William James (photographer)

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William James
Photographer William James and two of his sons in 1936
Photographer William James and two of his sons in 1936
Died1948 (aged 81–82)
Known forChronicling early 20th century Toronto through photographs

William James (1866–1948) was a British-Canadian early and prolific photographer who chronicled Toronto, Ontario, Canada and whose works have been widely collected and republished.[1][2][3] James came to Canada, from England, in 1906, when he was forty years old. He made freelance photography his occupation in 1909, and was the founding President of the Canadian Photographers Association.

Mike Filey, the author of a long-running column in the Toronto Sun, on the history of Toronto, described James as a technical innovator.[3]

The City of Toronto Archives hosts a collection of over 6,000 of James's photographs.[3]


  1. ^ Kevin Plummer (2009-09-12). "Historicist: Anonymous Players on the Stage of History". Torontoist. Often referred to as Canada's first photojournalist, William James spent more than thirty years documenting Toronto and city life in all its varieties.
  2. ^ William James (1999). William James’ Toronto Views: Lantern Slides from 1906 to 1939. James Lorimer & Company. ISBN 9781550286786. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  3. ^ a b c Mike Filey (1996). From Horse Power to Horsepower: Toronto: 1890-1930. Dundurn Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 9781554881734. Retrieved 2013-03-06.