Your City

V-E Day and V-J Day: The End of World War II in Toronto, 1945

  

Cheering people sit in and on a car, waving flags

V-E Day celebrations, Bay Street
May 7, 1945
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96241

Red poppyThey danced, kissed strangers, waved flags and threw streamers. They crowded outside newspaper offices to hear the latest news, flocked to City Hall, and formed jubilant parades on Bay and Yonge streets. They all celebrated, in their own way, the end of the war.

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day, the end of the conflict with Hitler’s Germany, came first. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, and in Toronto and all cities in Allied countries, people streamed out of workplaces and schools to start the party. May 8, 1945 was declared the official day of celebration, with the City of Toronto organizing concerts, parades, religious services, and fireworks in the parks.

Three months later came V-J (Victory in Japan) Day, the end of the Pacific conflict with Japan. The news came in the evening of August 14, 1945. Across the city, but particularly in Chinatown, the revelry began again—this time celebrating the final end of six long years of war.

Sixty years later, we remember the war and commemorate its end with this exhibit, featuring images and other materials from the City of Toronto Archives. 

 

A crowd watches an Air Force pilot and a woman kissing while another woman holds up a newspaper with the headline Germany Surrenders.

V-E Day celebrations
May 8, 1945 
City of Toronto Archives 
Fonds 1257, Series 1056, Item 195 

 

People are dancing in a circle in an intersection. The building behind them is covered in ads for Victory Bonds
 

V-E Day celebrations, King and Bay streets
May 8, 1945
Photographer: E.R. White
City of Toronto Archives
Series 377, Item (negative) 4636
A large group of women is standing on the sidewalk, cheering and waving.

V-E Day celebrations
May 8, 1945
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1257, Series 1056, Item 197

 

Armed forces personnel and civilians are parading down Yonge Street, waving the Union Jack and American and Italian flags

V-E Day celebrations, Yonge Street north of Queen Street
May 7 or 8, 1945
City of Toronto Archives
Series 340, Subseries 8, File 50
 

Long streamers flutter in the air above a  city street

V-E Day celebrations, looking east on King Street from Bay Street
May 8, 1945 
Photographer: E.R. White
City of Toronto Archives
Series 377, Item (negative) 4641

A grinning police officer is draped with streamers

P.C. Harry Carroll at V-E Day celebrations, 
looking north on Bay Street towards Queen Street
May 8, 1945
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96213

 Small boys walk down a sidewalk, waving a Union Jack.

Children celebrating V-E Day
May 8, 1945
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1257, Series 1056, Item 214

 

Adults and children wave flags and watch a small bonfire

V-E Day celebration bonfire, Clinton Street
May 7, 1945 
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96253

Pieces of paper fill the air above a city intersection

V-E Day celebrations, Bay Street
May 7, 1945
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96214
 Buildings on Bay Street are covered in Union Jack flags. At the end of the street, Old City Hall is decorated with ads for Victory Bonds.

V-E Day celebrations, looking north on Bay Street to Queen Street
May 8, 1945 
Photographer: E.R. White
City of Toronto Archives
Series 377, Item (negative) 4639
A small girl wades through drifts of tickertape and paper on the street 

Paper debris from V-E Day celebrations,
looking north on Bay Street to Queen Street
May 7, 1945
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96215
On a lawn, two men in army uniforms display a mock grave with a Nazi flag and a cross gravemarker that reads To Hell With Hitler 

Corporal E.B. Jamieson and Private Allan R. Brown
bury Hitler in effigy on a front lawn on Gwynne Avenue
May 7, 1945
Photographer: John H. Boyd
City of Toronto Archives
Fonds 1266, Item 96257

 

Pages 1  2  3  


Back to: Your City