Preserved Stories Blog

Etobicoke Creek thousands of years ago gave rise to what is now an underwater valley

At a presentation I attended in Mississauga of an underwater valley — now located south of teh current shoreline of Lake Ontario — associated with an earlier stage in the history of Etobicoke Creek.

We know from geological evidence that, during its Glacial Lake Iroquois stage, the water level of Lake Ontario was higher than it is now.

There’s a road in Oakville, north of the Queen Elizabeth Way at Trafalgar Road, that is conveniently named Iroquois Shore Road. The road indicates where the Glacial Lake Iroquois shoreline used to be located. Evidence of the shoreline is visible across Mississauga and Toronto as well.

For example, the old shoreline is indicated by a hill that one encounters when travelling north along Avenue Road or Yonge Street when approaching St. Clair Avenue West. Similarly a hill, with a less abrupt slope is encountered, as I recall, in Mississauga when travelling north along Hurontario Street north of Dundas Street West.

An excellent account of the rise and fall of this lake is provided by John Chapman and Donald Putnam in their classic and authoritative text, Physiography of Southern Ontario, 3rd Edition (1984).

Thereafter, the water level went much lower than it is now, during what is called the Lake Admiralty phase of Lake Ontario.

During the time Lake Ontario was at a lower level, Etobicoke Creek formed a valley which is now underwater.

I look forward to learning details about this valley

In an earlier version of this blog, I wrote:

“The map below, which I’ve created to show the configuration of Etobicoke Creek in the years before and after it was channelized, provides useful information concerning the direction in which the creek would likely have flowed during the thousands of years when the water level of the lake was lower than its current level.”

The text above is based on an incorrect assumption on my part.

That is, it’s not likely that the creek has flowed in a westerly direction for thousands of years. In fact, as I understand, the flow might have been in all manner of directions over such a period of time.

We owe thanks to Robert Lansdale for sharing the fact — based on his knowledge as an engineer with direct experience with the physical features of Lake Ontario — that one cannot make the assumption that I have made in the above-noted earlier version of my text.

Robert Lansdale notes that Etobicoke Creek and the surrounding lands have changed drastically over thousands — and even hundreds — of years.

“The spit where Lake Promenade and the cottages were located,” he comments, “was mostly created via sand being dumped in this area from the Lake Ontario beach currents, such as from the Sunnyside areas and easterly. That’s what most likely caused the creek to have become diverted. ”


Configuration of Etobicoke Creek prior to its channelization


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Parallel lines work well to represent halftones – in comic-book art and in illustration in general

In the history of graphic design, parallel lines figure prominently – in comic-book art and in illustration in general – as a means to represent halftones.

general judenits081

General Judenits [Nikolai Yudenich, a leader of the anti-communist White movement in Northwestern Russia during the Russian Civil War after the Russian Revolution. The image source is noted in the text on the left. Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

I open the current post with a drawing of General Judenits of the Russian Army of the Northwest – in English he’s known as Nikolai Yudenich (1862-1933).

Nikolai Yudenich was a leader of the anti-communist White movement in Northwestern Russia during the Russian Civil War after the Russian Revolution.

I have read widely about Europe and Canada in the 1930s, and about the Second World War. These  topics bring to mind the First World War and the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia.

General Judenits (Nikolai Yudenich)

Click here for an Alpha History overview related to Nikolai Yudenich >

I start the post with the pen-and-ink portrait of General Judenits. The style of artwork, with its skillful application of parallel lines to represent gradations of halftones, brings to mind the history of the graphic novel, as a genre of literature. The illustration is not directly connected to comic-book-style illustrations. However, any fan of comic-book art will, I believe, tune into the power and vitality of the portrait of General Judenits.

The image is from a book, Eesti Iseseisvuse Sünd [The Birth of Estonian Independence] by Eduard Laaman (1888-1941).

Eduard Laaman was an Estonian journalist and historian who was executed at a Russian prison by the Soviet NKVD (secret police organization) in 1941.

Laaman’s wife and two daughters fled to Sweden in 1944, at the onset of the second Soviet occupation of Estonia – which was preceded by the German occupation of this Baltic country – during the Second World War.

The book, that I refer to, was published in 1964 but the original text was written much earlier. The photos in the book are indistinct, given the nature of the printing process used in its publication. The black and white line drawings in the book, however, such as the illustration featured at this post, give rise to clear and distinct reproductions.

A person learns a style or genre of blogging

Over time, I have learned about styles of blogging that work for me.

One style of blogging features topics that I have been exploring for many years.

The latter style differs from a style that features news reports built around an evidence-based approach to information dissemination. News reports are of value, and many site visitors seek out such posts.

However, I also have an interest in exploring the conceptual framework – indeed, the conceptual infrastructure, in which the logistics of words and figures figure prominently – by means of which news reports are presented.

A “meditation upon”

I like to write posts set in a genre of writing that is often spoken of as a “meditation on,” or “meditation upon,” some general topic.

Such posts may or may not be of interest to very many people. My guess is that more people are interested in straight news reports, than in ruminations.

I check site statistics from time to time, meaning that I have some interest in what topics are of interest to site visitors.

However, how many people read a given post is not a primary concern. I am also writing posts as a means whereby I can refine my thinking. If I can think more clearly, about a variety of matters related to evidence and framing, I can be that much more capable, in writing posts (and book chapters) that will attract a decent number of readers.

HTML formatting (e.g. involving links)

What also works well for me are essays or articles in which I do not create a lot of links to previous posts or biographical sources.

Whatever links are connected with the current post, for example, can easily be found using the internal search engine at this website.

Or a person can point a browser to other sources, more widely available online.

There’s an element of drudgery involved in the setting up of links, and I prefer to avoid such a feature of blogging, when I can.

I don’t mind writing HTML formatting for headings, however, as it’s a straightforward procedure, and is fun to do. For example, when I work in Text Mode in WordPress, a heading is preceded by <h2> and is terminated by </h2>. Similarly, bolding a word means starting with <strong> and concluding with </strong>.

