Popular for its abundant entertainment, shopping and dining establishments, the downtown stretch of Yonge Street is often bustling with large crowds and tourists. The famous street has become an iconic symbol of the city and is home to Canada’s first subway line, the Times Square-esque Yonge-Dundas Square and the expansive Eaton Centre modelled after Milan’s gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Like other arterial roads in the city, Yonge Street has experienced tremendous change through the decades, with towering glass and steel condos and skyscrapers now lining the corridor between Bloor Street and Queens Quay.

As we’ve done with other Toronto streets — including St. Clair Avenue, Bathurst Street and King Street West — we’ve compared archival photos from the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library with present day shots. Part one of this series covers Yonge Street from Bloor Street to Dundas Street, while part two features the area between Queen Street West and Queens Quay to the south.

Yonge Street and Queen Street West, 1983

Yonge Street and Temperance Street, 1953

Yonge Street and Adelaide Street, 1913

Yonge Street looking north towards Adelaide Street, 1977

Fairweathers facade, Yonge Street north of King Street West, 1988

Yonge Street looking north from King Street, 1982

Yonge Street looking north from Front Street, 1888

Custom House, southwest corner of Yonge Street and Front Street, 1890

Yonge Street looking south towards Lakeshore Boulevard, 1980s

Yonge Street looking north from Queens Quay, 1980s

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