Tag: 19th-century

The sculptor Glicenstein and other Glicenstein ‘cousins’

Born as Tsvi Hirsh Glicenstein in Konin Poland about 1872, my great-grandfather came to London as a youth, married, then brought his family to New York in 1909, and to Toronto in 1913. His tombstone (1955) memorializes Harris Glickstein, the anglicized name he used most of his life. My late grandfather Ralph Gladstone further altered…

Profile: Elias Rogers, Canada’s “King Coal” (1913)

Fame and Fortune Came to Canada’s Biggest “King Coal” When He Fought American Trust Elias Rogers Began Life as Farm Lad in York County — Earned First Wages in a Lumber Yard — A Quaker by Faith — Once Ran for Mayor in Toronto From the Toronto Star Weekly, September 20, 1913 Passing along King…

Baron de Hirsch: the ‘Moses of the New World’

Millions of Diaspora Jews owe a huge debt of gratitude to Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the Jewish magnate, banker and philanthropist who built the Orient Express railroad from Vienna to Constantinople, for assisting our Russian ancestors to reach the United States, Canada, Argentina and other hospitable shores. According to his biographer, Samuel J. Lee, Hirsch…

Canadian Jews fought in American Civil War

Hard to believe, but there were Jews in Toronto and probably Montreal as well who were drawing monthly pensions from the U.S. government as late as 1925 for their participation as soldiers in the American Civil War. An index of Civil War pension recipients indicates that some 4,966 veterans of America’s most sanguinary conflict filed…

Toronto Pioneers — the Robinsons and Franklins

From the Canadian Jewish News, May 3, 1963 by Mordecai Hirshenson Who was the Mrs. Elisa Robinson who bequeathed more than a half-a-million dollars to nine Jewish institutions in her will which was probated recently? Not many Jewish Torontonians of this generation can recall her and her husband, nor their parents. But in the smaller…

An Iroquois-Huron village in north Toronto

From North Toronto Tales, 1948 by Lyman B Jackes There is no section of the present City of Toronto which can claim the historical background that is the heritage of North Toronto. Writers for many years have been prone to stress the fallacy that communal life in these parts commenced in the vicinity of the…

A glimpse into the early days of the Queen’s Hotel

Sixty Years’ Changes, As Hotelman Has Seen Them — The Queen’s Has Been “An Institution” of Toronto, Like the Parliament Buildings or St. James’ Cathedral — Glimpses of ‘60s & ‘70s — View of Bay Fetched Topnotch Price for Rooms — Nickel-plated Self-feeder Supplied Luxury of Heating — Tin Bath When Asked — First Phone and First Elevator By…

Farewell to the old Parliament Buildings (1902)

From the Globe, October 27, 1902 A Centre of History: Frank Yeigh Conducts a Farewell Pilgrimage through old Parliament Buildings A farewell tour of inspection of the old Parliament buildings, now in process of dissolution, was paid by the Canadian Club on Saturday afternoon under the guidance of Mr. Frank Yeigh. Probably 400 persons, including many…

Influx of poor Hebrews causes problem (1891)

From The Globe, September 10, 1891 The influx of pauper Hebrew immigrants to this port is increasing to such an extent as to cause considerable uneasiness unless some immediate action is taken for its prevention. It was only a few days ago that a party was landed at Quebec, whch after considerable annoyance wee sent…

Inside Toronto’s first synagogue on Yom Kippur, 1881

Note: This very early article may be the first significant piece written about the Jewish community of Toronto and any of its synagogues. It appeared only six years after the synagogue was built in 1875 on Richmond and Victoria streets. Like many stories of its kind from that era, it treated the Jews in a…