Pride IS Political: Historic Photos of Queer Toronto

July 8, 2019 | Marie

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Stonewall: Celebrating 50 years of activism Another Pride week has come and gone in Toronto, and this year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the beginnings of the Gay Liberation Movement. For this special occasion, I decided to do some digging into the Toronto Star Photograph...

Ontario's Cottage Country: A Bit of History

July 2, 2019 | Sam

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As summer weather comes to Ontario, many people hit the road to "cottage country." You may have a favourite hotspot to enjoy the outdoors — but do you know how the region developed into what it is today? Each area has its own unique history (including its Indigenous land status,...

Photos from Our Archives: Summer in Ontario

June 20, 2019 | Ann

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June often marks the start of summer weather in Ontario, whether it's 2019 or 1919. Below is a sample of old — and not so old — summertime photos from Digital Archive Ontario (including digitized images from the library's Toronto Star Photograph Archive). They span several Ontario communities, all evoking...

Researching the History of Your House in Toronto

June 13, 2019 | Barbara Myrvold

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Queen Street East, southeast corner of Waverley Road, 1903 Researching the history of your Toronto house, or any other building in the city for that matter, can be a rewarding, though sometimes frustrating activity. Fortunately many resources are available online, so that some of your research can be done at...

Cornwall: From Loyalist Village to Industrial City

June 11, 2019 | lfeesey

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Situated on the St. Lawrence seaway, Cornwall is Ontario’s easternmost city. It's also a port-of-passage joined to the United States by the Three Nations Crossing on Cornwall Island, which is inside the Ontario portion of the Mohawk Akwesasne reserve. Cornwall was settled on the land of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians,...

How to Find Old Pictures of Ontario Online

May 27, 2019 | David

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This post is part of Digital Literacy Week at Toronto Public Library, a week long celebration of Toronto's digital skills and technology capabilities. Below is a list of websites to help you find vintage images of Ontario. These images include photos as well as sketches, paintings, maps, postcards, posters and...

Dogs in Our Digital Archive (Bark-ive?)

May 13, 2019 | Ann

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Archives of Ontario's wonderful exhibit ANIMALIA: Animals in the Archives inspired us. So we pawed through our Digital Archive Ontario to dig up items with a particular pet in mind — dogs. (Sorry, cat lovers!) A lot of items highlighted below are either from our large number of digitized early...

Recording Charles Smith: Notes on a Diary

Jonathan Locke Hart, a Canadian poet and literary scholar, is launching his new book, Unforgetting Private Charles Smith, at Ben McNally Books tonight. The book is based on a small diary that Hart came across in the Toronto Public Library’s Special Collections Department. Last week, Mr. Hart gave a sneak...

Inside General Stores of Ontario: A Step Back in Time

May 2, 2019 | Raya

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North of Village of Malvern (now Scarborough), circa 1880. Toronto Star Photograph Archive. It's 1886. You need flour to bake a loaf of bread to go with the beef stew you're serving for dinner. Where do you go? More than likely, the general store. General stores were the place to...

Remembering John Ross Robertson and the Telegram: April 18: Snapshots in History

April 18, 2019 | John P.

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On April 18 and beyond, those interested in Toronto history are invited to take a moment to remember journalist and philanthropist John Ross Robertson (Born: December 28, 1841 in Toronto; Died: May 31, 1918 in Toronto) who founded the Toronto Telegram newspaper on April 18, 1876. The Telegram ceased publication...