ca. 1855 Magnus: City of Toronto

“This map was produced as letterhead for writing paper by Charles Magnus, a printer specializing in pictorial letterheads.

Whether the letterhead was commissioned by a stationer for general sale, or was designed for a single customer is not known. However, the 'X' on the map may mark the point from which the letter was written.

This map is an early example of the delineation of the shape of the built-up area, in this case by the use of hatched lines.”

- Isobel Ganton & Joan Winearls, MAPPING TORONTO'S FIRST CENTURY 1787-1884

Click the image to view a full-size version. 

City of Toronto C.W. Lithograph of Charles Magnus, ca. 1855; signed August 10, 1857.
Image courtesy of Stephen Otto.
Winearls, MUC no. 2127

Magnus also produced this view of the city, from atop the roof of the Jail at the foot of Parliament St. The corner of Front and Berkeley is in the right foreground:

Click the image to view a full-size version. 

Canada West. Toronto.
Published by Charles Magnus & Co., ca. late 1850s.
Image courtesy The Winterthur Library, Charles Magnus collection.

Magnus’ work here is almost certainly based on Edwin Whitefield’s Toronto, Canada West (see next image).

Whitefield’s 1854 bird's-eye view “illustrates a city of over 40,000 inhabitants centred along the harbour and the original City Hall, the site of today's South St. Lawrence Market and the Market Gallery. The busy harbour and Toronto's original shoreline came up to the back of City Hall, where The Esplanade is today. Not long after this image was created, the shoreline would undergo reclamation to allow for the railways.”
- City of Toronto, Market Gallery History

Some artistic liberties have been taken: the St. James and St. Michaels cathedral steeples were not actually completed until several years after this painting.

Click the image to view a full-size version. 

Toronto, Canada West. From the top of the Jail, by Edwin Whitefield, 1854.
Image courtesy City of Toronto Culture, A82-28 [See also: LAC]
[I’d love to get a larger version of this -- if anyone has a line on a better resolution print, let me know!]

A B&W key to Whitefield’s lithograph...

Click the image to view a full-size version:

Key to the Picture of Toronto In 1854 Showing Location of the Principal Buildings and Wharves
Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: B 4-68a

A photo-mechanical reproduction of the same drawing (with slight variations in the text) is in 'Landmarks of Toronto' v.5, facing p.578

“Charles Magnus was a print publisher, map dealer, bookseller and stationer working in New York City from 1850 to 1899 who issued over a thousand different letter sheets, maps, song sheets, envelopes, and separate prints. His best known works were city views and Civil War related material. Much of his work was copied from other printmakers. He often altered or combined design elements from several sources, rarely crediting the original artist. [Emph. added - N.] Many of his works after 1865 were based on photographs, which he often altered, drawing in figures or re-drawing lines for clearer reproduction.”

- The Winterthur Library, Magnus Finding Aid description

Gratuitous bonus - J.G. Howard’s 1836 watercolour of the Jail, from which the above perspective was supposedly taken:

Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: 938-1-2 Cab II

Gratuitous bonus 2Toronto, C.W., in the Summer of 1851 by Francis Hincks Granger.

View of Front St. from the Old Windmill to the Old Fort, giving a different perspective. For reference, the Gaol is #8. The artist, Francis Hincks Granger, was a scene painter for the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Toronto. He painted this watercolour "on the spot."

Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: JRR 341. A simple Key to the painting may be found here.

A black and white version may be found in John Ross Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto (Vol II). His somewhat rambling key may be found here.

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