Length of text

In “meditations-upon” posts, I have no need for concern about the length that a post will take. Whether a given site visitor wants to slog through a post, from start to finish, or not, is not in this case a primary consideration.

I am really pleased that a previous post, at 10,000-words plus, has been widely read, despite the length of it. I refer to an article entitled “A History of Long Branch.” I would be very leery about doing any copy editing on that particular text. I may do some fine-tuning of it in future, but with great care to ensure the additional work improves, and does no detract.

The latter article  just happened to work out well. I spent at least six weeks of daily work upon it. Usually, I do not work at that level of intensity. The article brings home to me that a 10,000-word piece, if it’s going to be any good, requires a lot of thought and research. The length of the piece is just one aspect of it. It’s just one feature of the total package. So many other things come into play. As with many things, one learns by doing, and by reflecting upon work that a person has done in the past.

Posts about Erving Goffman

Posts that I’ve written about Erving Goffman, for this website, are in the category of an exploration in some depth of some subject area that I am especially well-versed in.

These posts are a combination of news reports (based on online resources) and “meditations upon.”

Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

I have studied “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” very closely, from the time it was published. I have made notes, and written out passages, chapter by chapter. I have also affirmed, and made use of, Goffman’s concepts in a wide range of contexts.

I mention Goffman, because I had originally thought that it would not be worthwhile to write about his work, at this website. Given that Goffman is of a previous era, who would care less about him now?

The original thought was challenged, however, by my encounters with citations of Goffman in material I was reading in recent years. Such material includes a variety of studies related to the world history of warfare.

I was surprised to note, that in studies I was reading in recent years, work by Goffman was still being cited frequently. Thus it made sense for me to proceed with speaking about his work, at this website, rather than avoiding discussion of it.

Frame Analysis: An Essay in the Organization of Experience

Some time back, I bought a copy of Goffman’s “Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience.” I have not, as yet, read the book closely, but I have in recent times begun to read the Foreword to the book. The Foreword, by Bennett M. Berger, speaks of Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism.

Until I began to read the Foreword, I had assumed that Goffman was a symbolic interactionist, period. However, Berger notes that Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism is more nuanced than I have until recently assumed. I have been pleased to encounter Berger’s overview, as it gives me a better sense of how best to “frame” Goffman in the wider scheme of things.

I like above all to read Goffman’s original texts, and I prefer not to spend a lot of time reading secondary sources offering summaries of his work; I much prefer to read the original texts. However, a Foreword, to a book of original material from Goffman, certainly can be helpful, and is worth a close read.

Thinking Fast and Slow, and Talking Politics

Two additional resources, of relevance with regard to a study of Goffman’s work, are “Talking Politics” by William A. Gamson and “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.

The books I refer to, with the exception of “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” are ones that I have bought over the years.

One can think of much else to write about. This will do for now, however.


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Natural forms at Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration; setbacks between images at Dead Man’s Curve

Detail from Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Image 1. Detail from Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo. Click on each photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

This post is written as a digression, a digression from topics that actually interest site visitors.

Sometimes, digressions motivate me to write a post.

Photo book based on July 15, 2017 visit to Six Points Reconfiguration site

I have created a non-utilitarian photo book, based on my visit to the Six Points Reconfiguration site. This photo book has no commercial value. It does not seek to sell you anything. It does not seek to influence your view of the world.

Image 1: Water leaves traces of its passage

Image 1 depicts traces of the flow of water. Was the water going left to right, or right to left? I have not studied the evidence. I am not an expert on fluid mechanics in the analogic (non-digital) world of water and soil. Nor am I an expert in the mathematics of fluid mechanics.

I do note that when the mud has dried, a crack on the surface has appeared. The crack has made its presence known. One is reminded of the expression, “the crack of dawn.” One is reminded of the aural phenomenon of “the crack of gunfire.”

One of reminded of The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. That is one of the books that made sense to me, in the 1960s. What Bachelard said then, in parts at least, rings true for me now, as it did then.

Image 2. We see more clearly the bird tracks that were evident (but not as clearly framed) in Image 1. Jaan Pill photo

Image 2. We see more clearly the bird tracks that were evident (but not as clearly framed) in Image 1. Jaan Pill photo

As, by way of example, and this is from the link in the previous paragraph: “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.”

The first paragraph in the above-noted link, from Harvard Design Magazine, aptly relates to Bachelard’s meditation on oneiric space – that is, the space relating to dreams or dreaming.

What is true of the poetics of space, as they relate to the poetics of the interior of a house is also true of the poetics of the world outside, as Bachelard notes in his philosophical analysis.

Once we get outside a house, we enter into the public realm – such as the open spaces of a community, and, indeed, the setbacks between houses, a topic of much interest to many of us, in our role as residents of cities, as you will note in the event you feel inclined (or impelled by curiosity) to do a search for “setback” at this website.

In the public realm, we also deal with the poetics of space, to use Bachelard’s apt expression.

Image 3. Sign that says "You'd betrayer stay on the right of the roadway divider." Jaan Pill photo

Image 3. Sign that says “You’d better stay on the right of the roadway divider.” Jaan Pill photo

When we are outside of the house, where we sit, and pace, eat, and have our repose, we may be in the public realm.

If we go a little further, which in Canada it is possible for almost any person who lives in a town, village, or city to do, assuming she or he has access to a means of transportation, or a means of sustenance in the event she or he wishes to walk or ride a bike, our exploration of the poetics of space continues apace.

In Canada, one can enter into what remains of the wilds, of the wilderness. In my childhood growing up in Montreal, what we knew as the nearby wilderness was called The Bush.

I am speaking, in this context, of existence in nature.

A person can make of a forest a hiding place, a place of repose, a place to pace, a place to eat, in the same way as a person can find a place to do these things – perform these activities – inside of a house.

