We are deep into the Holiday season right now and now that I’m not stuck in bed with the cold, I can finish my shopping and get some presents wrapped (thank goodness, I was so far behind).

For today’s post I wanted to share with my readers images of  what the Christmas season looked like in Toronto in years gone by, particularly 1960s and older.

vintage Christmas TTC Ad
Vintage TTC Ad. Source: Blog TO

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Christmas Fleet 1956 outside of the CNE Princess Gates.

T.T.C. Christmas Fleet, G.M.C. TDH 4512 buses and 1 Can-Car trolley coach. Photo taken at C.N.E. Prince's Gates, [Toronto, Ont.] Dec. 16, 1956.
Source: Archives Canada
The hustle and bustle of the season at shopping malls is not just a modern-day issue. This image from downtown Toronto in 1935 shows you the traffic jams that have been going on for days leading up to Christmas.

Looking south on Yonge St, opposite centre line of Trinity Square; like this from Queen St, to Dundas, every afternoon for days before Christmas; 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 24, 1935, (Traffic Study Department)
Source: Toronto Archives

1920s St. Lawrence Market building all decked out for Christmas.

North york christmas Market
Source: Toronto Archives

City Hall Christmas Tree in the 1950s (now called ‘Old City Hall’). Residents of Toronto will notice the ‘Eaton store’ in the background. This is now a mall called ‘Toronto Eaton Center’ but no longer holds an Eaton store.

Old City Hall Christmas Tree 1950s
Source: Toronto Archives

Christmas light tour circa 1950s.

Toronto christmas lights tour vintage
Source: Toronto Archives

Toronto annual Santa Claus Parade (see Blog post HERE).

Source: Toronto Archives

December 23rd, 1930-Childrens Christmas Party via the Lions Club. Can someone explain why there are kids dressed as clowns in the crowd?

Lions' Club Xmas [Christmas] party scene, KE.
Source: Toronto Archives
Snapshot of what was under the Christmas Tree at Miss Marjorie Lang’s home in 1930s Toronto.

Miss Marjorie Laing, Xmas [Christmas] gifts.
Source: Toronto Archives
Christmas windows at one of the big department stores in Toronto (either Simpsons, or Eatons. I believe Simpsons).

vintage eatons simpsons christmas windows

Christmas Carols for everyone! Wanting to make sure that everyone remembered their carols, the Toronto Telegram inserted the below leaflet into their paper for their readers to have (circa 1960s).

christmas carols vintage paper insert Toronto
Source: Etsy-UNSC2

Santa’s helpers are everywhere, like on airplanes (Trans Canada Airlines to be exact) taking the first consignment airmail from Toronto to Winnipeg in 1939.

First consignment of airmail flown by Trans-Canada Air Lines from Toronto to Winnipeg.
Source: Archives Canada

Family in Toronto unwrapping their Christmas presents in 1953 (notice the vintage Archies and Krazy Kat comics? ohhh want!).

Toronto Christmas 1953
Source: Flickr-pjs_deceased

And there you have a snapshot into what Toronto looked like during Christmas of times gone by. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into another view of the city I live in.

Liz 🙂




10 comments on “Images Of Toronto Christmas Seasons Gone By”

  1. What a fun, wonderful holiday season post. It’s always such an informative blast to see what has – and hasn’t – changed much on Toronto’s sprawling urban landscape over the decades. How great is that Christmas window display? What vintage lover wouldn’t enjoy waking up to those same items these days, too?

    Happiest Christmas countdown wishes!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. The market photo isn’t “the North York Market”. It’s the old North Market building of the St. Lawrence Market, which is in downtown Toronto, on the northwest corner of Front Street East, at Jarvis. That North building was the second one on that site. The North building is where the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Sunday Antuques Market took place.

    That old building was demolished in the 1960s, and replaced by a squat, fugly, Brutalist, concrete box of a building, as a 1967 Centennial Project. At the time, it was intended to be a “temporary” North Market building.

    That “temporary” eyesore lasted nearly 50 years. The demolition/archaelogy process began 2 years ago, and only recently finished. Until the newest North building (multi-storey, and with courtrooms) is built, the Saturday and Sunday Markets are in a large, metal-framed tent, directly south of the South building.

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