Published on November 29th, 2013 | by Jordan

Relive History Through the Earliest Known Photographs of Toronto

Did you know that Toronto was in the running to become the capital of Canada? These 150+ year old photos were part of the application process, but were later lost for over 122 years until being rediscovered in 1979! Big thanks to Reddit user /u/HistoricToronto for posting these amazing pieces of history. You can read more about these photos on Wikipedia, but here’s a short synopsis:

“[The photos] were created by the firm Armstrong, Beere and Hime under contract from the city of Toronto. In 1857 the British Colonial Office was deciding which city should be made the capital of The Canadas. As part of their bid, the city of Toronto elected to present a set of photographs of the city to the authorities in London. The city paid Armstrong, Beere and Hime £60 to create four copies of 25 pictures. The panoramic images were taken from the roof of the Rossin House Hotel, at the southeast corner of King and York streets.

Toronto’s bid to become the capital failed, and the photographs were lost and forgotten. They were rediscovered on October 9, 1979, when archivist Joan Schwartz located them when looking through records at the Colonial Office Library. Subsequently a second set of the pictures was found in Ottawa.”

Check out the full, annotated panorama here >

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