The Toronto Star is donating more than one million vintage photographs — the contents of the Star's entire photo archive — to the Toronto Public Library.
The images span the years 1900 to 1999, and offer a unique glimpse into how the city has changed and developed throughout the last century.
Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank says the Toronto Public Library is "an extraordinary city institution," and will be a great place for the collection.
"These remarkable photos will now be easily available to students, researchers and all the people of Toronto," said Cruickshank. "We believe this collection will help all Torontonians better understand our past and appreciate our future."
Among the more famous images the Star is donating are a candid picture of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau sharing an umbrella with Queen Elizabeth, and first baseman Joe Carter leading celebrations after the Toronto Blue Jays won the 1992 World Series.
John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corp. and a former publisher of the Toronto Star, said the collection includes "some of the most iconic photographs of the city."
"They capture both the times of triumphs and the times of despair over a century in the life of Toronto," said Honderich."The donation is part of the deepening ways that the Star is working with other great institutions in the city to create a lasting legacy for the people of Toronto."
By July 7, the majority of the images will be publicly available in the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre at the Toronto Reference Library. Some of them will also be available on the library's digital archive in the near future.
Toronto's outgoing chief librarian, Jane Pyper, said the library is thrilled about the donation.
"This photo archive is believed to be the only complete archive of Canadian news photographs spanning the entire 20th century," Pyper said. "We are proud that we can now make this freely available at the library."
The donation will complement the already extensive collection of the Toronto Public Library, which includes historical manuscripts, photos and works of art documenting Canada's cultural heritage.