By the late 1830s, King Street was Toronto’s undisputed main east-west commercial thoroughfare.

In the second half of last century, other major roads could already make a claim for that title, but that doesn’t mean King Street calmed down.

For instance, when the 72-storey First Canadian Place was completed at the corner of Bay and King Street West in 1975, no building on Earth outside of New York City and Chicago was taller. And today, row upon row of restaurants, cocktail bars, and offices line the street, one of Toronto’s busiest public-transit corridors.

To see these and other landmarks along the western portion of King Street, view this then-and-now photo tour including contemporary pictures by BuzzBuzzHome’s James Bombales and archival photographs from the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library.

Massey building on King Street West at Strachan Avenue, 1980s

King Street West looking east towards Strachan, 1983

King Street West looking east from Bathurst Street, 1973

Gurney (E. & C.) Stove Manufacturers, King Street West and Brant Street, 1870

King Street West, looking west from Spadina, Mid-1970s

King Street West, looking west from John Street, Early 1990s

Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King Street West, 1955

Metropole Hotel, King Street West and York Street, 1954

King Street West looking east at York Street, 1980

King Street West looking east at Yonge Street, 1933

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