Garden City: Public and Private Gardens in Early Toronto

Early Toronto residents, politicians and local entrepreneurs transformed the City by creating public gardens and offering services and supplies to the gardening industry. As a result of their efforts, nineteenth century Toronto emerged as a more liveable community and a popular tourist attraction.

By the late 1800s, guidebooks were referring to Toronto as the “Queen City”, the “Holiday City”, and the “ideal summer city”. In the fall and winter, city residents and visitors congregated for social events and recreation in churches, hotel dining rooms and concert halls. In spring and summer, they enjoyed the shaded walks of the downtown streets, the sunny beaches, and the rustic parklands. Homeowners also tilled their own backyards to produce fresh fruits and vegetables for the table and flowers to beautify their surroundings.

Toronto, Canada: a souvenir of the “Queen City”.
Photo album, 18-?

Toronto The Queen City of Canada. The ideal residential city of this continent.
Brochure, 1896
1896. Toronto

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Source: Special Collections, Toronto Public Library.