Coronation Celebrations in Canada: Six Rarities from Our Archives

May 3, 2023 | David

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As a constitutional monarchy, Canada has held huge celebrations for past coronations of British monarchs. The crowning of King Charles III on May 6, 2023 marks the first coronation in 70 years for Commonwealth nations. Below is a quick overview of this age-old ceremony and six pieces of history tying...

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Inspiring Trip to Bala, Ontario in 1922

February 21, 2023 | Pamela

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In 1922, Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery and her family vacationed two weeks in the small town of Bala in Muskoka, Ontario. She took the proof of her novel Emily of New Moon to edit. But this trip would inspire The Blue Castle, one of her only two books for...

Carnegie Libraries in Ontario: Vintage Postcards

January 4, 2023 | Fiona

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"A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert." – Andrew Carnegie During the early 20th century, 125 libraries in Canada were built with grants from the Carnegie Foundation. Of those, 111 were built in...

The Red Triangle Club: A Refuge in Toronto for First World War Soldiers

November 9, 2022 | Pamela

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The Young Men's Christian Association, now known simply as the YMCA, has a long history in Canada. Its first North American location opened in Montreal in 1851. Early services extended to Canada's military, including support for men recruited during the First World War. In Toronto in 1917, the Y.M.C.A. opened...

What Makes You Feel At Home? Visitors Respond to 5 Questions in Our Exhibit On Migration, Life and Change in Toronto

October 20, 2022 | Nicole

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Block by Block weaves together stories from 100 newcomer, immigrant, racialized and Indigenous community members from Agincourt, Parkdale, Regent Park and Victoria Park. Led by Toronto Ward Museum, the free exhibition is on display in the TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library until November 20, 2022. There are many powerful,...

Lucy Maud Montgomery and the First Canadian Book Week

September 29, 2022 | Pamela

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Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE is one of Canada’s most cherished authors known particularly for creating the beloved heroine Anne of Green Gables in 1908. She published 21 novels, as well as 530 short stories and 500 poems. In 1921, Montgomery participated in a week-long event to promote Canadian literature —...

100 Years of Boys & Girls House: Children's Library Services at Toronto Public Library

September 2, 2022 | Myrna

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September 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Boys & Girls House, a former branch of Toronto Public Library. Boys & Girls House opened on September 11, 1922 and was the first dedicated children’s library in the Commonwealth. Boys & Girls House was influential on the development of children's library services....

Vintage Views of Rat Portage — Now Kenora, Ontario

August 31, 2022 | lfeesey

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Until 1905, the Ontario community of Kenora was known to settlers as Rat Portage. According to local legend, a flour mill refused to move to a place with "rat" in its name — prompting the name change. "Kenora" combines the names of two communities it absorbed: Keewatin and Norman. It's...

Phone Wallpapers for Toronto History Geeks (And Everyone Else)

July 22, 2022 | David

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Looking for Toronto-themed backgrounds for your phone? Here are 20 unique ones of old Toronto — from 1870 to 1950. There's a bit of history under each wallpaper, too. We made them from our public domain photos, paintings, postcards and maps. The actual items are held in our Baldwin Collection...

Rochdale College 1968-1975: A Revolutionary Education

July 20, 2022 | lfeesey

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Rochdale College registrar Rick Waern in front of 18-storey building for Rochdale College at Bloor and Huron Streets, 1968. From our Toronto Star Photograph Archive. View on Digital Archive. Rochdale College was a cost-saving measure The University of Toronto’s Campus Co-op, a self-funded student-led housing co-operative, incorporated Rochdale in 1964...