Remembering St. John’s Ward: The Images of Toronto City Photographer, Arthur S. Goss

Rear of 114-120 Elizabeth Street, Arthur Goss, 1936 (Photo Credit: City of Toronto Archives)

Rear of 114-120 Elizabeth Street, Arthur Goss, 1936 (Photo Credit: City of Toronto Archives)

I was doing some research this week on the history of another part of Toronto by looking at Charles E. Goad’s fire insurance plans. That side tracked me a little bit into thinking about how much Toronto has changed over the past century. I’ve always been fascinated with the area around old St. John’s Ward, which now roughly comprises Nathan Phillips Square, Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Trinity Church and the Eaton’s Centre. This area has changed dramatically since Goad recorded the area in 1884 and again in 1912. Although Goad recorded the basic information about building materials and street layouts in this area, it wasn’t until the early decades of the twentieth century which saw the area officially documented photographically for the first time. Two of the best known photographers of this area were William James and Arthur Goss. This week’s article will examine the photographs of Arthur Goss from St. John’s Ward.

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