With Toronto — and most of Canada — under an extreme cold weather alert, it’s fair to say that winter in the ‘Great White North’ can be tough. Whether you’re scraping ice, slush and snow off your windshield or trudging carefully through it, Old Man Winter gives us plenty of reasons for developing a case of the wintertime blues.

But the season is also a great time to get outdoors, partake in some cold weather activities and take in the beauty of freshly fallen snow. Just take a look at these 23 historic photos we found in the City of Toronto archives. Spanning over a century, they portray Toronto winters through the years and how some Torontonians like to spend them.

Spadina Avenue, 1906

Spadina Avenue, east side, looking north from below Dundas Street. - 1906

Winter walk in High Park, 1907

Winter walk in High Park. - [1907?]

Kew Beach, 1907

Kew Beach. - 1907

Ice fishing on Centre Island, 1908

Ice fishing, Centre Island.

Christie Pits, 1909

Skaters at Christie Pits

Old City Hall, 1910

City Hall entrance covered in frost. - 1910

Bellwoods Park, 1910

Sledding in Bellwoods Park. - [ca. 1910]

Tobogganing in High Park, 1910s

Lineups for toboggan runs, High Park. - [between 1910 and 1920]

Toboggan hills at High Park, 1910s

High Park toboggan runs.

Toronto skyline, 1912

Toronto skyline in winter.

Rosedale Ravine, 1912

Snowball fight in Rosedale Ravine. - 1912

Sunnyside Avenue, 1918


Snowshoers in High Park, 1920

Group of snowshoers on horse-drawn sleigh. - [ca. 1920]

Bay streetcar, 1931

Snow clearing, Bay car and snow-pile.

Horse-drawn snow plow on Front Street, 1931

Fleet Street snow scenes, horse-drawn snow plow.

Horseback riding at Casa Loma, 1936

Horseback riders, Casa Loma. - [ca. 1936]

Bay Street, 1944


King Street West near John Street during a snow storm, 1961


Toronto Harbour, 1970s


Railway lands looking west, early 1980s


St. James Park looking south-east, 1980s

Open space - St. James Park. - 1980-1988

Tobogganing in Riverdale Park, 1980s

City Views - people. - 1976-1992

Niagara and Wellington looking south-east, 1993


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