Within a forest, or at the edge of it, one can experience all of the poetics that are associated with a house.

I mention that, because I have experienced the poetics of the forest, in my case on Haida Gwaii by camping in the roots of a hemlock tree, at the edge of a rain forest at the outskirts of Queen Charlotte City in the early 1970s. I lived in said roots for six weeks.

The experience of living in the roots of a giant hemlock tree, at the edge of a Haida Gwaii rainforest, has been among the most blissful and healthiest times that I have experienced. My time on Haida Gwaii is among the formative experiences of my life.

On one of my visits in the early 1970s, before I went back to complete a degree at Simon Fraser University, I walked for some distance along the east coast of Haida Gwaii near Queen Charlotte City. I realized I would be able to walk kilometre after kilometre, if so inclined, and see pretty well no trace of Western civilization, as it is called. Among other things, said civilization has been characterized – that is, described, as one would describe a character in a story – as a massive pyramid scheme. For example, Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress (2004), has thusly characterized it.

That being said, Western civilization is not without its merits.

To return to my Haida Gwaii story: The natural splendour – the mountains, the sea, the clouds – was of a nature that was spectacular beyond words. The concept that, not all that far back in human history, such a scene – the scene of natural splendour, as yet untouched by Western civilization – as I witnessed on that day, was available to be witnessed by any person across the face of the Earth, took hold of me. It took hold of me as an overwhelming realization. It’s a powerful concept. A visualization of times past, based on a brief sampling of a spectacular, large-scale natural scene, serves as a starting point for thought – a starting point of the journey of one’s imagination.

I am pleased I did not run into any grizzly bears. That’s always a consideration. I mention that in passing.

The poetics of space extends beyond the homes associated with the Settler culture that in the Americas (“officially”) dates back to 1492. From the perspective of the Indigenous citizen, according to one apt tweet that I have read, if you want to imagine what would have occurred had the Nazis won the Second World War, you do not have far to look. I say this, on the understanding that I have no means of speaking on behalf of the Indigenous citizen.

As part of my self-education, I follow many First Nations individuals and organizations on Twitter.

Image 2: Bird tracks

So much for image 1; I have discussed that Six points photo earlier. I have not yet posted image 2, as I write this text. I am thinking that the second image, in this digressive post, will perhaps involve a closer look at water flow in the analogical (that is, non-digital) reality.

In the case of Image 2, the water flow appears to have been from top to bottom, with ridges appearing in the irregular forms that were created in the soil, in response to the water flow.

The word “irregular” brings to mind the concept of “irregular warfare,” which I have written about in recent posts. I do believe that all of warfare is irregular, and always has been. Now, in recent times, the inherent irregularity of warfare – of organized violence – has been recognized, through use of terms such as “hybrid warfare.” But – I digress!

I’m pleased to see evidence that a bird had walked along the mud, in Image 2, before the mud had dried, and thereby left its signature.

Image 4. Speed sign. Jaan Pill photo

Image 4. Speed sign. Jaan Pill photo

Image 3: Divided roadway

In a previous post, I have referred to the Brown’s Line Dead Man’s Curve. If you would like to read that post, you will have to do a search for it using this site’s internal search engine.

The latter post does not include a lot of photos. That’s because the process of searching out photos tends to be consuming of time and energy, especially given that my photos exist in files devoid of tags.

Image 3 is a shot, that indicates what a driver sees, when approaching Dead Man’s Curve at the southern terminus of Brown’s Line, as you bomb out of Alderwood and approach Long Branch.

I refer to bombing as in “going faster than prudence dictates.” What the driver sees is the first of four signs that will appear.

Image 4: Speed sign

Image 4 is the speed sign, the second sign that you see as you speed toward Dead Man’s Curve.

The second sign says, “30 kph,” for which the subtext is, “Are you kidding?”

In speaking of a subtext, I refer to what a July 20, 2017 New York Times article describes as “bracketed stage directions.” The Times article, about current news from the White House, is entitled, “Like a ‘Soap Opera,’ Only Not as Fun.” The article, which I read in the print version, refers to choices with reference to genres, when a person is following the narrative arc of a story.

No question, any story related to the Dead Man’s Curve involves choices from a range of options, according to which a narrative arc, related to vehicular flow heading south on Brown’s Line, is constructed.

Image 5: Not a great idea to stop to park

Image 5: No Parking sign at Dead Man's Curve. Jaan Pill photo

Image 5: No Parking sign at Dead Man’s Curve. Jaan Pill photo

The third sign (Image 5) says, “No Parking,” for which the subtext is, “Just so you know.”

The fourth sign says, “Sharp turn right,” the subtext for which reads, “Sorry, too late.”

Setback between first and second signs

Now, signs, like houses, usually do not exist in isolation.

In a house, to refer to the poetics of space, the interior space has meaning because people inhabit said space. By itself, a house does not offer a lot of meaning. You need people in the space, to establish meaning.

In the wilderness, the meaning is inherent in the space. Under ideal circumstances (in my opinion), the human adds little or nothing, by way of meaning.

That meaning a human may add, in some circumstances, may be a meaning that is, indeed, in harmony with the space.

In the case of Settler history, however, the inherent meaning in the space tends to lose meaning, because Settler society – of which I am, indeed a member – in its history has established a narrative that says, “This space has no meaning. The only meaning that inheres in this space is the meaning that we as Settlers establish through the Logistics of Words and Figures.”

That’s a preamble, a foreshadowing, to my conclusion of this digression, this digressive exercise.

Signs on a roadway do not have meaning, except in the context of the meaning that is assigned to them, if any meaning is assigned to the signs at all, by the driver (and passengers) who are travelling, at whatever rate of speed, on a given roadway.

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

Image 6: Sharp turn right. Jaan Pill photo

The first and second signs, that you see as you get close to Dead Man’s Curve, are very close together.

Image 6: Sharp turn right

The setback between them is very tight. Imagine two houses very close to each other. The setback between them is very tight. That may or may not be read as comfortable, depending on many things.

