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Charles Horetzky was born on July 20, 1838 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He came to Canada in late 1858 to work for the Hudson's Bay Company as a clerk at Fort William. In 1864 he moved to Moose Factory to take a position as accountant. During his years at Moose Factory, he developed his skills as a photographer.
In 1871, after losing his position with the HBC, he was hired by Sandford Fleming as a photographer for the railway surveys to be conducted through British Columbia and the North-West Territories.
In 1883 he began a career as an engineer with the Ontario Public Works Department in Toronto. He died in Toronto on April 30, 1900.