Pensioner Mrs. Jean McCormick

This is an exhibition about the everyday people who lived in Toronto in the 20th century. A vibrant mosaic of portraits and skylines, The Changing Face of Toronto tells the story of a city that has evolved over the last century.

Encounter people from all walks of life: bricklayers and bra designers, switchmen and shopkeepers, truck drivers, tellers and taxidermists. Each face tells a story. Woven together, the individuals captured in these photographs are part of the fabric of Toronto in the 20th century.

Look closely and notice the changes in fashion and technology, what Torontonians did for work, and how they spent their leisure time. Observe developments in the styles and techniques of portrait photography.

Many of these images were selected from the Toronto Star Photograph Archive, an archive of over a million images, which is now part of the Toronto Public Library’s Canadian Documentary Art Collection.

You can see the originals on exhibit in The Changing Face of Toronto, from May 14 to July 23, 2016, in the TD Gallery. It's on your right as you enter the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge St.). 

In some places, the physical exhibit displays digital prints to preserve the original silver gelatin prints, which are housed in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre, located on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library.

Guest Curator: Carol Elder