R.I.P. Toronto Star Photographer Reg Innell
Longtime Toronto Star photojournalist Reg Innell passed away on February 1st at the age of 92. He was born in Sussex, England, and got his start in the shutterbug biz by selling pictures to newspapers in London after the Second World War. After a stint in the British Army, he moved to Canada in the early 1960s and continued working as a freelancer before being hired as a staff photographer by the Star. His long and successful career, which lasted until his retirement in 1990, took him to pretty much every corner of the globe and included a National Newspaper Award in 1967 for this photo of a child searching for her father during a police graduation ceremony. My favourite anecdote from the Star's obituary is of the time he asked to borrow a couple of bullets from a police officer to use as makeshift earplugs during a concert by The Beatles...not to protect his hearing from damage by the band, but from all the screaming fans.
A portrait of Innell, on the occasion of his retirement (1990).
Many of Innell's photographs are housed in the Toronto Star Archives located in the Special Collections department on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library, and can also be viewed in our Digital Archive. Here are just a few examples of his illustrious camerawork.
Bank of Canada employee Vicki Hodgson tosses worn and defaced bills into a furnace (1979).
A rare photo of tennis superstar Bjorn Borg in action without his signature headband (1974).
Politician and activist Angela Davis (1974).
The RCAF Golden Hawks in full flight at an air show (1962).
Seven-year-old Graig Wu checks out an oil-guzzling furnace which starred in an Ontario Hydro commercial I remember seeing when I was a kid (1985).
Traffic officer Russ Little directs traffic in an adorable miniature town set up to teach kids the rules of the road (1963).
National Ballet dancers Evelyn Hart and David Peregrine (1981).
Reggae star Stranger Cole's Kensington Market record store (1979).
Claudia Weiss of famed mime troupe Mummenschanz (1981).
Another amazing miniature car, in Cuba this time (1969).
The original caption for this photo was "Computers are wave of the future but do we all need them?" (1985, when this was still an open question).
Firefighters rush to put out a blaze on St. Clair Avenue West after a van carrying liquid oxygen cylinders caught fire and exploded, injuring the driver (1980).