The first volume of Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto, written by John Ross Robertson, was published in 1894. Robertson was a devoted Torontonian and used his wealth and knowledge to found a children’s home, support Toronto’s amateur sports teams, and constantly research Toronto’s rich history. Robertson made his fortune with his newspaper, the Evening Telegram, where the Landmarks of Toronto series was first published as individual articles. Articles were accompanied by pen sketches and these illustrations remain a critical resource for understanding the visual and cultural landscape of York and early Toronto. His illustrations of York and old Toronto are currently housed in the Toronto Public Library’s collection and form the single richest graphic historical resource of any city in Canada. As a historical record, Robertson’s Landmark of Toronto remains unrivalled for the period they cover. Copies of Robertson’s book are rare, only 1000 copies were originally published. A facsimile edition was published by the Mika Publishing Company, but is also rare. The aim of this website is to give users easy access to information from Robertson’s first volume, and to update the information, following each landmarks’ journeys since Robertson’s novel was originally published. Many of the chapters have also been augmented with maps and other relevant resources.

I have found a ton of information, much of which is not on this website, so if you have any questions or would like to reach out regarding the project feel free to contact me here.

You can find a complete list of the website’s chapters here.

York in 1803.  The first illustration in Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto

York in 1803: The first illustration in Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto

All the information on this website, unless otherwise cited, is taken directly from John Ross Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto.