It was this thought, partnered with a lifelong love of Canadian history that prompted me to start a Vintage Canada Flickr group back in 2011, and a Pinterest board devoted to Vintage Canada around the start of last year.
Like many people the world over, I have a deeply rooted passion for, and interest in the history of, my nation. With a land mass second only in size to Russia, Canada is not exactly a tiny country by any stretch of the imagination, however for such a grand sized place, we have a relatively small population (we're presently sitting right around 35,000,000), which may in part explain why there are often fewer yesteryear Canadian images to be found both online and off.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's exceedingly hard to find vintage Canadian photos, it's not at all, but again, they're by no means as commonplace as those from, say, the US, which both in days gone by and now, has had a much larger population than ours. It warms the very corners of my soul (an all-important point when you consider how chilly the abundance of snow we get up here can make mind, body and soul!) to encounter vintage Canadian photographs, and so today - on this nippy February morning - I thought it high time that I shared one of my absolute favourite resources of just such images.
Beyond merely being a favourite spot to spy nineteenth and twentieth-century Canadian photographs, illustrations and art, the Library and Archives Canada's Flick stream is a trove of valuable - and highly interesting - Canadian history, as most of the photos (and illustrations) include at least a small degree of background information for them.
The Library and Archives Canada's about page on Flickr does a terrific job of summing up what this official Government of Canada run stream is all about. "(LAC) collects and preserves Canada's documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians. This heritage includes publications, archival records, sound and audio-visual materials, photographs, artworks, and electronic documents such as websites. As part of our mandate, we work closely with other archives and libraries to acquire and share these materials as widely as possible."
To date this is one of, if not the very best, resources for older Canadian photographs that I'm aware of anywhere on the web. It's been in place since 2008, which was when I first discovered it. In the time since then, I've actively tried to stay abreast of the LAC's uploads, thoroughly enjoying and often learning more about Canadian history from this important archive's many interesting images (which total more than 2,100 and counting).
While I could happily post every last one of the LAC's images, I'll refrain (for the moment!), and instead share with you twenty vintage photographs, spanning multiple decades, that are amongst my very favourite in this phenomenal collection.
(These wonderful images speak volumes for themselves, so I haven't captioned them, but if you'd like to know more about a specific photo, please click on it to be taken to its respective LAC Flickr page.)
Even if you're not a Canadian, so long as you delight in seeing vintage photographs, this is a Flickr stream that truly is not be missed (much like the Glenbow Museum's stream that I posted about here in 2012), and one that I'm sure nearly everyone could find photos amongst which speak to their passion for, and interest, in history.
After all, who doesn't love a good back at look at the past, eh? :)