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#1
rudy

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Of course, all of us being cartographers it would come as no surprise to learn that most of us are working on maps or tihngs related to maps. But it does occasionally happen that we work on things completely or only marginally related to maps. For the last 6 months I have had the joy doing such a thing. And yes, it is a joy, even if it doesn't reate to maps.

Our company owner has a large collection of oblique air photos taken in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Photos are of locations across Canada, a few from the United States and the Bahamas but most seem to be of southern Ontario. The owner would like to put together a coffee table book of the photos as a means of promoting them so we settled on putting a book together of photos of the Greater Toronto area from the 1950s. Instead of just packing in as many as I could, I thought it would be more worthwhile to research the photos and provide at least a little background information as to the location and history of what was in the photos. In some cases it was easy. In other cases it was a real challenge as the photos aren't well identified. I am attaching a sample photo of downtown Toronto from 1956 from the collection here.

Attached File  skyline_Toronto_64_To_477.jpg   85.48KB   189 downloads

So the book is nearing completion of its first draft. The owner sees it this week and I'm hoping that he likes it and keeps his suggested changes to a minimum (that I think is the toughest part of this project). The photos also need to cleaned up and retouched yet. Included will be a reproduction of a Toronto area map from the 1950s as well as a bit of an historical background piece and a piece on the photographer and the collection itself. I am hoping that the book will go to press by the end of March. I'll keep you posted on its progress.

#2
Greg

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Sounds like an interesting project! My dad has a similar book with oblique photos and drawings of major Canadian cities dating back to the 1920's. It's neat to compare these old images against the current development in our cities.
Greg Moore

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www.cartographicdesign.com

#3
Charles Syrett

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That tall-ish building a little left of centre in the photo is Commerce Court North. At that time, it was known as "The Bank of Commerce Building" -- and it was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth. I remember going up to the top as a little kid and feeling like I was on top of the world. Woo-hoo! Now, of course, it's almost lost in a forest of surrounding office buildings... :huh:

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#4
rudy

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There are a number of remarkable things that I discovered while working on these photos. The first, of course, is the massive amount of building that has gone on since the photos were taken in the 1950s. Secondly, back in the 1950s Toronto was very much an industrial city - factories etc. all over the place but particularly along the waterfront. Much of that has disappeared. Thirdly, so many unique buildings have disappeared to make way for other, new, bigger buildings - or sometimes just to make room for parking lots. These changes have been uneven. Some photos show intersections that have completely changed; other photo show intersections that haven't changed a bit. Fascinating.

#5
Charles Syrett

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Have you seen "Historical Atlas of Toronto", by Derek Hayes? This is a must-read if you're interested in the evolution of "The Big Smoke". I've spent many blissful hours gloating over the old maps in this book, including plans for development that never reached fruition, and several bird's-eye maps that would bring a tear to Jean-Louis' eye. B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

There are a number of remarkable things that I discovered while working on these photos. The first, of course, is the massive amount of building that has gone on since the photos were taken in the 1950s. Secondly, back in the 1950s Toronto was very much an industrial city - factories etc. all over the place but particularly along the waterfront. Much of that has disappeared. Thirdly, so many unique buildings have disappeared to make way for other, new, bigger buildings - or sometimes just to make room for parking lots. These changes have been uneven. Some photos show intersections that have completely changed; other photo show intersections that haven't changed a bit. Fascinating.



#6
rudy

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Have you seen "Historical Atlas of Toronto", by Derek Hayes? This is a must-read if you're interested in the evolution of "The Big Smoke". I've spent many blissful hours gloating over the old maps in this book, including plans for development that never reached fruition, and several bird's-eye maps that would bring a tear to Jean-Louis' eye. B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com


Oh yes. Read it cover to cover. The interesting thing about Derek is that he never set foot in Toronto, at least not for the research and the writing of the book.




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