The Past is Never Far is a photographic series which explores the extraordinary changes Toronto has seen since its founding in just over two centuries. It seeks to display the city in a way you’ve never seen it before, using old technology with new to blend past and present, no photoshop required. Here you can view the city through the eyes of our founder’s wife, Elizabeth Simcoe, who painted some of the only images we have of this place as wilderness, and William James Sr., early twentieth century photographer, and first man to ever shoot aerial, moving pictures.

As we view our city through the eyes of these amazing documentarians who lived here, we catch a glimpse of Toronto through time.

Elizabeth Simcoe

York [Toronto] from 1793-1796 through the eyes of our founder’s wife.

William James Sr.

Toronto in the early 1900s through the eyes of one of its most prolific photographers

Summer Leigh

A collection of images from behind the series’ making.