Shaping Beautiful Cities

The shaping of Toronto has been happening for thousands of years, but the past hundred or so have been especially dramatic.

The recently released Old Toronto Map has had our staff geeking out over historical photographs of the city we love for days. It’s also got us thinking about what it really means to shape a city. Flipping through these images is a humbling reminder of the time, energy, effort, and sheer gumption it takes to radically change the environment we live in. These changes seem slow in our lifetimes, but when you think about them in the scheme of our planet’s history, it’s actually pretty remarkable how fast things change in a century.

This is what our current office looked like in 1932:

This is what the laneway behind DUKE Condos (shown at the start of this article in the present day) looked like in 1933:

And check out this shot of the houses just north of 2 Tecumseth Street in 1936. The houses remain, but the land behind them is about to undergo a radical new transformation in the coming years.

Take a good look at the city around you. In 2118 your descendants will look back on it fondly, incredulous at all the ways a city can grow and change in just 100 short years.