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Image: Toronto Public Library

If you needed to buy an electrotyper or wanted to pass the evening in a billiards room, King Street was clearly the place to be in Old Toronto.

So much of the city’s early history is concentrated in the core and the downtown east side, an area that’s undergone massive transformation since the 19th century, we thought we’d map out some of the everyday businesses and institutions that populated the city to get a better sense of just how much has changed.

Coming through the Toronto Public Library’s collection of city directories and advertising cards for local businesses, we’ve assembled a look at the city at a time when you could buy a hunting rifle on Yonge Street and confectioners used images creepy children to advertise their sweets.

See for yourself:

All images are public domain.

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