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    Oct. 29, 2015

    14 Incredible Photos That Will Show You Canada’s History In Full Colour

    They had colour in the past, too!

    Mark Truelove is bringing Canada's past into the present.

    Canadian Colour / Via canadiancolour.ca

    His website Canadian Colour has hundreds of examples of archival photos from the 19th and early 20th centuries that have been digitally colourized to give people a better idea of daily life back then.

    Truelove finds most of his projects from the Vancouver Archives and Toronto Archives. He says other archives in Alberta, Quebec, and elsewhere are starting to digitize and upload their collections as well.

    Portraits take about an hour, while big group shots can take as much as 10 hours. “It really depends on how many people, and also, how complex is the environment they’re in?”

    Canadian Colour / Via canadiancolour.ca

    Truelove says his biggest challenge is making sure he stays period-appropriate with his colourization.

    "If I’ve got a crowd scene with lots of people in different suits and dresses, I’m never going to know what colours everyone was wearing. But as long as I don’t break the magic of colourization and put someone in a neon green outfit in 1900, I think I can get away with it.”

    Here are 14 of Truelove's favourite colourized Canadian historical photos.

    1. Sir John A. Macdonald – 1870

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I am trying to colourize all of the prime ministers of Canada as I find decent photos of them. Sir John A. Macdonald was the first PM of Canada — so a great photo to do."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I am trying to colourize all of the prime ministers of Canada as I find decent photos of them. Sir John A. Macdonald was the first PM of Canada — so a great photo to do."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I am trying to colourize all of the prime ministers of Canada as I find decent photos of them. Sir John A. Macdonald was the first PM of Canada — so a great photo to do."

    2. Canadian soldiers writing letters – 1919

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I thought the subject of this photo was something that transcended time: a soldier writing to friends or family. I also loved the cookie tin. I found an example of the same tin online to work from. From the date of the photo and its location I think they may have been soldiers in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I thought the subject of this photo was something that transcended time: a soldier writing to friends or family. I also loved the cookie tin. I found an example of the same tin online to work from. From the date of the photo and its location I think they may have been soldiers in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I thought the subject of this photo was something that transcended time: a soldier writing to friends or family. I also loved the cookie tin. I found an example of the same tin online to work from. From the date of the photo and its location I think they may have been soldiers in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force."

    3. Exterior of Charles Anderson’s grocery store in Vancouver – 1895

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "The hanging birds took a long time!"

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "The hanging birds took a long time!"

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "The hanging birds took a long time!"

    4. Granville Street, Vancouver – 1905

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "When we see old black-and-white photos it is easy to lose sight of how colourful streets were and how much bright, colourful advertising there was in the early 1900s."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "When we see old black-and-white photos it is easy to lose sight of how colourful streets were and how much bright, colourful advertising there was in the early 1900s."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "When we see old black-and-white photos it is easy to lose sight of how colourful streets were and how much bright, colourful advertising there was in the early 1900s."

    5. German and Canadian soldiers having tea near the front lines – Nov. 24, 1917

    University of Victoria libraries - William Okell Holden Dodds fonds // Mark Truelove / Via Canadiancolour.ca

    "I love this photo. It is great to see both Canadian and German soldiers hanging out together — a couple of hours before they could have been shooting at each other and now are just relieved to have a mug of tea."

    University of Victoria libraries - William Okell Holden Dodds fonds // Mark Truelove / Via Canadiancolour.ca

    "I love this photo. It is great to see both Canadian and German soldiers hanging out together — a couple of hours before they could have been shooting at each other and now are just relieved to have a mug of tea."

    University of Victoria libraries - William Okell Holden Dodds fonds // Mark Truelove / Via Canadiancolour.ca

    "I love this photo. It is great to see both Canadian and German soldiers hanging out together — a couple of hours before they could have been shooting at each other and now are just relieved to have a mug of tea."

    6. James “Eddie” Edwards, N. Africa – January 1943

    Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    James Francis “Stocky” Edwards was a Canadian fighter pilot during the Second World War and has the distinction of being Canada’s highest scoring ace in the Western Desert Campaign. Born in Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Edwards grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

    "This really shows how young many of the pilots were," Truelove said.

    Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    James Francis “Stocky” Edwards was a Canadian fighter pilot during the Second World War and has the distinction of being Canada’s highest scoring ace in the Western Desert Campaign. Born in Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Edwards grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

    "This really shows how young many of the pilots were," Truelove said.

    Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    James Francis “Stocky” Edwards was a Canadian fighter pilot during the Second World War and has the distinction of being Canada’s highest scoring ace in the Western Desert Campaign. Born in Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Edwards grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

    "This really shows how young many of the pilots were," Truelove said.

    7. Three players from the Toronto St. Patricks – December 3, 1926

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I had never heard of the Toronto St. Pats before I came across this photo. They became the Toronto Maple Leafs the next year, in 1927."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I had never heard of the Toronto St. Pats before I came across this photo. They became the Toronto Maple Leafs the next year, in 1927."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I had never heard of the Toronto St. Pats before I came across this photo. They became the Toronto Maple Leafs the next year, in 1927."

    8. Nurses in training at St. Joseph’s Training School of Nursing in London, Ont. – February 1904

    Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "This as a fun photo to do. People had a sense of humour back then too and I love the fact they are messing around for the camera instead of sitting for a formal portrait."

    Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "This as a fun photo to do. People had a sense of humour back then too and I love the fact they are messing around for the camera instead of sitting for a formal portrait."

    Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "This as a fun photo to do. People had a sense of humour back then too and I love the fact they are messing around for the camera instead of sitting for a formal portrait."

    9. Cree man from Alberta.

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove

    "Really happy with how this one turned out — the original was a great black-and-white shot with great lighting."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove

    "Really happy with how this one turned out — the original was a great black-and-white shot with great lighting."

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove

    "Really happy with how this one turned out — the original was a great black-and-white shot with great lighting."

    10. Celebrating the announcement of VE Day in Vancouver – May 7, 1945

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I wanted to do a photo for the anniversary of VE day. I liked the headline 'Vancouver Goes Wild' and yet no one looks very wild!"

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I wanted to do a photo for the anniversary of VE day. I liked the headline 'Vancouver Goes Wild' and yet no one looks very wild!"

    Vancouver Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I wanted to do a photo for the anniversary of VE day. I liked the headline 'Vancouver Goes Wild' and yet no one looks very wild!"

    11. Reporters waiting on the street, Toronto – 1910-1920

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Again another scene that is repeated every day — reporters waiting for a story. I've walked past the court house in Vancouver and although the clothing and cameras are different, the scene could be the same."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Again another scene that is repeated every day — reporters waiting for a story. I've walked past the court house in Vancouver and although the clothing and cameras are different, the scene could be the same."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Again another scene that is repeated every day — reporters waiting for a story. I've walked past the court house in Vancouver and although the clothing and cameras are different, the scene could be the same."

    12. Main street of Killarney, Manitoba – October 1940

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "A great shot of small-town Canada. The kid with the ice cream was fun and some of the buildings are still there today."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "A great shot of small-town Canada. The kid with the ice cream was fun and some of the buildings are still there today."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "A great shot of small-town Canada. The kid with the ice cream was fun and some of the buildings are still there today."

    13. Lumberjacks having their photograph taken – Quebec, 1937

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Another favourite. I liked the idea of the photographer setting up on the street and the lumberjacks walking by and deciding to have a photo done."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Another favourite. I liked the idea of the photographer setting up on the street and the lumberjacks walking by and deciding to have a photo done."

    Library of Congress // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "Another favourite. I liked the idea of the photographer setting up on the street and the lumberjacks walking by and deciding to have a photo done."

    14. Gas fitter in Draeger oxygen equipment – Toronto 1923

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I chose this one for the equipment — I liked the vintage look of the kit."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I chose this one for the equipment — I liked the vintage look of the kit."

    Toronto Archives // Mark Truelove / Via canadiancolour.ca

    "I chose this one for the equipment — I liked the vintage look of the kit."

    See more of Mark Truelove's colourization work at canadiancolour.ca.

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