Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yonge & Queen at 5 O'Clock, 1940

Of all the old Toronto photos I've ever posted to Facebook or Instagram (which you can follow me on, by the way, here and here), I think this might be the one that got the most likes. It's called "Five o'clock Rush, Queen & Yonge Streets, 1940". And it was taken by Charles D. Woodley. They've got a bunch of his stuff on the Stephen Bulger Gallery website, including a biography, which is where I've learned the few things that I've learned about him:

He was born in Toronto, in 1910, and he lived here his whole life. He got his first camera as a boy, in 1920 — even started a camera club at his high school, Bloor Collegiate, at the corner of Bloor & Dufferin. He once rode a bicycle home all the way from North Bay after a trip to Temagami — 200 kilometers down an unpaved Yonge Street. He liked to hitch rides on freight trains, too, took them across Canada and the United States. Over the course of his life, he would take photos in every province and territory in our country and in more than 50 countries around the world. He got married and had kids and was a teacher, too — he taught Geography at Western Tech.

He died, an old man, in 2003.

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