Because of the tight setback between the two signs, the second – and critical – 30 kph sign – is apt to not be read closely, if it is read at all.

Thereby ends a story.


A July 20, 2017 Longdon School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh.”

The opening paragraph reads:

In The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable [2016], acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh offers a new non-fiction work that aims to confront this urgent issue by reflecting on our ‘deranged’ modes of political and socio-economic organisation via three themes: literature, history and politics. This is an admirable book that both examines and manifests the limits of human thought when it comes to the spectre of environmental catastrophe, writes Alexandre Leskanich.



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Does the 25-gram World Health Organization suggested limit on sugar intake include sugar from fruit juices? Answer: It does.

I recently was thirsty, on a hot day in July, and bought a fruit juice smoothie at a Shopper’s Drug Mart. On rare occasions, I buy such a drink.

I noticed the bottle referred to 57 grams of sugar. The label said, and said it prominently: “No Sugar Added.” I was wondering, at that point, whether the sugar referred to was the same as the sugar that the World Organization (WHO) refers to, when it says that it’s a good idea to keep sugar concentration below 25 grams per day.

I did a web search regarding this topic. I found a March 4, 2015 news release from WHO, the opening paragraphs of which read:

4 MARCH 2015 ¦ GENEVA – A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.


Clearly, I did not manage to stay below 25 grams of sugar today, because WHO refers to “free sugars” which includes sugars in fruit juices.

Equally clearly, I have learned something that is useful to know.

I also read related link of interest from WHO: Sugars intake for adults and children: Guideline.

I was interested to note that the above-mentioned link refers to a “natural experiment” during the Second World War, when a particular population sample experienced a marked reduction in free sugars. One of the outcomes of the experiment was that dental cavities were markedly reduced. Or that, at any rate, is what I recall from briefly scanning through the article.

Click here for previous posts about sugar >

It may be noted that advertisements related to sugary drinks of any kind discretely avoid reference to research related to sugar. A person has to find such research on her of his own.

I have included this post in the category that I call “story management.” That’s because the marketing of sugar products (including fruit juices) entails the application of instrumental reason to the task of ensuring that as few people as possible maintain a sugar intake under the 25-gram limit that WHO recommends.


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Photo from Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey regarding Farmer’s Market in Port Credit

Photo is from a July 15, 2017 tweet from Mississauga ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey

Photo is from a July 15, 2017 tweet from Mississauga ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey

In a July 15, 2017 tweet, which the Town of Port Credit retweeted (that being how I came across it, just now), a message from @JimTovey noted:

Fiddling 4. The Farmers Market in @Portcreditbia. Beautiful music, beautiful day, great produce #shoplocal


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14 Villa Road OMB hearing was held July 17th & 18th; decision awaited

The OMB hearing for 14 Villa Road took place July 17th and 18th:

Our Villa Road odyssey regarding the OMB appeal has come to an end, save for the decision.

Our experience, among the residents attending the hearing, and among the residents unable to attend but keeping up with the proceedings, is that it is important for friends and neighbours on every street in Long Branch to work together in pursuit of shared interests.


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Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration is now underway. Some notes, as well about a 1936 Berlin Olympics photo album.

View looking east toward Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration prpoject, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

View looking east toward Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration prpoject, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

I attended a public meeting – in the form of an open house – at a Lithuanian   church located east of the Six Points Interchange some time back. I was pleased to receive an email today (July 14, 2017), indicating that construction at the Interchange is now underway.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Click here for an update on Start of Construction >

I am impressed with everything I have heard about this project.

Some years ago I organized, with Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn’s Office, a Jane’s Walk at the Six Points Interchange.

MPP Milczyn, who was closely involved with the development of the project starting many years ago when he was a City of Toronto Councillor, did a great job as the Walk Leader on that day.

At the public meeting that I attended more recently, one person was explaining, to small clusters of people, that the way that Dundas St. West is being configured is (and I am paraphrasing) “all wrong.” However, I later had the opportunity to speak, later at the same public meeting, with a planner, connected with the Six Points Configuration.

The detritus that emerges from the past has its own narrative of forms to share: Part 1. Jaan Pill photo

The detritus that emerges from the past has its own narrative of forms to share: Part 1. Jaan Pill photo

I asked her about the points that I had heard, from the person who as not impressed for the plans regarding Dundas St. West. The planner explained to me that there had been a thorough Environmental Assessment, as part of the planning of the project.

At that time, a broad range of options were considered, from a broad range of angles, in order to determine which configuration of roads would work the best, taking account of a wide range of goals and needs.

The planner also noted that all of the information, related to the Environmental Assessment, is available at the Six Points Reconfiguration website. I thought she gave a good answer. I was pleased that I had the opportunity, to first have a conversation with the critic, who was performing his civic duty in expressing his views and concerns, and then to have a conversation with one of the planners, who was there to answer questions at the public meeting.


The detritus that emerges from the past has its own narrative of forms to share: Part 2. This image appeals to me, because of the manner in which a linear form has been folded upon itself, to create a spiral with gestural qualities. Jaan Pill photo

I’m pleased to know the project is now underway.

Detritus that emerges from the past

The passage that follows below is an additional text from July 15, 2017.

I have visited the Six Points construction site regularly in recent years. I recall there was a bird – it was a duck, as I recall – that had made its home at, had adopted as its habitat at, a body of water that was in place at the Six Points site for some time. The bird appeared to me to be contented, happy with its home. It lived there for weeks on end. The body of water is long gone, as is the bird. At that time there were sections of woods still in place in the area, as well. Now the woods are gone.

I am wondering what the rest of the story of the bird may be, as in: Where did it get its start in life, where did its parents go, and what were the next steps in the bird’s life, after the body of water was gone? The body of water may now be part of an underground, manufactured waterway. I do not have evidence regarding the matter, however.

