Arthur Goss 1881 - 1940

Toronto Official Photographer; Left a Photographic Legacy of Over 35,000 Images of Toronto

Plaque located at: 20 Metcalfe Street, Toronto, ON, Canada

Arthur Goss was born in London, Ontario, and was the eldest child of John and Jessica Goss. His father was a journalist and worked for Grip Publishing in Toronto.

Arthur went to Rose Avenue School for two years. The family moved a number of times within Cabbagetown.

After his father died in 1892, his mother had little money. For financial reasons, Arthur, at the age of 11, began his working life as an office boy in the City of Toronto Engineer’s Office on Front Street.

In 1896 Arthur Goss and his mother moved to Alpha Avenue where he remained until he married Ethel Ross Munro in 1903.

As a young man, Arthur Goss joined the Toronto Camera Club and formed the Studio Club. No one knows how and where he learned to take photographs.

While working for the City, he attained the position of City Photographer and remained so for 37 years, devoting his entire working life to creating countless important photos of early Toronto, including Cabbagetown and the Riverdale Zoo.

While his personal interest lay in pictorial photography from 1911 to his death in 1940, the Department of Public works Photography and Blue Printing Section employed him to document a wide range of municipal activities.

These images produced a photographic record of Toronto. Goss left a legacy of over 35,000 images. In 2013, Riddle Films produced a documentary on Arthur Goss that you can see HERE.

Hear him talk:


Bloor Street Viaduct, looking east July 18, 1917 by Arthur Goss; City of Toronto Archives
Series 372, Sub-series 10, Item 841

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