Toronto Star donates century of photos to Toronto Public Library

June 25, 2014 | Media Relations

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Photo archive documents major social, political, cultural, and historic events of the 20th century from a Toronto and national perspective


June 25, 2014 –Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Star are pleased to announce the gift of more than one million vintage photographs from the Toronto Star’s photo archive to the library’s Special Collections department.

The photo archive represents the complete photographic archive of the largest daily newspaper in Canada and includes unparalleled coverage of Toronto news, changing daily life, fashion and economic and social developments in the city between the years 1900 and 1999.

As of Monday, July 7, 2014, the majority of the photo archive will be freely available to students and researchers, as well as all members of the public, in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library. A portion of the images will be available at a later date on the library’s digital archive.


“This photo archive is believed to be the only complete archive of Canadian news photographs spanning the entire 20th century and we are proud that we can now make this freely available at the library,” said Jane Pyper, City Librarian. “We thank the Toronto Star for this donation that gives Toronto residents access to a century of their city’s photographic history, as well as a chronicle of world events from a Canadian perspective. The archive is a wonderful complement to our extensive collections that document local and national history and culture.”


Notable images include:


Joe Carter 1992 World Series
Date: Oct. 24, 1992. Photographer: Mike Slaughter
  • First baseman Joe Carter leads the celebration of the 1992 Blue Jays’ World Series win


Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau share an umbrella
Date: Oct. 16, 1977. Photographer: Jeff Goode
  • A candid shot of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau sharing an umbrella with Queen Elizabeth


Soldiers in front of City Hall. Date: 1915
Date: 1915. Photographer: James and Son
  • Soldiers in front of the recruiting office for the 74th and 75th battalions on the grounds of old City Hall


June Callwood. Date: 1966
Date: Jan. 14, 1966. Photographer: Norman James
  • Torontonian June Callwood, award-winning author, broadcaster and social activist, at her typewriter in 1966.


Construction workers. Date: 1928
Date: 1928. Photographer: Alexandra Studios
  • Thousands of images of Toronto residents captured in simple daily activities


“We feel the Toronto Public Library is an extraordinary city institution and a great place for these photographs,” said John Cruickshank, publisher of the Toronto Star. “These remarkable photos will now be easily available to students, researchers and all the people of Toronto.

“Part of ensuring the future of Toronto is shoring up our past and our memories of this city as it once was. This is especially important for newer residents, who have come from across the country and around the world and didn’t know Toronto in its earlier days. We believe this collection will help all Torontonians better understand our past and appreciate our future.”


John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corporation and a former publisher of the Toronto Star, said “the donation is part of the deepening ways that the Star is working with other great institutions in the city to create a lasting legacy for the people of Toronto. The collection includes some of the most iconic photographs of the city that capture both the times of triumphs and the times of despair over a century in the life of Toronto.”


This archive will continue to be a remarkable resource for students, genealogists, photojournalists and researchers of 20th century Canada. The acquisition will also complement Toronto Public Library’s existing collections of historical manuscripts, books, posters, photographs and works of art which document the cultural heritage of Canada.


About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

About the Toronto Star

The Toronto Star, founded in 1892, is read in print and online ( by 3.0 million readers each week. The Toronto Star is a division of Star Media Group, which includes, Torstar Syndication Services, The Grid city magazine and Star Content Studios. Star Media Group also includes the Metro free daily newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and London, and the jointly-owned Chinese language newspaper Sing Tao. Star Media Group is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, which is a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation.


For more information, please contact:

Ana-Maria Critchley, Toronto Public Library

Manager, Stakeholder Relations



Bob Hepburn, Toronto Star

Director, Community Relations and Communications