R.I.P. Toronto Star Photographer Reg Innell

February 10, 2018 | Beau

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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.


Reg Innell portrait

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 furnace

Bank of Canada employee Vicki Hodgson tosses worn and defaced bills into a furnace (1979). 


Bjorn Borg

A rare photo of tennis superstar Bjorn Borg in action without his signature headband (1974).

Angela Davis

Politician and activist Angela Davis (1974).


Near miss

The RCAF Golden Hawks in full flight at an air show (1962).


Home show fun

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

Traffic officer Russ Little directs traffic in an adorable miniature town set up to teach kids the rules of the road (1963). 

Evelyn Hart and David Peregrine

National Ballet dancers Evelyn Hart and David Peregrine (1981).


Stranger Cole

Reggae star Stranger Cole's Kensington Market record store (1979).



Claudia Weiss of famed mime troupe Mummenschanz (1981).


Cuba - miniature car

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).


Explosion on St. Clair

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).