Remembering the 1890 Fire at the University of Toronto: February 14: Snapshots in History

February 16, 2017 | John P.

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University College; Interior, Convocation Hall. [1890?] (Credit: Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection E 3-17a; Rights and Licenses: Public Domain) University College at the University of Toronto was designed by architects Frederic Cumberland and William Storm. Using Cambridge and Oxford Universities in England as an inspiration, the building was designed in...

Remembering Sandford Fleming and Standard Time: February 8: Snapshots in History

February 9, 2017 | John P.

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On February 8 and beyond, take a moment to remember the contributions and life of Sir Sandford Fleming (Born: January 7, 1827 at Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland; Died: July 22, 1815 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). Fleming is best known for his espousal of standard time (and the division of the...

Remembering Ernest McCulloch, James Till and the Discovery of Stem Cells in Toronto: February 4: Snapshots in History

February 9, 2017 | John P.

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Local history can and does intersect with many disciplines: business, medicine, science, politics, sports, and so on. As Canada and Ontario are both on track to celebrate their 150th anniversaries, that affords all of us an opportunity to look back, remember, and/or learn… On February 4 and beyond, take a...

Kung Hei Fat Choi! 恭喜發財!

January 27, 2017 | Suk Yin

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Whether it’s in Cantonese -- Kung Hei Fat Choy! -- or Mandarin -- Gong Xi Fa Cai! –- it means “Wishing you prosperity!” and is the popular lunar new year greeting for people of Chinese descent around the world. Source: Toronto Star Archive, 1993 Source: Toronto Star Archive 1971 During...

Remembering Andrew Carnegie’s $350,000 Donation to Toronto Public Library: January 27: Snapshots in History

January 27, 2017 | John P.

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Source: Toronto Public Library Annual Report 1903, pages 3-4. On January 27 and beyond, take a moment to reach back into time to January 27, 1903 when Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie made an offer to donate $350,000 to Toronto Public Library for the construction of a new central library and...

Remembering the Abolition of the Toll Gates of York County: December 31: Snapshots in History

December 31, 2016 | John P.

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On December 31 and beyond, take a moment to delve back into history to the time when the toll gates were abolished in York County (including the Toronto Area) on December 31, 1896. Road tolls began in the town of York (Toronto’s forerunner) in 1820 as a means to build...

Remembering the December 20-23, 2013 Ice Storm: Snapshots in History

December 28, 2016 | John P.

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December is a good time to reflect back upon the 2013 North American Ice Storm that plagued much of central and eastern Canada, parts of the Central Great Plains and the northeastern United States from December 20-23, 2013 with large amounts of freezing rain and snow that damaged electrical power...

Farewell to Honest Ed’s, 1948 to 2016

December 28, 2016 | Barbara Myrvold

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Honest Ed’s is closing its doors for good on December 31. The legendary bargain store has been a major feature of the Bloor West streetscape since 1948 when 34-year-old Toronto entrepreneur Edwin “Honest Ed” Mirvish started Canada's first discount retail store at the southeast corner of Bloor and Markham streets....

Celebrating the Beaches Branch: December 13: Snapshots in History

December 14, 2016 | John P.

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Excerpt from Toronto Public Library Board Annual Report, 1916 On December 13 and beyond, please take a moment to remember the opening of the original and permanent Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library on December 13, 1916. The Toronto Daily Star reported in its “suburban news” section on December...

Chinese Canadian Archive Project - What's New?

November 22, 2016 | Suk Yin

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This 1945 graduation photo of nine preschool students, all age five, helps tell the story of Chinese Canadian life in Toronto over the past century. It was taken at the Chinese Canadian Institute located at University and Dundas in the heart of Toronto's old Chinatown. CCI preschool graduation, 1945 (Courtesy...