Fonds C 3 - Gilbert A. Milne fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Gilbert A. Milne fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00009 C 3

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Dates of creation area


  • [ca. 1930]-1962 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

923 photographs : negatives, positives and prints

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Gilbert Alexander Milne (1914-1991) was a Toronto based professional photographer who operated his own studio and ran a national photographic service for the Canadian press.

He was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta where his father operated a photographic studio. In 1918, Milne Sr. relocated his family to Toronto. There, in 1922 he established a Toronto studio at 106 Yonge Street and a decade later, in partnership with Sir Ellsworth Flavelle, he opened another at 96 Yonge Street.

In 1930, Gilbert Milne joined the family photography business. During the 1930s, he also freelanced for the Toronto Daily Star. Later, after service in World War II as a lance corporal with the Toronto Scottish reserves, Milne obtained a commission in the Royal Canadian Navy as an official Navy photographer. In this capacity, he took some of the first Allied photographs of Normandy invasion. Milne later published numerous wartime photographs in his book, "H.M.C.S.: One Photographer's Impressions of the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II".

In 1945, Milne opened his own photographic studio. During the late 1940s and 1950s, he also ran a national photographic service for Canadian Press and is credited for setting up Canadian Press' national picture network and for introducing photographic innovations such as the mobile darkroom. Eventually, Milne gave up his Canadian Press contract and focussed on his commercial studio.

Milne received several honours in connection with his work. In 1966, he was awarded the Master of Photographic Arts Award from the Professional Photographers of Canada. Further, during the Canadian Centennial in 1967, the Milne studio was chosen to document "Canada and the Country".

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consist of negatives, positives and prints created and accumulated by Toronto photographer Gilbert A. Milne, documenting the city's post-war urban expansion as well as its arts, academic and broadcasting communities. Subjects include the University of Toronto, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as well as Toronto's subway construction, housing, street scenes, industry, and shipping. Also photographed are public figures of the period including: Dr. Best, Morley Callaghan, J.M.S. Careless, Jack Kent Cooke, Robertson Davies, George Drew, Gracie Fields, Leslie Frost, Foster Hewitt, Peggy Lee, Guy Lombardo, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Vincent Massey, Lester B. Pearson, Michael Redgrave, Barbara Ann Scott, Gordon Sinclair, Lister Sinclair, E.P. Taylor, and Roy Thomson.

For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds was acquired by the Archives of Ontario in 1971 from Gilbert A. Milne.


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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright held by creator. These materials cannot be published without permission of the copyright holder. No image of or relating to Mackenzie King may be reproduced without written permission from the donor and each copy of a Milne negative must be credited as a "Gilbert Milne photo[graph], Archives of Ontario".

Finding aids

For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Rev. Feb 7/12.

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