Preserved Stories

School CrestLooking for the MCHS ’60s Reunion & Celebration of the ’60s? The event turned out beautifully. The Oct. 17, 2015 reunion was attended by over 60 people. For the backstory, Click Here!


Jaan Pill

My name is Jaan Pill; I’m a documentary maker, writer, and beginner practitioner of mindfulness. I was a key organizer of the Malcolm Campbell High School 2015 ’60s Reunion.  I taught at Munden Park Public School. In 1990 I made presentations in Tallinn that led to the founding of the Estonian Stuttering Association. I’m a co-founder of the Canadian Stuttering Association. I’ve been involved with community-self organizing for over 30 years. I enjoy stories and the absence of stories.

Storytelling, here and now

A current project involves A History of Long Branch.

I’ve organized many Jane’s Walks in collaboration with Mike James of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  My most recent Jane’s Walk project involved a walk that took place in Mississauga on May 28, 2016 that was led by Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey. The walk, entitled: Small Arms Building – Then and Now, was the only Jane’s Walk Toronto 2016 Jane’s Walk that took place in Mississauga!

My interests include:

  • Filmmaking
  • Community self-organizing



Six of my Vimeo videos can be viewed online. I worked with Steven Toepell to put together a digital portfolio for Andy Iadinardi, a construction superintendent. The six-minute video depicts the building of Aquaview Condominiums close to where I live. My documentation of Aquaview, some years ago, led directly to my study of local history in my neighbourhood. The banner at the top of the page, that you are now reading, shows a view of Aquaview, at Forty Second St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West in Toronto during its construction. My documentation of the building of Aquaview played a role in my subsequent involvement with Parkview School (see below). Here’s a September 2015 Facebook video highlighting some of my interests:

Bill Rawson of Long Branch talks about what Elvis liked to do in his spare time

Community self-organizing

I have been involved in volunteer work with a focus on community self-organizing and media relations at the local, national and international levels for over 30 years. Until I became involved in efforts to keep Parkview School in public hands, however, I was not involved with local history.

On Oct. 26, 2010, which is when my interest in local history began, I learned that Parkview School was being sold by the Toronto District School Board as it was surplus to its needs. In the end, it was sold to the French public school board Conseil scolaire Viamonde – rather than to a developer – at a cost of $5.2-million in funding from the Province of Ontario.

The deal closed on Aug. 30, 2011. A major, two-stage letter-writing project – we had received key, strategic advice that individually-written letters would work better than a petition, in the circumstances – and the support of TDSB Trustee Pamela Gough and of Laurel Broten, the Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP at the time – enabled the community to achieve a great outcome. Peter Milczyn is the current MPP for the riding. I am a strong supporter of Peter’s Milczyn’s work as the Member of the Provincial Parliament  for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

I have an email newsletter that I set up following a suggestion from Donna Magee of Toronto.

Oct. 17, 2015 Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion an outstanding success

Based on comments from attendees, the Oct. 17, 2015 MCHS ’60s Reunion was an outstanding success. A newsletter sent out by Howard Hight of Boston and Diana Redden of Vancouver to our reunion database did a great job in keeping people informed during the planning process.

As a member of the organizing team, I want to express a huge thanks to all of the grads – as well as to MCHS Phys Ed teacher Soryl (Shulman) Rosenberg – who shared some great stories, and provided great entertainment – including displays of prowess on the dance floor, and the playing of ‘Amazing Grace’ on the bagpipes. The latter tune, piped by Scott Munro, was in memory of MCHS students and teachers who have passed away.

In still another highlight of the evening, on Nov. 17, 2015 in Toronto, Soryl Rosenberg read out a message from Graeme Decarie, an early-1960s MCHS History teacher, who was unable to attend but who remains in ongoing touch with us via email. Soryl also presented an entertaining Show and Tell from her early-1960s career as a teacher at MCHS.

The Preserved Stories and MCHS 2015 websites were designed by Walden Small Business Marketing. I got help from Maestra Web Design with the launching of the sites. My headshot is by Walter Psotka. I learned about Walden Design, Walter Psotka, and Planet Dentistry from Executive Coach Barbara Lawson, to whom I owe many thanks.

 Visit Jaan on LinkedInVisit Jaan's Vimeo profileVisit Jaan's Google+ profile

4 Responses to Preserved Stories

  1. Diane LaPointe-Kay says:

    Love your stories and coverage on the Small Arms Building.

    Diane LaPointe-Kay
    President, Small Arms Society

  2. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read your message, Diane.

    I’ve had the good fortune to be following the story of the Small Arms Building for some years. I am delighted to be keeping up to date with news about the next steps in the re-purposing of the building and to be sharing, with visitors to the Preserved Stories website, what I am learning.

  3. Jaan Pill in response to a comment from Bob Whyte says:

    Hi Bob & Eleanor Whyte – Great to have your address. I have mailed the MCHS 1961-62 to 1973-74 MCHS yearbooks DVD to you. Very much looking forward to posting your overview, Bob, which I know will be of interest to many people, of your memories of Malcolm Campbell High School dating back to the early 1960s.



  4. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    I’m pleased to say that I’ve received a message at the Preserved Stories website from Anne Tait of Toronto, author of Li Jun and the Iron Road (2015), in response to my re-tweet of the following message from @dundurnpress:

    “Congrats @annetaitauthor on your nomination for CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens spring 2016 award! @kidsbookcentre #LiJunandtheIronRoad”

    Anne Tait writes:

    As you can judge, Jaan, I’m new to the Twitter world so I don’t know how to reply there to your re-tweet about my CCBC nomination for my FIRST novel, based on the movie I produced about the Chinese building our railroad.

    We have a lot in common: film, writing, mindfulness and more. Thanks for your interest in my novel, which has had wonderful reviews. The trailer for the book is on vimeo & youtube – take a look.

    Anne Tait, Toronto

    Jaan Pill replied: I look forward to reading your novel, Anne!

    Additional comment from Jaan: CCBC is the Canada China Business Council, a bilateral non-profit organization.

    Anne Tait adds the following:

    The book launch was wonderful and covered by a TV interview with me at

    and there’s a great video trailer at

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