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Excerpt: ‘The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community’

  The following passages have been excerpted from The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community, by Shmuel Mayer Shapiro (1877-1958), the late editor and publisher of the Toronto Yiddish newspaper, the Hebrew Journal. After surfacing in a synagogue archives in 2009, his unpublished manuscript was illustrated with some 90 rare and historic photographs and illustrations and…

Why Canada should admit Jewish refugees from Europe (1939)

Economics of Refugees : Canada Could Strike a Great Blow for Democracy From Saturday Night, March 1939 By Gwethalyn Graham ◊ Gwethalyn Graham (1913 – 1965) was a Toronto-born writer, whose 1944 novel Earth and High Heaven was the first Canadian book to reach number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Graham won the…

‘Old’ City Hall has lovely interior

    This beautiful and huge stained glass window was made for Toronto’s then-new City Hall at Queen and Bay streets when it was constructed in the late 1890s. The window seems to depict in pictorial form some of the ideals of the city: “The union of commerce & industry.” Virtues cited along the top of the windows…

North Toronto celebrates new car service (1922)

Opening of One-fare Trip to the City Limits Hailed With Joy / Triumph for Adam Beck / First Cars with Notable Passengers Made Run over New Rails / Triumphal Procession Up Yonge Street / Joy Expressed at Town Hall From Toronto Evening Telegram, Friday November 3, 1922 Everybody living in North Toronto seemed to be…

New serial: The Girls I Might Have Married (1919)

Part One in a series of sketches by a prominent Canadian Jewish bachelor By Anonymous (originally serialized in 1919) Foreword I hope that none who read this chronicle of my adventures into the field of pro-matrimony (if I may so call it) will feel that I am writing in a spirit of boastfulness. On the…

Toronto gripped by war fever (August 1914)

From the Toronto Star Weekly, August 1914 An artist and photographer for the Toronto Star Weekly captured these “unprecedented scenes” in Toronto in August 1914 as the city and the nation prepared for war in Europe. The above drawing (based on a photograph) shows recruits drilling outside Toronto’s Armouries. The photograph below showed more recruits drilling at the…

Many Buildings to Be Demolished at College & Yonge (1928)

From The Toronto Evening Telegram, July 11, 1928 The T. Eaton Co. have called for tenders for the demolition of buildings in the block bounded by Yonge, College, Bay and Buchanan streets. All of the buildings are structures which have been erected for years and their destruction means the removal of old landmarks, the former…

Removing the Hill from Forest Hill (1928)

Today Forest Hill residents are just beginning to endure the noise and traffic jams associated with the construction of the proposed Eglinton Avenue LRT: after all, no gain without pain, right? This newspaper story from 1928 describes another noisy and disruptive mechanical operation that was evidently required to remove the “hill” from Forest Hill.  *…

Repentant: A new role for the divine Sarah Bernhardt (1922)

From the Canadian Jewish Review, September 8, 1922 It will be remembered that Sarah Bernhardt was born in Paris in 1844 of Dutch Jewish parents and was received into the Roman Catholic Church at the request of her father. She has recently given an interview to Miss Elsie Roow, of the New York Herald, in…

Love turns to murder on Adelaide Street (1914)

◊ The following articles describe a tragedy that unfolded in Toronto’s Jewish district on Adelaide Street West near Spadina in 1914. I was particularly riveted by the sad drama because this is where some of my relatives were living at the time — practically in these very addresses — and one of my grandfather’s ‘landsmen’…