Looking back at archival pictures, it’s easy to see just how much the city has changed. But when we stumbled upon a gem of film detailing a Toronto “bursting at the seams” in 1951, it’s hard not to compare it to the city’s present-day conditions…which are pretty much the same.
The film’s references to the downtown population boom, a mayor with a radio show, and a Regent Park revamp all lead to this sense of deja-vu. Plus there’s the narrator’s earnest assertions that Toronto is no longer sleepy but “a mighty stimulating place,” with scores of new eateries and a multi-million dollar housing boom.
What about the big city problems? Well, 1950s Toronto had transit and congestion woes too. It seems like the only thing that’s really changed is our pronunciation of the word “vaudeville.” Watch for it and cameo appearances by Casa Loma and the Horseshoe Tavern.