Did the Earth move for you? Did you feel it? As I write this, the World has shifted from Summer to Autumn and change is in the air. Looking forward, we await two of the wonders of Fall – Mother Nature’s great painting of the fields and forests in all the vibrant colours and Walmart’s Pre-Christmas Boxing Week Sale at Thanksgiving.
While we may decry Walmart’s relentless business attitude and quest to maximize profits, we should be mindful of their efforts and take note of their preparedness and efficiency. Too often we, in the volunteer sector, stumble and scramble to get things done in a timely fashion [ and I am not blameless in this as others will attest ]. September is the month when, after the varied summer activities, festivals, events and exhibitions, the groups gather together for meetings and planning sessions for the Fall and Winter and, hopefully, a long look into next Spring. Given our usually limited resources, it is beneficial to plan as much as we can in the times that we meet . Smart thinking suggests we look to our neighbour associations and network and combine resources, trade initiatives, take advantage of guest speakers and persons of interest, and seek ways of increasing our community profiles for the benefit of the city’s heritage. A number of THA members and others are planning upcoming events and the THA has a General Meeting scheduled for November [ see below ].
Make sure you take note of the listings, make notes on your calendars and notify your members of the varied opportunities available to interact with like minded people, the public and, in this election year, with your neighbourhood city councillors, to enhance the protection and preservation of Toronto’s great history.
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As often as we can, the THA prepares a newsletter which, we hope, offers insight, some timely information, opportunities for members and, of course, a chance to see what others in the THA community are doing. This newsletter goes out to a prepared mailing list BUT, from time to time we hear that the message didn’t get through or a specific group isn’t receiving anything, etc. We work from a list supplied by you, the membership. If the person we are sending notices to is no longer involved with an organisation, or no longer the contact, please advise us. If your association wishes the information we send out to go to more than one contact, please give us the additional information. If anything has changed, let us know!
We would hope that the newsletter gets the widest possible circulation and benefits as many as we can reach. Once we push ‘send’ and it is on its way, we trust that you continue the process –think of it as a chain letter and spread the word.
We will continue to post previous issues on the THA website and we invite you to check out the THA at www.torontohistory.net on a regular basis.
In addition, we welcome submissions, not just of upcoming events or activities, but stories/articles on specific items in your collections, significant events in your group’s history, people, places or buildings of particular note or pride, anything that tells the story of Toronto’s history/heritage, large or small. Release your inner Atwood and scribble some pithy potent tales of the city’s legacy for all to read. Send submissions to email@example.com
The Toronto Historical Associations applauds the magnificent effort by the Friends of Fort York and Garrison Commo0n and the Department of Heritage, City of Toronto on the grand opening of the Visitor Information Centre and Exhibit Space at Historic Fort York. This new facility enhances and illustrates the history and heritage of this, often overlooked, National Historic Site and the birthplace of the city. We urge all of you to go and visit this wonderful new facility, long in coming and well worth the wait. What a magnificent addition to the story of Toronto.
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE:
There is still time to hound the local councillor wanabees and those left running for Mayor to find out their positions on heritage and how they would support our efforts in preserving the city history. Get them to dig past platitudes and speak up on issues we deem important to preservation and protection and, just as important promotion. Make sure your membership and the communities you serve know where the candidates stand and let us all speak for Toronto’s Heritage.
Hallowe’en is fast approaching. What better way to ward off ghoulies and ghosties than with a brick from the infamous Don Jail. Infused with the evil that men do, bubbling over with angst and remorse and anger and carrying the weight of condemned sinners in its clay, these bricks speak to the dark side of Toronto’s history and could scare the hardest of Justin Beiber lookalikes at your door. Held aloft and waved menacingly imagine the terror they would impart [ leaving more candy for you ].
But, you can’t scare off the hoary hosts with one of these fine examples of Toronto’s history encapsulated in a small rectangle if you don’t order today! Only $ 49.99 with its own tote bag, certificate of authenticity and history of the jail. Send your order to firstname.lastname@example.org without delay!
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Can we count these as “wins” for Heritage?
MIRVISH / GEHRY:
After many months of back and forth and outcry and revision, David Mirvish group presented their’ final’ revisions to the downtown project to the city. Planning departments and other city agencies poured over the issue and solicited input from the great list of stakeholders and ‘interested third parties’. The result, a much modified design that, it seems, many can agree on or accept. For the heritage community this means the retention of three of the four designated buildings and the theatre and a much smaller profile for the towers to be erected. Issues surrounding parking and transit and density remain but these seem to be being handled through ‘process’. While, perhaps, not the outcome purists would have wished for, much of what was thought to be lost, has been retained and promises to be enhanced. A cautious thumbs up on this one.
