Hours of Operation
Welcome to the first day of September which happens to fall on the first Monday of the month. As this day marks the Labour Day statutory holiday, all public libraries, post offices, government buildings, and private businesses are closed for the day. The library will re-open for regular hours on Tuesday. Sunday hours will resume for District branches and Research and Reference libraries including North York Central Library and the Toronto Reference Library. Sunday, September 7, 2014 is the first Sunday the library will open in the Fall at 1:30 pm and close at 5:00 pm.
Picture Labour Day in 1905 (close-up view)
Going back one hundred and nine years ago, visualize standing on a raised wooden platform from the main street and looking up at the cool misty grey sky. A photographer gages the weather and scans the procession. Beside him, balanced on a tall wrought iron tripod, rests an early-period camera. He peers through the camera lens and squeezes a rubber bulb connected to the camera. A crisp image materializes showing marchers moving westward along Queen Street West with crowds gathering on sidewalks across the north and south sides of the street.
A conductor leads the parade and he exhibits stern confidence. Behind him, the musicians keep pace while performing on their trombones, tubas, trumpets, and drums. The band appears loosely dispersed along the street to ensure enough space to safely perform, march, and read their sheet music.
Drawn forward by the rousing tunes from the band, hundreds of men marching are decked out in suits, peaked caps, and what appears to be long cloth pendants pinned and draping from the marchers' left breast pockets. These uniformed men line and fill several street blocks.
The women in the crowd wear long flowing dresses with big fancy bonnets worn over their hair. The girls are adorned in knee-high dresses with their pretty hair beribboned and braided in flattering bows. The men observing the parade appear immaculate in their dress suits and assorted hats--consisting of bowlers, panamas, and fedoras. Some men are seen whispering quietly amongst themselves. On the upper right-hand side in the photograph, the crowd gathers under opened umbrellas and store awnings to avoid the drizzling rain. Behind the wooden post on Claremont Avenue, a man sits in his horse-drawn carriage watching the parade go by.
Queen Street West and Claremont Avenue a Century Later (Google Maps Image)
The current image of Queen Street West and Claremont Avenue shows some structural changes since 1905. For instance, the building that housed the Bunker Brothers Carriage and Wagon Works on the northwest side of Claremont Avenue in 1905 no longer exists. In its place currently stands a Starbuck's coffee shop. On the northeast side stood the Cairo Bros. store in 1905. Today, the Sanko Trading Co., which sells Japanese food and various types of artifacts, maintains the original building in fine condition.
Celebrate Labour Day (Google Images of Past Parades)
Fair pay, safe working conditions, fair rights for all workers, and the ability for employees to voice their concerns continue to be important issues for workers' unions to address, negotiate, and achieve with employers. For more information on the history of Labour Day in Canada, please have a look at the website, Canada's History - The First Labour Day.
In March 2012, The Toronto Public Library defended against budget cuts and library closures as discussed in Maureen O'Reilly's March 14, 2014 Toronto Star article, When will the city learn to love its librarians? The library continues to provide programs, print and online resources, and an environment for the public to learn, relax, and connect.
Listed below are some worthy titles pertaining to labour, work, and industry:
Every year on Labour Day Monday, the marchers gather between University Avenue and Dundas Street West in the morning. By 1:30 pm the parade proceeds south to Queen Street West and then westbound towards Dufferin Street and finally southbound through the Dufferin Gates into the CNE. Come see and support us on our march along the way!