Photo retrospective: Toronto in the 1960s and ’70s

The musician Mighty Sparrow, centre, was known as the King of Calypso in the 1960s and ’70s. This photo was taken at a barbecue for Contrast, a Black-run newspaper.

Toronto Life magazine has a fantastic retrospective of Toronto in the 1960s and ’70s, courtesy of a photo collection from Joan Latchford — a former nun who left the convent in the UK where she spent seven years, and returned to Toronto and bought a Hasselblad camera:

“Instead of paying bills, of which I had a number, I decided I would get something that I really wanted, which was a good camera,” she once said. She soon switched to a Leica, set up a darkroom in her basement, and started a photography career, knocking on magazine editors’ doors to sell her images. Her clients included the CBC, Chatelaine and the National Film Board’s stills division, which commissioned her to capture images of Toronto’s Caribbean diaspora. After her death in 2017, she left behind around 40,000 negatives, which she’d meticulously filed under categories like, “Men,” “Women,” “Children,” “Celebrities” and “Humour.” She also kept detailed notes: one of her phone books had B.B. King’s number in it.

Yonge Street, 1971: On summer weekends, Yonge Street would close off for pedestrians. “It was a cool time back then, when everyone would be out and about,” says Wilyman

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