Toronto: City of Commerce 1800-1960

Stories of a city’s factories, businesses and storefronts

by Katherine Taylor

Archival images and contemporary photos illuminate the history of Toronto's businesses and industries.

In its early years, Toronto was a city of small businesses of astonishing variety. Unlike today, manufacturers held a prominent place in the city. Enterprising Torontonians ran and worked in factories making suits, carpets, home appliances, shoes and much more. The city also boasted lively retail and entertainment sectors. There were confectionaries, barbershops, burlesques, sports arenas — and many others.

While many of these businesses are long gone, their histories live on in paintings, archival photographs, and preserved signs and storefronts still scattered across the city.

In this book, photographer and blogger Katherine Taylor recounts the stories of these old businesses and their owners and workers. Each is richly illustrated with a variety of archival images and occasionally contemporary photographs of lingering signs, buildings and storefronts. Familiar places in the city take on new meaning as she explores both famous and forgotten businesses from Toronto’s past.

This book offers a new take on Toronto’s rich commercial history.

About the Author

Katherine Taylor

KATHERINE TAYLOR is a banker by day and history buff by night. Her blog, One Gal’s Toronto, delves into the stories behind Toronto’s old buildings and businesses, bringing them to life with archival images and new photos. Katherine’s work has been featured in NOW Toronto. Katherine lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Subjects (BISAC)


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