1879(?) Canadian Railway News: Bird’s Eye View of Toronto

This bird’s eye view comes from a short printed album featuring various engravings of notable structures within Toronto. It was published by the Canadian Railway News Co. in around 1879.

“[This map] offers one the ability to rather quickly pick out some of the structures that remain in the city to this day, including Knox and University College, St. Michael's Cathedral and the Metropolitan Church, Osgoode Hall, and what is now known as the Distillery District. Particularly interesting in the case of the latter is the explanation the map offers as to why the "Stone Distillery Complex" sits on an angle in relation to the other buildings: it originally hugged the shoreline of Lake Ontario.

... If you've ever wondered just how prominent the Garrison Creek/Ravine was, this'll give you a good indication. It's even possible to spot a bridge over the now buried river (note: the Crawford Street Bridge was not built until 1915).

The Bird's Eye Map does, of course, also allow one to take a look at some of the structures that have been lost over the years. I think in particular here of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Trinity College, Old Union Station and the Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women (although the list could go on).”

- Derek Flack, Toronto of the 1870s, BlogTO

Click the image to view a full-size (2.4 MB) version. 

1870 Bird’s Eye View map of Toronto, published by Canadian Railway News

Birds Eye View of Toronto from New Album of Toronto Views. Published 1879(?) by Canada Railway News Co.

Map courtesy openlibrary.org.

The linked catalogue entry indicates a date of 1870, but that is incorrect as the Album (but not the map!) also contains a view of the rebuilt Crystal Palace on the Industrial Exhibition grounds, which places it around 1879. [Readers are invited to examine the other photographs in the book and attempt a more precise dating, of either the book or the year the map is purporting to show.]

In 1889, a similar photo album simply named Toronto was subsequently published. It contains an updated version of this map. The differences are interesting to pick out (development in the north end is particularly noticeable -- in the core changes are more subtle.)

Click the images to view in full-size. 

Bird’s Eye View of Toronto, from Toronto (photo album)
Published c. 1889.

Image taken at Toronto Public Library, TRL: 917.1354 A11 BR

Sorry, I couldn’t stitch these together. You’ll have to visit the Baldwin Room yourself to get a better image! I’d insert a catalogue link, but it’s not in the catalogue -- you have to specifically request it, like some secret menu item.

Bonus Map: City of Toronto (from end of New Album of Toronto Views)

See Also [Bird’s Eye Views]
1876 PA Gross Bird's Eye View of Toronto
1876 Gascard City of Toronto Bird’s Eye View from the Northern Railway Elevator 
1886 Wesbroom: City of Toronto [Bird’s Eye View]
1892 Toronto Railway Company Map Shewing Toronto Street Railway Lines
1893 Barclay, Clark & Co. Bird’s Eye View Chromolithograph

Please ‘Like’ and Share these maps with other Toronto history enthusiasts! (+1s are also welcome!)