SAM THE RECORD MAN:
Agreement has been reached between the City of Toronto and Ryerson University which will see the iconic Sam The Record Man neon discs hoisted high over Yonge and Dundas. Though no longer part of the streetscape as promised, the neon wonders will flash above the crowds, across the street from their original location, atop a city owned building, the Toronto Public Health Building 227 Victoria Street., at least for a few years, as this building is slated for redevelopment in ten to fifteen years. Details to be worked out include who is paying to haul and install? Who is paying for restoration and ongoing maintenance? The University and Toronto City Council agreed on July 7th to put it there, so all we can do is wait and see. A timid thumbs up until the words at City Hall translate into action.
PAN AM Games:
THA has seen nothing concrete, so far, on how local community interests may access money supposedly available to promote, enhance, illuminate or otherwise benefit localities and neighbourhoods adjacent or close to the games venues. Press releases indicate that this magnificent sporting event is more than just athletes in competition but a chance to show off what the city has to offer in culture, the arts and history/heritage. With games slated to start next year. Time is running out – let’s hope the money doesn’t as well.
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Check out the many events at the City of Toronto Museums by going to: www.toronto.ca/museum-events.
Community History Project:
Starting our fall Wednesday Lecture Series, Wednesday October 15, at 7 p.m., at the Tollkeeper's Cottage Museum. Patrick Nadjiwon will talk the topic of how the Native Indian Peoples lived on the land prior to settlement by the English. The Tollkeeper's Cottage Museum is at the intersection of Bathurst and Davenport. Admission is $10.
North York Historical Society:
On Wednesday October 15, at 7:30 p.m. NYHS will be hosting a talk by the author John Godard on his new book “INSIDE THE MUSEUMS: Toronto's Heritage Sites and Their Most Prized Objects”. The talk will be at the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge in Meeting Room #1, 2nd Floor (west side of atrium) use elevator outside library. Admission is free.
On Tuesday October 21, Heritage Toronto will be hosting the “40th Annual Heritage Toronto Awards and William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture”. This event will be at the Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor West. The Nominee's Reception starts at 6:00 p.m., the Awards Ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event.
Community History Project:
On Saturday October 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., CHP will be hosting a corn husk doll making workshop, at the Tollkeeper's Cottage Museum. Catherine Watts will show you how to make corn husk dolls like the 19th century farmers made for their children. The Tollkeeper's Cottage Museum is at the intersection of Bathurst and Davenport. Admission is $10 (includes materials and tour of the Museum).
St. James Cathedral Museum and Archives:
Come out and see the great new exhibit at St. James opening November 6 and running to November 16: Called To Serve – a history of Canadian Military Chaplaincy. Exhibits, displays, guest speakers – and it is all free!. Open every day 8 am to 6 pm. On November 14th there will be a Special Symphony Concert and multi-media tribute to : “The Unknown Soldier” composed by Andrew Ager [ cost for the concert is $25 ] and tickets may be ordered through the website.
Costume Society of Ontario:
The Costume Society of Ontario is holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, November 15 at 1 pm at the Textile Museum of Canada in the heart of Chinatown. Full details will appear on the CSO website and Facebook page. Following the meeting portion there will be presentations, open the public, by special guest speakers, among those presenting will be THA President Paul Federico.
As well, the CSO has some interesting events planned for October and early November, exhibit tours, presentations and programmes of interest to many. Check out the postings for time and location on the CSO website.
Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society:
On Saturday November 1, the Toronto Branch (OGS) will be hosting a full day of lectures on the “Major Effects of the Industrial Revolutions on English Society from 1750 to 1900”, at the North York Central Library Auditorium. A registration fee is required.
North York Historical Society:
On Wednesday November 19, at 7:30 p.m., NYHS will be hosting a talk by the author Susan Evans Shaw on her new book “Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War I”. The talk will be at the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge in Meeting Room #1, 2nd Floor (west side of atrium) use elevator outside library. Admission is free.
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Toronto Public Libraries:
The Toronto Public Libraries remember the Great War with a number of exhibits, speakers, author presentations and book promotions across the library system and at the Reference Library. Too many to mention here in this brief space so check out what’s on at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca ; www.tpl.ca/bookbuzz ; www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/appelsalon
Working together, bringing Toronto’s past into the future
P. O. Box 67, Toronto’s First Post Office, 260 Adelaide Street East, Toronto M5A 1N1