Toronto was a quieter place in the 1950s. Our skyline was made up of a handful of buildings from the 1930s, our brick buildings were stained with soot from the industry that still dominated our waterfront, and you couldn't get a drink or go shopping on Sundays.

Yes, there was a time when this was a downright sleepy town.

That said, Toronto was already starting to change in the 50s. It would take a decade or two for these little seeds to blossom into the type of full scale transformation the city experienced in the late 1960s and early 70s, but the signs are there.

While Kodak released colour film in the late 1930s, it wasn't until the 1960s that its use became widespread among amateurs. As such, the collection of colour photographs of Toronto from the 1950s is tiny compared to that of the decade that followed.

Perhaps because of this, they provide an alluring glimpse of a cheerful if somewhat boring city on the brink of great change.


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