar go by, you can't help but get excited.

There's a lot to see in this roughly four minute long video. The obvious stuff is the Royal York Hotel, Union Station, and Queen's Park, but for me the intriguing things are the TTC signs, the mailboxes, and the outdoor classroom (possibly in High Park or Victoria Park).

It's also rather fascinating to note the general lack of traffic in the city. While the place depicted in the film feels immediately familiar, the interval of 70+ years also gives it a rather eerie feeling. The view up Bay St. is remarkably similar, but the building facades are actually cleaner today (we don't burn much coal anymore).

Have a look and see what similarities and differences you can spot.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

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