Dancing at Jewish Wedding Violates Sunday Blue Laws (1912)

From the Toronto Star, February 19, 1912

Shall Dancing Be Allowed in Civic Halls on Sunday?

The Caretaker Could Not Put a Stop to It

dancersLOMild weather has anticipated the action of the City Council in prohibiting Sunday tobogganing, but the Lord’s Day observance question is to the fore in another aspect. Is dancing to be allowed in city-owned halls on Sundays?

Property Commissioner Harris says emphatically that it is not. Nevertheless there was a very lively dance at St. Andrew’s Hall yesterday, and no one seemed to have authority to stop it.

A few days ago a very pretty little Jewish maiden waited upon the Property Commissioner, and secured the hall in question for her wedding, mentioning Sunday February 18 as the date. She explained that there was going to be dancing, and Mr. Harris suddenly became adamant. “No dancing,” was his ultimatum.

The bride-to-be tried all her wiles in vain. She explained that it was not the Jewish Sabbath, and that a wedding was nothing without a dance. But she could not prevail. “Go in peace,” said the Commissioner in effect. “You have my blessing, but there’s to be no hop.”

“Did they dance?” The Star asked him this morning.

“I have no report of it,” he said, “and presume that they didn’t. The caretaker had instructions not to allow it.”

But They Did.

But the dance took place, and it is said to have been quite an affair. When she left the commissioner’s office a few days ago, the bride collided with one of the best looking legal gentlemen of the city, who took the liberty of telling her not to mind “what that man in there tells you. Just go ahead and dance,” he said. And she did.

“Was there a dance?” The Star asked the caretaker this morning.

“Yes, they danced,” he said.

“Is dancing allowed in Toronto halls on Sunday?”

“No, it is not.”

“Then why did you not stop them?”

“How could I stop it?” asked the caretaker. And how could he?

It is said that when next the Property Commissioner leases a hall for a Sunday wedding he will make the following stipulation: “You can’t dance; remember that. If you do, I’ll never let you get married in that hall again.” ♦