New virtual exhibit recalls Yorkville of the ’60s

Yorkville 60s coupleIf you can remember the ’60s…. you’re older than you’d like to admit. But among other things, it was a time when what is now an upscale shopping district was the rundown focal point for youth, student militancy and rock and roll.

The folks at York Libraries’ Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections remember it well, thanks to their stash of photographs and materials from the Toronto Telegram fonds that document Toronto’s Yorkville district in the 1960s – before it became gentrified.

Left: Yorkville, 1968 (York University, Clara Thomas Archives, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC Image 639)

The spirit of Yorkville is captured in a new virtual exhibition called “I Heard a Story About Yorkville” featuring selected photographs from the Toronto Telegram fonds and through stories shared by Nicholas Jennings, author of Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of Canadian Sound. The exhibit features photos of musicians Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and others, as well as some great photos of the Yorkville scene and a discussion of attempts by the “city fathers” to clear the hippies out. For a virtual flashback, start here.