Lacrosse team, [ca. 1910]

Uniting: Team Uniforms and Fashions

Sporting in style

A Toronto lacrosse team shows their team status by donning similar pants, shirts, hats, and even moustaches. Designated as Canada’s national summer sport, lacrosse originated among First Nations and became very popular in Canada in the 19th century.

Men's lacrosse team, [ca. 1890]
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Men's lacrosse team, [ca. 1890]
Andrew Merrilees collection
Reference Code: F 1125-1-0-0-104
Archives of Ontario, I0001867
Gore Bay hockey team, [ca. 1920]
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Gore Bay hockey team, [ca. 1920]
George Irwin fonds
Reference Code: C 119-1-0-0-36
Archives of Ontario, I0014064

Gore Bay men’s hockey team

The Gore Bay men’s hockey team sits for an indoor portrait in their uniforms, which have the added feature of a logo to visually represent their team.

Gore Bay women’s hockey team

These athletes chose matching sweaters, hats, and socks to identify themselves as a team. While the first female hockey players--more than a century ago--wore long skirts on the ice, by the 1920s many women had switched to shorter skirts or pants for their hockey uniforms.

Women’s hockey team, 1921
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Women’s hockey team, 1921
George Irwin fonds
Reference Code: C 119-1-0-0-5 Archives of Ontario, I0014112
'Arcadians' Girls Baseball Team, [ca. 1920s]
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'Arcadians' Girls Baseball Team, [ca. 1920s]
Andrew Merrilees collection
Reference Code: F 1125-2-0-0-94
Archives of Ontario, I0030513

'Arcadians' Girls Baseball Team

Panoramic photographs, such as this one created by the Panoramic Camera Company of Toronto, were a great way to create a team portrait and show off a sharp set of uniforms.

In sync on the pool deck

In 1946, the University of Toronto hosted the first postwar swimming meet between Canadian universities at its Hart House pool. In this photograph a synchronized swimming team models their matching bathing suits and covers before hitting the pool.

Synchronized swimming team on the deck, Toronto, March 1, 1946
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Synchronized swimming team on the deck, Toronto, March 1, 1946
Gilbert A. Milne fonds
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-68
Archives of Ontario, I0019753
Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball team, [ca. 1946]
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Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball team, [ca. 1946]
Gordon W. Powley fonds
Reference Code: C 5-2-2-24
Archives of Ontario, I0002906

Numbers don’t lie

Uniforms may help give a team their visual identity, but uniform numbers distinguish players on a team. Uniform numbers first emerged in the early 20th century and have appeared in various spots on the uniform. The Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team, seen in this team photograph, wore their numbers on the front of their jerseys.

Copyright:
  • Lacrosse photograph used with permission of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

In this Exhibit -