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How Toronto Hit the Beach in Long-Ago Days

[All photos via Toronto Archives]

These candid peeks at everyday life on Toronto's beaches really make you appreciate modern textiles and fashions, Scan our beaches today, and you'll see a sea of greased-up Spandex-ed bodies stretched out on beach towels or splashing in Lake Ontario. The sand wasn't any less crowded 100 years ago, but the bodies were considerably more wrapped-up: in 1914 a typical men's bathing costume was basically a stripey woollen onesie, and a women's bathing dress came with sleeves, a big poofy skirt and a jaunty matching beret. So practical.

Let's have a look back at some splashy summertime scenes, from Kew Beach to Sunnyside.