My father had a love of nature, as some people do

I have long been pondering how to approach the writing of a post about my late father’s 1936 Berlin Olympics photo album.

Group portrait of athletes, from the University of Tartu in Estonia, who attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics as student observers. The photo was taken, I believe, at the University of Tartu in 1936. Source: Kaljo Pill

Group portrait of athletes, from the University of Tartu in Estonia, who attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics as student observers. The photo was taken, I believe, at the University of Tartu in 1936. Source: Kaljo Pill

I do not wish to approach the story of his life on the basis of my father’s personality, interesting as that aspect of a person might be. Describing character or personality, in the style or frame of a journalist or fiction writer, is but one of the many valuable ways, of all of the ways available to us, to say something valid about a person’s life.

Biographical details may explain a lot, or may explain very little, about a person’s life journey. The context in which a life is lived, and the logistics associated with the practical matters that are at the basis of everyday life, are equally important, albeit frequently ignored, when life stories – or stories, period – are narrated.

Kaljo Pill, at age about 21. Detail from 1936 group photo of athletes from Estonia, who attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics as student observers. Source: Kaljo Pill

Kaljo Pill, age about 21. Detail from 1936 group photo of young athletes from Estonia, who attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics as student observers. Source: Kaljo Pill

At this post, I will introduce my father by way of a detail from a University of Tartu photograph, which I believe was taken in Tartu in 1936. The photo, which is available online and is also featured in my father’s 1936 Berlin Olympics photo album, is of select group of male university athletes from Estonia, who attended the Berlin Olympics as student observers. Students from all or most of the countries that took part in the 1936 Olympics appear to have sent groups of university-age student observers to the event.

All of the student athletes from Estonia, who attended the Games as observers, were male, so far as I know. However, the album does include photos featuring young women, who appear to (possibly) be Estonian and who may have had some kind of relationship to the University of Tartu athletes who attended the 1936 Berlin Games as student observers.

Also featured prominently, in my father’s photo album, is a photo of Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics. The album also includes an autograph from the latter athlete.

I have read extensively about the life of Jesse Owens, over the past several months, when I was reading about the Berlin Olympics. All such reading is in the past, for now. What remains are my notes, and the pages I have scanned for further study. After a decade of incessant reading of books from the Toronto and Mississauga library systems, I have taken a break from taking out library books.

Jesse Owens. Source: Kaljo Pill

Jesse Owens. Source: Kaljo Pill

This post will conclude with my reflections about my connection to my father, about my connection to the memory of my father, through our shared love of nature.

The first reflection is that it’s fascinating to see, and to closely study, photos of my father from a decade prior to my birth. One senses that one has entered into a time machine. It’s a source of fascination to be able to look around, and to ponder. Among other things, so much can be learned from a close study of body language, and of context, in the photos in the album. Even with body language, however, what is perceived, or “read,” depends upon the frame of reference that one brings, to the task of perception.

What role does framing play, in the interpretation of body language, when a person views a given photo or set of photos? What factors are at play, when we seek to determine the “meaning” of what we see, in a photograph? These are questions, that may naturally occur to a person. The study of the use of photography, as it relates to the history of anthropology, by way of example, underlines that meaning, and interpretation, as it applies to photography, and to filmmaking can be heavily frame-dependent. A colonial view of what a photograph or work of art entails will, again by way of example, differ markedly from the view of the Indigenous subject of a photograph.

A person’s relationship with nature, in the era of Climate Change

The other thing that I think about is my father’s relationship to nature – in particular, to nature largely, or to a great extent, untouched by human civilization, During his lifetime, he encountered a fair amount of relatively unspoiled nature, as I did myself in the 1960s and 1970s in my travels, from time to time, occasionally for extended periods, in the Canadian wilderness especially in Western Canada.

Many people love nature, and many people act in ways that indicate that their love of nature does not go very far.

Some people, including Nazi spokespersons from the 1930s, expressed a deep love of nature but that love mattered not a whit in the larger scheme of things.

Detail from tree stump, July 15, 2007. Jaan Pill photo

Detail from tree stump, July 15, 2007. Jaan Pill photo

My father, who graduated with a degree in forestry from the University of Tartu, loved nature as a source of support, in the face of life’s tribulations. That was a relationship with nature that worked really well for him. Particularly in my own younger years, I too found that nature could serve as a great source of strength and support, under circumstances that otherwise were difficult.

New foliage going profusely from tree stump, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

New foliage growing profusely from tree stump, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

At the Six Points Interchange construction site, which I visited on July 15, 2017, I came across a clearcut along an embankment alongside Dundas St. West. The view reminded me of times when I worked in the interior and coast of British Columbia in the early 1970s. When you see a clearcut anywhere, if you’ve had experience in the bush, the memories of past clearings come to mind at once. That’s what the photos, at the end of this post, are about.

Six Points site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Six Points site, July 15, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

One of the things that I noticed, on my recent visit to the Six Points site, was a bursting forth of leaves emerging from a tree stump. A person’s interest in such an image – of leaves bursting profusely out of a stump – can be viewed as corny, or sentimental, or poignant. It can be viewed in any of a number of ways, that is to say, depending on the frame of reference that a person brings to such an image.

I had seen this stump some weeks earlier. I did not recall much in the way of growth on top of the stump, on that occasion. Now, I saw that new growth was bursting forth, in a spectacular fashion. I saw that as a straightforward expression of, and illustration of, the intrinsic enthusiasm of nature. We can frame the image, that is to say, as each of us does please to frame it.


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John Steward of Wiarton has shared some photos of the fire that destroyed the Long Branch Hotel in 1958

Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enrol it further.

Slide 1. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

An earlier post is entitled:

John Stewart of Wiarton has added a comment to a previous post about the 1958 fire at the Long Branch Hotel

John Stewart lived for many years on Arcadian Circle in Long Branch.

