The City of Lagos: Then and Now

Lagos, the former colonial capital of Nigeria, is steeped in history and it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Lagos was declared the British Colony and capital of Nigeria in 1914 and since then the city has maintained its status as the centre of civilization in Nigeria, even after Abuja was made the Federal Capital Territory.

After combing through some Nigerians’ archives and compilations from history lovers, we decided to bring you a historical tour of Lagos city. We present old-meets-new photos of Lagos scenes, which show the changing face of the city since the days of our fore-fathers till now. Check out – the city of Lagos: then and now – through photos:

 Broad Street, Lagos

Broad Street Lagos - Now-&-Then

Broad Street is situated in Lagos Island and it’s one of the major streets in the area. In those days, Broad Street was just another locality where local families live; but these days, Broad Street is known to be the commercial centre in Lagos CBD. The street is home to major financial companies’ headquarters.

Lagos Bar Beach

Lagos Bar Beach - Then-&-Now

The Bar Beach, located in Victoria Island is the most popular beach in Nigeria. The beach named after the sand bars that lines Lagos coastline is a place for relaxation for Lagosians.

Lagos Yacht Club

Lagos Yatch Club

Sailing has always been an exciting activity, even our forefathers enjoyed it. The water activity was introduced to Nigeria some centuries ago. Lagos Yacht Club was founded in 1932 and it is located in Lagos Island, across the bridge leading to Victoria Island. Nowadays, the harbour is filled with several sailing boats and you can also indulge in other sport activities at the club house. Visit: Lagos Yacht Club

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos

CMS CHurch, Lagos

The Cathedral Church of Christ is the oldest Anglican Cathedral in Nigeria. The church construction was completed in 1946. The cathedral is presently the seat of the Archbishop of Lagos.  The church is located in Marina, CMS-Lagos. Visit: The Cathedral Church of Christ

Federal Palace Hotel

Federal Palace Hotel - Then-&-Now

Nigeria’s premier International hotel, Federal Palace Hotel and Casino is a five-star hotel located at Victoria Island, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel is steeped in history, was established in 1960, but has been refurbished and it now combines ancient charm with modern luxury. The hotel provides luxury facilities for all guests, business and leisure. Visit: Federal Palace Hotel

Tinubu Square

Tinubu Aquare

Tinubu Square, formerly known as Independent Square is located in Lagos Island. The square was initially built in 1960 but was reconstructed in 2007 by Lagos state government. The square features the statue of Madam Efunroye Tinubu, a well-known trader and influential aristocrat.

Yaba, Lagos

Yaba, Lagos - Then-&-Now

Yaba is a popular district in Lagos. The suburb is home to many modern apartments, educational institutions and, of course Tejuosho market, one of the most eventful markets in Lagos.

Lagos Island

Lagos Island - Then-&-Now

Lagos Island is the major constituency in the city Lagos. The island lies in Lagos Lagoon; it used to be a fishing village but has grown to be a contemporary metropolitan area with many infrastructures, skyscrapers and modern markets.

What do you think? Lagos has been developed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Have you got old and new photos of Lagos city you would like to share with us? We would be glad if you could share them on our Facebook Page or send us an email via

Photo Source: 

Google Cultural Institute: The Colonial Footprint of Lagos, Then and Now

Nigerian Nostalgia Project




30 thoughts on “The City of Lagos: Then and Now

  1. yas.this is good historical fact about Lagos.but,let me buttress your historical onLagos:i think we dont need to for get Badagry when it comes to the history of lagos.the areas whose historical value can not be understimated in culture and heritage value.

  2. please keep it up.God bless naija,God bless Africa and God bless Lagosians.worthy in historical value.

  3. i think Lagos was a lot more beautiful before than it is now. the infrastructure on ground does not measure up to the number of it’s residents.

    • Edward,when did u come to Lagos,can u compared Lagos to aba or onisha.

  4. Well am very much happy about this historical history of our lagos state,we know where we are coming from,where we are going and where we are to stop,so let all of us now join hand and build lagos of our own and our dear children coming.This lagos is bigger than one particular person i believe we CAN so let all of us believe we CAN.GOD BLESS ALL OF US,BLESS LAGOS AND NIGERIA IN GENERAL.

    • Wasiu,am really appreciate u. When our hero’s were build our Lagos where are those walkabout ungrateful pole.

