Wednesday, March 26, 2014

scenes from st. lawrence market, 1934

Scenes from St. Lawrence Market, 1934 (2)

Sifting through files on one of my 7,853 USB keys, I found a folder of material I'd copied from City Lights, a short-lived (1934-35) Toronto magazine from the mid-1930s. Its content fell somewhere between the New Yorker and a Depression-era Toronto Life. City Lights is also one of those subjects that is perennially on my Historicist back burner - someday a profile will see the light of day, once I can find any information about its brief existence.

Scenes from St. Lawrence Market, 1934 (1)

Among the files I made was a photo spread published in the November 1934 issue spotlighting St. Lawrence Market. These shots were snapped by photographer Allan Sangster (1903-67), whose contributors profile that issue described him as "another electrical engineer gone wrong. He forsook his ohm to court the camera and since then has exhibited, among other places, at the Royal Photographic Society and the Italian Salon of Photography at Milan." Sangster later worked for CBC Radio.

Scenes from St. Lawrence Market, 1934 (3)

For a sense of what life was like inside the market at this time, here's one of the regular price updates published in the Star. Note how farmers pinned their financial hopes on frost. This piece was featured on the "women's page" alongside stories of debutantes making their debuts, lengthy attendee lists at social events, and a piece on the National Council of Women's recommendation to the federal government that slums be cleared to make way for subsidized housing.

Source: the Toronto Star, October 20, 1934.

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