I met with John in Long Branch on July 12, 2017, and had the opportunity to scan some slides from the 1958 fire at the Long Branch Hotel. I use an Epson Perfection V550 Photo scanner for my scans of photos and slides. I bought the scanner some years ago, when I was on my way to scan some historic photos in the Quebec Laurentians. On the trip, I had brought along another scanner, but had forgotten to bring along the required cable to connect the scanner to my laptop. (Since then, I’ve used a checklist to keep track of such accessories.)

Slide 2. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enrol it further.

Slide 2. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

I ended up buying, along the way, the scanner that I now use. It’s more of a high-end scanner than scanners I have used in the past. I would not have realized, until I bought this one, how handy it is to have a scanner that works really well, and has a range of functions and capabilities that come in really handy, for scanning photos for this website.

I did not know anything, about how to scan slides, until John Stewart contacted me, and said he had five or six slides, that would be good to add to my posts about the 1958 fire at the Long Branch Hotel. Before John arrived for his visit, I spent some time reading an online instruction manual for the Epson V550 scanner, and got up to speed on how to set it up for the scanning of slides.

I also established the procedure for getting the size of jpeg files, from slides, that would provide sufficient detail, for posting to the Preserved Stories website. I am really pleased, that I now know how to scan slides, as I have plenty of other slides, some of historic interest, that I can now scan, when time permits.

Slide 3. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enrol it further.

Slide 3. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

The slides at the current post were taken by John Stewart’s father, Alex Stewart. I could tell, just by seeing the slides, that Alex was an accomplished and experienced photographer. Among other things, the slides that I scanned today include both establishing shots – that is, shots that take in the whole scene – as well as closer shots providing more detailed views of a given scene.

John Stewart, formerly of Long Branch and for the past about 14 years a resident of Wiarton, Ontario, has also shared with us an aerial photo of Long Branch, taken by his uncle who was a reconnaissance photographer during the Second World War.

As well, John has shared with us a hockey crest from when he played at the artificial ice rink on Arcadian Circle. The rink was originally an open-air facility; the roof was added later.

Slide 4. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enrol it further.

Slide 4. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge further.

Long Branch Hotel burned down in 1958

I was very pleased that John Stewart contacted me, some time back, to ensure I got some of the details correct, regarding the fire at the Long Branch Hotel. During his visit on July 12, 2017, I recorded an interview with John, while I was scanning his slides. It will take me some time to transcribe the interview, and to post it. Rather than waiting for the transcript, which in many cases can take me forever, I am posting the slides today, along with the aerial photo and crest, and will share a few highlights from our interview, based on my recollections (imperfect as my memory of such conversations is) of the interview.

Marie Curtis officially opened Marie Curtis Park

John spoke about the official opening of Marie Curtis Park, which he attended along with other students from James S. Bell School. He said it was a great occasion. Students got some kind of ice cream sandwich or similar treat (as I say, I would have to check the transcript of our conversation, to ensure I have the correct information) for the occasion.

Slide 5. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enrol it further.

Slide 5. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

John was supposed to serve an after-school detention, at the school that day. However, after the event at Marie Curtis Park, at which Marie Curtis herself officiated at the opening ceremony, John decided to skip the trip back to school to serve his detention. After he did not turn up, he received word, very clearly and forcefully expressed, that the skipping of a detention was a very serious matter, that must be dealt with.

John also spoke about the actual day of the fire. He said the fire lasted for a long time. When he had left the school at 3:30 pm that day, he was not immediately aware where the smoke was coming from. At first, he figured it must be a house that was on fire, but as he made his way closer, he realized it was the hotel.

Slide 6. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

Slide 6. Caption details regarding the 1958 fire at Long Branch Hotel will be added down the road. Alex Stewart photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

He mentioned that, after the building had burned down, you could see the thick walls that remained in place, heavily encased in ice from the fire hose (or hoses: I don’t know whether one or several hoses were involved in fighting the fire). You could also see these iron (I think it was iron, that John mentioned) drainage stacks, that were still in place, sticking up in the air, after the embers had died down.

John also attended Parkview School, which is the school whose story got me interested in local history in Long Branch in the first place. John has memories, as he explained in our interview, of the principal at the school, who used to be a teacher at James S. Bell.

Aerial photo of Long Branch, taken by John Stewart's uncle (I will get the name later), who served as a reconnaissance photographer in the Second Wold War. The photo is I think from the 1950s (I will check).

Aerial photo of Long Branch, taken by John Stewart’s uncle (I will get the name later), who served as a reconnaissance photographer in the Second Wold War. The photo is I think from the 1950s (I will check).

View of reverse side of the photo

View of reverse side of photo

Registering a 22-calibre rifle

During the Second World War, or maybe after (again, I will need to check the audio recording that I made, on my Zoom H5 audio recorder), as John explained in our interview, people had to register their firearms.

John’s father had a 22-calible rifle, which he kept disassembled inside a bag. He asked his wife to take the bag, with the gun inside, to the police station at the Village of Long Branch, to get it registered, when she went grocery shopping.

John’s mother took the bag to the police station, and the Police Chief, Smythe, had a look inside the bag. Smythe had a chuckle, and put the parts together. He then gave it back to John’s mother. The latter said (and I paraphrase), “How am I supposed to walk into a grocery store, carrying a rifle?”

Smythe answered, again with a chuckle: “I guess you’ll get your groceries for free, today.”

I asked John to explain. He explained that what Smythe was going on about was the fact that, if you walk into a grocery store carrying a rifle, you can load up all the groceries you want, and nobody is going to ask you to pay. Smythe, as I have heard from many sources, in my interviews over the years, was a man of good humour.

Long Branch Minor Hockey League

The hockey league that got started, around the year (1962-1963) when John was awarded the hockey crest, was a league where all young people, who wanted to play hockey, could play. That is, it wasn’t for only the players who were the most skilled at hockey.

Everybody could play, and enjoy the excitement of the game.