  5. It’s like the then pictures are better n more beautiful than the now pics.

  6. Wonderful collection! I wish all of the photos were dated for comparison.

    May I point out that the Lagos Island photos are actually showing Victoria Island. Notice the three identical Eko Courts storey-buildings near the foot of the Falomo Bridge in the “Now” photo. The issue of dates I mentioned earlier also comes into play here. For example, you may notice that the recently-built Intercontinental Hotel (behind Eko Courts) is absent in the “Now” photo.

    Finally, it would have been much, much better to have the “Now” photos taken from the same (or similar) angle and magnification (scale) as the “Then” photos. This would put the time-lapse in a stronger perspective, as far as city development is concerned.

    All the same, it’s a nice compilation, and fun to look at. I recently saw a similar then-vs-now photo album of New York City and it was amazing to see the massive scale of development that had taken place over a few decades.

    We are getting there, hopefully.

    • Thanks Jonas, for your wonderful observation. You are nt like those pple who does notice any good things rather than criticized.

  7. This is a very good work that worth commendation for your team. However you need to do some editing by correcting your fast forward year as copied below. We are just in 2015. Well done!
    The square was initially built in 1960 but was reconstructed in 2017 by Lagos state government

  8. It’s so good to see how far we have we have developed. Thank you for taking us back memory lane and painstakingly tracing the History of Nigeria with the landmarks of Lagos. Bravo!

  9. As much as we embrace the evolution of our “This is Lagos,” let’s not get emotionally disillusioned to say it parallels in comparison to the beautiful cities of this world. No offence.

  10. Your idea of illustrating Lagos past and present a good one. To make the idea truly authentic I think you have to go back well, past Independence. E.G., remind of the pre-Tafawa Balewa Tinubu Square. Also, how about showing us the J.N. Zarpas buses before flying down Strachan Street before the Town Council took them over, and before Gowon turned that road round outwards? Or, have you got any photos of the Ambassador at Yaba, or the Empire at Idioro – or its counterpart (both owned by Kalu, I think) at Obalende? What of the swimming pool at Onikan – or even of the football crowd at Onikan when the Gold Coast (now Ghana) came to play Nigeria pre-Independence? What of Carter bridge in the bicycle days – before the cars arrived?
    I could go on and on; the landmarks of Lagos are endless.

  11. The Lagos Island then is definitely not the same with the Lagos Island now. The Yaba then and now are not taken from the same perspective and same goes for many other of the photos. But it is worthy to note that this is nice effort.

  12. Good job. Thank you.

  13. You guys have not add first story building, first primary school, point of no return in badagry.

  14. great development. Keep it up..Long live Nigeria.Love live Lagos. Long live Africa

  15. For someone who was born on the island (Mercy Children Hospital,on Tokunbo Street,this collection fills me nostalgia.It shows the remarkable development that Eko has witnessed in the last five decades.Wished it was more orderly though.All the same many thanks for the pictorial excursion into the past.

  16. Then’ is more beautiful than Now’ for the bar beach! Why?

  17. There is no differences on these now .

  18. A very interesting read. It took me down memory lane and brought to mind a lot of good memories from my childhood. It would be nice to have some short videos too if possible. Great job guys… God bless Lagos state, God bless Nigeria.

  19. Brilliant work, absolutely stunning, it feels me wit great pride to know we av brilliant minds like urs in Nigeria, I know ur group can only get better. I knw we ar not N.Y now, BT rememba N.Y has sum 150years ahead of us we ar not der yet BT wud get der

  20. The view that old Lagos look more beautiful should not be discarded as nuisance. City evolve and I think the old Lagos was more of a product of evolution owing to people congregating for economic activities. The current situation of displacement, evacuation and mega city that could only accomodate a handful of citizen who are well to do elite has it overall effect of reducing population and prevent people participation in the making of a city.

  21. The view that old Lagos look more beautiful should not be discarded as nuisance. City evolve and I think the old Lagos was more of a product of evolution owing to people congregating for economic activities. The current situation of displacement, evacuation and mega city that could only accomodate a handful of citizen who are well to do elite has it’s overall effect of reducing population and preventing people’s participation in the making of a city.

  22. Recently, Lagos is passing through a very big traffic challenges that are uncontrollable and this hampets the activities of the state. Something should be done fast.
    Also many Lagos roads are nothing to write home about, APC govt. should rise to these challenges.

  23. Well done job keep on we luv Lagos,we Luv Federal Republic of Nigeria

  24. Well done job we luv Lagos the commercial nerve of Naija.

  25. Nice work. keep history alive.

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