Celebrating VE Day on Bay Street in Toronto
Source: Wikimedia

While looking thru Flickr the other day for some inspiration I stumbled upon this absolutely wonderful photo of 8 of the most stylish men and women 1940s Toronto has ever seen! Aren’t they just fantastic?? My favorite is…all of them 🙂

1940s people in Toronto
Source: Flickr-Mary-Doug Wright

The post inspired me to gather up other images of stylish folks in Toronto during the same time period and put them together into one giant fashionable post.

Now lets see who was in “Vogue” shall we?

1940s Toronto storefront window Vogue
Toronto Store Front Window 1940s. Source: Flickr-Jessica

The below image is of Betty Willis (vocals) and Frank Wright (vibraphone), two early stars of the Toronto jazz scene in the 1940s and ’50s.

I’m not 100% sure what is on her dress, but I do know I like it on her (great hair as well). Great examples of 1940s suits as well, such well dressed men.

1940s Jazz musicians of Toronto
Source: National Post

Of course you must have a Beauty Pageant or 2 to showcase more great style (see a past post on Miss Toronto). In this case, great swimsuit style.

Miss Toronto 1946
Miss Toronto 1946

Even if you had to do your part for the war effort, true style still shone thru (even if it was how you did your hair or the colours of your nails). Here is the “Miss War Worker Beauty Pageant of 1942”, showing just that.


We cannot leave out Toronto’s very own Rosie the Riveter-“Veronica Foster the Bren Gun Girl”. You can read all about Veronica HERE. This is her “after work is done look”.

Veronica Foster-Bren Gun Girl
Source: Library and Archives Canada

Remember Miss Toronto 1946 in the swimsuit above? Well here she is again, modelling our Transit system very stylish uniforms for women in 1946. Pretty smart, right?

Miss Toronto 1946 TTC Uniform
Source: Blog TO

More ladies in the uniforms of the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission).

1940s TTC women workers
Source: Blog TO

Off to school? With storefront windows like this one in Toronto in 1942 you were guaranteed to not miss the hottest looks on campus. How do I make the look on the right mine?

1940s fashion for women in Toronto
Source: archives.gov.on.ca

Have children and think you don’t have time to be stylish? Not a problem for the lovely lady Mrs. Jack Wright and her two sons Ralph Wright and David Wright in 1943 doing her shopping in Toronto in a stunner of a dress (source). Aren’t her kids just adorable??

1940s Toronto
Source: Flickr: BiblioArchives

Think being stylish is only reserved for adults? Pish Posh, look at these 2 well dressed boys doing some reading of some very important books for their generation.

Two young boys, seated with books, in the children's department of a Toronto public library, Toronto, Ontario
Source: Flickr-BiblioArchives

This last image is of a young couple with a lovely lady who was a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1944. Can we take a moment to admire the 2 doves on the one woman’s dress? Fantastic!

A member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps feeds a treat to a cat as a couple seated on nearby loveseat watch /
Source: Flickr-BiblioArchives

And there it is, Stylish Toronto of the 1940s. Did you have a favorite photo from this collection? Or maybe you have your own photos of stylish folks from your town or even a favorite image. Do share!

Liz 🙂





6 comments on “The Stylish Toronto of the 1940s”

  1. What’s that you ask, am I madly in love with this awesome history filled post? Why, yes, yes I am! 🙂

    Seriously Liz, you’ve knocked it out of the ballpark again. What a fun, engaging, sartorially inspiring read!

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    • Ahhh thanks so much Jessica 🙂 🙂 It was a really really fun post and I’m thinking of digging deeper to find a part 2 to this post.

      thanks for the wonderful words! have a great week 🙂


  2. What fun to relive these times. IWOULD Love to seemore of thesame . Keep it goingMy sister worked in the wool department T Eatons and one day Miss Toronto and Miss Canada were in the store.my sistergot their autographs andbrought them home to me. That was in the 1940s . Iq was inpulic school and now iam 80 yearsold with great memories

    • Thank you so very much for sharing this story about your sister working at Eatons (I miss Eatons) and who she met! That is so fantastic and I’m so glad you found my blog to pass that on. I’m also very glad that you have so many wonderful memories, cheers to many more 🙂


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