Category Archives: retro

Less is more

I could spend hours looking at old ads (and I sometimes have). Here is a Ford car ad from the Toronto 1921 city directory¬†that was not afraid of blank space: This ad was a header page for a section of … Continue reading

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Ford’s Candies

Here’s another ad from the 1921 Toronto city directory: Luncheons and afternoon teas sounds so very very British. A Google search for “Ford’s Candies” turned up nothing, other than references to the late mayor Rob Ford handing out candy, or … Continue reading

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Nerlich & Co.

Here’s yet another ad from the 1921 Toronto city directory, since I enjoy them so much: Here’s a close-up of the top of the building: Did they really have a flag that read “Nerlich & C0.”? There are lots of … Continue reading

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Stop throwing away razor blades!

Here’s another ad from the 1921 Toronto city directory: I love the very idea of Broughton’s Pink Stropping Dust. Sadly, Google turned up no additional information on Geo. H. Broughton or his wondrous dust. It is seemingly lost to history.

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The spur of the moment

Here’s an ad in the 1921 Toronto city directory, placed by Might Directories, the people who created the directory: I wonder what training you needed to become an Addresser or Mailer. Did Might Directories have a reserve force of on-call … Continue reading

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Somebody counted them

Here’s a section from the Toronto 1921 city directory that caught my attention: The last sentence states that Toronto contains 1,802 streets and 121,311 buildings of all kinds. This means that somebody went through the city directory and counted the … Continue reading

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Men’s restaurant

Page 946 of the 1900 Toronto city directory, which I mentioned yesterday, contains this ad at the top of the page: I’m not sure why Mr. McConkey restricted his restaurant to men only. I can guess, but the answer probably … Continue reading

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Departmental stores

The back part of the old Toronto city directories featured the equivalent of the Yellow Pages of modern (or at least pre-Internet) times: lists of businesses, sorted in alphabetical order by business type. Page 946 of the 1900 city directory … Continue reading

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Ad inserts from 1917 – part 7

Here’s the last of the ads I captured from the 1917 Toronto city directory. Like the others, this would have appeared probably dozens of times in the book. I liked this one because it was the perfect firm name for … Continue reading

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Ad inserts from 1917 – part 6

Here is yet another ad from the 1917 Toronto city directory: I think that’s a horseshoe, but it might be a croquet hoop. Or a snake. I can’t tell. The building at 105 Roncesvalles Avenue today looks¬†old, so it might … Continue reading

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