I mentioned to John that 1962-1963 was also the year that I graduated from high school, in Montreal. I mentioned that there is a lot of material, at the Preserved Stories website, about the high school that I attended. I also mentioned that I was able to help out, some years ago, with the organizing of a reunion for the latter high school, in Toronto in 2015.

Championship crest: A prized possession of John Stewart.

Championship crest: A prized possession of John Stewart

Reverse side of crest

Reverse side of crest

I still have videos and photos from the reunion, that I want to get around to posting. Just thinking about is now, as I write this post, is most helpful, as I need reminders now and then about how many projects, that I have begun, remain to be finished, while time and energy remains.

This post has gotten quite long, longer than I had originally anticipated. That will work out well, as I like to have plenty of text in place, so that there is a layout into which the images, chosen for a given post, can fit.

Hockey crest

John Stewart mentioned that he made a point of keeping his Bantam Champions hockey crest in good shape (it looks as good as new), as a cherished keepsake. He decided not to have it sewn onto his hockey sweater. The sweaters were passed down from team to team, over the years. Players did not get to keep the sweaters.

Humber College Fitness Centre

I am also reminded of the fact that, since February 2017, I have been a regular participant at the new Humber College Fitness Centre on Lake Shore Blvd. West near the eastern boundary of the former Village of Long Branch.

I work out regularly at the centre, and have been working out regularly (by way of strength training and cardiovascular fitness) for several decades, at a variety of fitness facilities.

Long Branch Hotel map. Bill Rawson, May 2013

I much enjoy keeping fit, even though I have never been any kind of elite athlete (except maybe in Grade 4, in the estimation of my peers). I just so much enjoy getting exercise, and I am so pleased that I’ve been able to arrange my life, in such a way, that I usually have time to get plenty of exercise every week.

By way of strength training work, I currently work out intensively using three separate workouts, to ensure that the muscles that I’m focusing on have a full week of rest, between workouts. I’m at an intermediate level of strength training. After every six weeks, I take a week off (for less intensive exercise) to ensure that I follow a periodization schedule, which works out better than just working out intensively every week of the year. From time, to time, a person needs a rest. Research indicates that a periodization schedule ensues a person gets optimal, long-term gains from their strength-training workouts.

By way of cardio work, I have a routine where I run at a very fast rate, just about to the limit of my capacity as a runner, for two minutes at a time, after which I walk or run slowly for three minutes – after which I run close to as fast as I can, once again. I go through this routine several times.  At times, the prospect of an upcoming high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session has been daunting, when I think about it early in the day. Once I am warmed up, however, the running gets very easy, and I’m pleased to be involved in such pursuits.

A map from the Long Branch Historical Society shows the shoreline of Lake Ontario as it existed during the years before the Long Branch Hotel burned down.

I have worked out at all kind of places, over the years, including university gyms, commercial gyms, and community gyms. After a while, a person learns so much about how different layouts, how different ways of organizing space in gym facilities, affect the experiences of fitness and strength-training enthusiasts.

I much enjoy the layout and quality of the equipment, as well as the atmosphere at the Humber College (Lakeshore Campus) Fitness Centre. The staff are friendly and enthusiastic, and there’s enough space so that people are not running into each other. I very much like having enough space to move around in. I didn’t realize what a major variable the presence or absence of space, as part of the layout of a training facility, can be.

As well, it’s great to be using a treadmill on the third floor, while observing the lake to the south, and people walking by on Lake Shore Blvd. West.

We owe many thanks to John Stewart for sharing these Long Branch photos with us. Jaan Pill photo

We owe many thanks to John Stewart for sharing these Long Branch photos with us. Jaan Pill photo

It’s my day for an intensive workout today, so I will post the photos and I will be off to the gym.

Note regarding orientation of the colour images, scanned from slides

In the event any of the images at this post have ended up incorrectly flipped from left to right, which can happen when slides are scanned in order to create jpeg files, it’s my hope that in time we will detect any such errors, after which we will correct them.


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Ideology and evidence-based practice

Below are links that may be of interest.

I have long had an interest in evidence and evidence-based practice. The value of evidence has been of interest for me for two reasons. First, in an off-and-on role as a reporter for various publications, I have learned the value of evidence, as it is practised in traditional print journalism.

Secondly, I’ve had the need to rewire my brain for the everyday task of speech production, as I’ve explained elsewhere at this website and elsewhere on the internet. That need led me to an understanding of the value of evidence-based practice in science, medicine, social theory, and in speech pathology.

I am also aware, again, through practical, lived experience, of realms of experience where the frame of reference, or way of seeing, takes precedence over evidence. Under frames of this nature, evidence is either ignored, or evidence that cannot be ignored is inserted into a system of thought, into an orientation toward reality, where the salience of the evidence is irrelevant.

Recent links that relate to ideology and evidence-based practice

The links that I have the pleasure to share, at this post, are the following:

A July 6, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Book That Predicted Trump’s Rise Offers the Left a Roadmap for Defeating Him.”

A July 7, 2017 Brookings Institution article is entitled: “Republicans are victims of a discredited economic ideology.”

A July 10, 2017 Lawfare article is entitled: “What Public Opinion of the Russia Investigations Reveals About Trust in Democratic Institutions.”

A selection of previous posts, at this website, that address ideology and evidence-based practice

We have a white extremism problem, Doug Saunders argues – Globe and Mail, Nov. 12, 2016

Public relations in the United States and China

Erving Goffman’s “total institutions” warrant inclusion in a comprehensive theory of management

Police Use of Force: A Global Perspective (2010). Policing has a relationship to military history.

The above-noted links are a selection, of many that one could choose to include at this post.

I have kept the list brief because there is value, or at least utility, in brevity.

Brevity has value when it prompts a reader to read, and in the process prompts a person to think.

Brevity does not have value when it prompts a person to read, and in the process prompts a person to bypass thinking.


A July 11, 2017 Lawfare article is entitled: “The Wall Begins to Crumble: Notes on Collusion.”

A July 7, 2017 London School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming by Andreas Malm.”

