Snapshot of Smiths Falls, Ontario

October 16, 2020 | Sam

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It’s been two years since marijuana was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. This changed the course of the small town of Smiths Falls, home to a significant pot-producing factory in Canada. So how did my hometown (hi, Mum and Dad!) get to where it is today? To find...

Ontario History: 40 Colouring Pages from Our Special Collections

October 8, 2020 | David

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Toronto Public Library has 170,000+ digitized photos, books, maps and more. You can search these historical items on our Digital Archive Ontario. No library card needed. We've transformed 40 Ontario-related items into colouring sheets. We hope you learn something new as you colour in history! Full colouring book Colouring pages...

W.R. Chorley's Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War

September 21, 2020 | Andrew

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Genealogists, either beginners or experienced, often know someone who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command in the Second World War. This could be someone in their family or other circles. RAF personnel served as: pilots navigators flight engineers wireless operators bombardier/bomb aimers aerial gunners. Camp Borden recruit,...

Monuments in Ontario: Grief, Beauty and Controversy

June 18, 2020 | Sam

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One of my favourite things to do when I visit a new place is to check out monuments and public art. Every street tells a story, and monuments are a big part of that narrative. They invite us to "read" our built environment. Of course, I’m not travelling right now...

Exposition virtuelle: 114 histoires X 114 étage

June 17, 2020 | David

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Ci-dessous, l'exposition virtuelle de 114 histoires X 114 étages. L'exposition photographique originale à voir en personne avait été exposée à la Tour CN avant les fermetures mises en place afin d’aider à freiner la propagation du virus COVID-19. Intro Bienvenue à une célébration à 360 degrés des visages et des...

Virtual Exhibit: 114 Stories X 114 Storeys

June 17, 2020 | David

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Below is the virtual exhibit of 114 Stories X 114 Storeys. The original, in-person photo exhibit had been on display in the CN Tower before closures to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Intro Welcome to a 360-degree celebration of Toronto’s changing faces and places. The 114 Stories...

Early Seed Companies in Toronto: Catalogues and Other Bits of History

June 8, 2020 | Pamela

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For many decades, families across Ontario looked forward to getting seed catalogues in the mail so that they could start to plan their gardens. Flower and vegetable gardening were popular, and sometimes even essential over, the course of Toronto's history. Steele, Briggs’ Garden Guide (1928), portion of back cover. You...

Pieces of History: 70 Digital Puzzles of Items in Our Special Collections

May 15, 2020 | David

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Did you know Toronto Public Library has a huge collection of digitized photos, books, maps and more? You'll find 170,000+ of these rare and historical items on our Digital Archive — no library card needed. We've transformed 70 digitized items into online jigsaw puzzles, drawing from our wide range of...

We Asked Toronto to Remix Wartime Posters for the Current Moment — See the Amazing Results

April 22, 2020 | David

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All the signs of support in our city during the pandemic have been truly inspiring. Also, they made me think of the many wartime posters held in our Baldwin Collection of Canadiana in Special Collections. Both today's signs and these vintage posters capture key moments in history. We turned to...

58 Lesson Plans from Archives and Museums for Ontario Educators

April 16, 2020 | David

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Archives and museums not only preserve knowledge — they support learning. For example, Digital Archive Ontario — a database of 170,000+ historical items from Toronto Public Library — has sets of primary sources for educators (e.g. The War of 1812, Prohibition in Ontario, Canadian WWI Posters, Canadian WWII Posters). Below...