About Retrontario

RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost.

Retrontario: Reconstructing our televisual past, one tape at a time

Our culture has long struggled with the question of which items to keep and place in museums, and which to forget and discard. When it comes to an ephemeral medium like Television, the latter sentiment unfortunately tends to win out. 

Created by local cultural historian Ed Conroy, RETRONTARIO strives to collect, convert, research and exhibit vintage visual material from Ontario (and surrounding areas) via social media, allowing the material to live and be experienced again.

Whether it is an advertising commercial, public service announcement, local channel signing-off, TV series, Film or documentary, we are eager to digitize all material stranded on archaic formats first, ask questions later.

Since 2008, RETRONTARIO has operated a popular YouTube channel that spun off into many other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok

Most of our content is sourced from located or donated VHS and Betamax tapes that contained material recorded off Television in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. If you have content that we might be interested in, please get in touch.

We are also able to transfer content that is on other classic video formats such as ¾” Sony Umatic, Betacam or DigiBetacam, MiniDV, Hi-8, 1”, 2”, as well as film formats 16mm and Super8/Regular 8mm.

Screenshot of Retrontario’s YouTube page, circa 2009

About the Curator

Retrontario creator Ed Conroy is a Toronto-based cultural historian, writer, producer, archivist and vintage video sleuth. He is the Founder of Retrontario.com and his pieces on Canadian pop-culture and history have appeared in The Toronto Star, Toronto Life, blogTO, The Canadian Encyclopedia Blog, and YTV.com. He has appeared on CTV’s PopLife, Global TV, CBC Radio, AM740 Zoomer Radio, Indie88, TVOntario, CJAD Montreal, is a regular guest on The Jerry Agar Show and occasional host on Newstalk 1010. In 2016, Ed won a Heritage Toronto award of merit for his work in the field of Media.