Lucy Maud Montgomery and the First Canadian Book Week

September 29, 2022 | Pamela

Comments (4)

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

Comments (7)

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

Comments (2)

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

Comments (7)

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

Comments (2)

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...

Cure-Alls & Cure-Naughts: 6 Vintage Ads & Pamphlets for Medical Remedies Sold in Ontario

June 13, 2022 | Ann

Comments (0)

"When the remedy you have offered only increases the disease, then leave him who will not be cured, and tell your story to someone who seeks the truth." – translation of Rumi, 13th-century poet This quote made me think of medical cure-alls — dubious remedies that claim to fix almost...

Happy 100th Birthday, North York!

May 31, 2022 | Nicky

Comments (0)

From the Aga Khan Museum to the Humber River Trail to the Black Creek Pioneer Village, North York has many attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy. Did you know that 2022 marks the centennial of North York becoming an independent township, and that it didn’t actually become a city...

History of Toronto Public Library's Staff House (1928–1964)

April 27, 2022 | Pamela

Comments (4)

We preserve some of TPL's own history in the Toronto Public Library Archives, part of our Special Collections. In addition to vintage photos of branches and annual reports, available on our Digital Archive, this collection has mysterious objects like a flat wooden shovel. Believe it or not, this shovel was...

From Our Archives: Parties in Ontario During the Late 1960s

March 14, 2022 | lfeesey

Comments (0)

In the late 1960s, there was a sense of buoyancy in much of Canada due to the country's economic growth. This blog post looks back at scenes in Ontario among affluent and high-profile partygoers at the time. Below are photos are from Toronto Public Library (TPL)'s Digital Archive Ontario, a...

Love Murdoch Mysteries? See Historical Images of Toronto Tied to the TV Show

March 11, 2022 | Pamela

Comments (7)

Murdoch Mysteries is a tremendously popular Canadian television show. William Murdoch is a fictional police detective working in Toronto in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He solves many of his cases using methods that were unusual at the time such as fingerprinting and surveillance. At Toronto Public Library...