Lest you have the wrong impression of what I’m driving at, and, indeed, where I’m coming from, I am pleased to add that the concluding paragraph notes:

Fossil Capital is a brilliant book that reveals both the value and limits of Marxist insights. Its strength lies in its original account of the birth of the British steam age. But the categories of capital and labour seem too large to organise our understanding of the complexities of our current predicament or to guide our political responses to it. Malm acknowledges that twentieth-century efforts to plan on the scale necessary to manage the transition to renewable energy have failed, but he has no faith in market forces to achieve this objective. Nevertheless, this impressive book should be read by anybody interested in the history of fossil capital.


A Sept. 16, 2016 Columbia Journalism review article is entitled: “Eight Simple Rules for Doing Accurate Journalism: Some new, some old, some wonderfully clichéd.”

A July 10, 2017 Vox article is entitled: “Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care: A new study explains the psychological power — and hard limits — of fact-checking journalism.” An excerpt reads:

This type of exchange — where a journalist fact-checks a powerful figure — is an essential task of the news media. And for a long time, political scientists and psychologists have wondered: Do these fact checks matter in the minds of viewers, particularly those whose candidate is distorting the truth? Simple question. Not-so-simple answer.

In the past, the research has found that not only do facts fail to sway minds, but they can sometimes produce what’s known as a “backfire effect,” leaving people even more stubborn and sure of their preexisting belief.

 But there’s new evidence on this question that’s a bit more hopeful. It finds backfiring is rarer than originally thought — and that fact-checks can make an impression on even the most ardent of Trump supporters.

But there’s still a big problem: Trump supporters know their candidate lies, but that doesn’t change how they feel about him. Which prompts a scary thought: Is this just a Trump phenomenon? Or can any charismatic politician get away with being called out on lies?


An additional excerpt reads:

“People were willing to say Trump was wrong, but it didn’t have much of an effect on what they felt about him,” Nyhan says.

So facts make an impression. They just don’t matter for our decision-making, which is a conclusion that’s abundant in psychology science.


A July 11, 2017 Just Security article is entitled: “As Collusion Evidence Emerges, Obstruction Allegations Begin To Look More Damaging.”

A July 11, 2017 London School of Economics article is entitled: “Book Review: The Financial Imaginary: Economic Mystification and the Limits of Realist Fiction by Alison Shonkwiler.”

Richard Rorty

A July 2017 Los Angeles Review of Books article is entitled: “Conversational Philosophy: A Forum on Richard Rorty.”

The introduction reads:

AFTER DONALD J. TRUMP was elected president of the United States, the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931–2007) returned to the pages of many of the major newspapers of the world as one of the few thinkers who had predicted the election of a “strongman” with Trump’s homophobic and racist features. The relevant passage can be found in the lectures Rorty delivered on the history of leftist thought in 20th-century America at Harvard University in 1997, and published as Achieving Our Country a year later. While reprints of this book were hitting several political philosophy best seller lists, Rorty’s Page-Barbour lectures — titled Philosophy as Poetry — were also released. If in Achieving Our Country, Rorty predicted the election of a right-wing populist, in the latter he stresses how valuable the imagination is for the future of philosophy, which is, in many ways, an imperiled discipline. Although these are not his most important books, they indicate that Rorty was a philosopher ahead of his time, a philosopher for the future.

The goal of this forum is not simply to remember Rorty 10 years after he passed away on the June 8, 2007, but also to continue the conversation which he urged all philosophers to pursue. I have invited Marianne Janack, María Pía Lara, Eduardo Mendieta, and Martin Woessner to cover specific aspects of Rorty’s thought, including feminism, social hope, and post-truth. Their concise contributions underscore the significance of Rorty’s writings for the 21st century. My introduction recalls important moments of the American thinker’s life as well as his outstanding contribution to continental philosophy.

— Santiago Zabala


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Support the OHS Crowdfunding Campaign for the John McKenzie House; Message forwarded by Geoff Kettel

I am sharing the following email message because I support this project.

I have not worked (except in a small way) at the HTML formatting for this message, because I am about to go for a workout and I am not keen to spend time at a formatting task. In the event you would like to help out by way of crowdfunding, it will be great if you can help out, in whichever way you can.


The following unformatted message is from Geoff Kettel <> of Toronto; I met Geoff years ago at a Heritage Toronto event; I am very impressed with his persistent, focused, and dedicated volunteer efforts on behalf of community-driven, local and city-wide heritage interests in Toronto.


From Sarah McCabe, Ontario Historical Society

For a few decades now, the Ontario Historical Society has collaborated with a national partner, The National Trust for Canada (formerly The Heritage Canada Foundation), on many different national initiatives. I’m very pleased to inform you that our headquarters, the historic John McKenzie House, in Willowdale, has been chosen by the Trust for its 2017 “This Place Matters” competition for the category Small (under $60,000) National Projects. As you know, the OHS stopped the demolition of the main house, milk house, stable and coach house in 1992 and has ever since been responsible for restoration and maintenance expenses. Crowd-sourcing is a new fundraising initiative for us. You can really help us by logging in and registering a vote each day (24 hour cycle) until the competition ends. I have voted every day and intend to vote each day until July 17th. Further details below.

Thanks and have a great week.



Sarah McCabe

Project Manager and Librarian | The Ontario Historical Society

34 Parkview Ave., Willowdale, ON M2N 3Y2 | (416) 226-9011

Follow the OHS on Twitter @OntarioHistory and Facebook


As you may know, the OHS is participating in a crowdfunding campaign for the John McKenzie House, organized by The National Trust for Canada. The campaign is titled This Place Matters (2017).

We have set the fundraising goal at $15,000 and have approximately a month (i.e. until mid-July) to raise this amount. Once you go through the straightforward registration process (link below), you can vote for this project once every 24 hours.


Go to and click “Vote Now” on the right side of the page.

If you have not registered, you will be asked to register and confirm your registration through e-mail; NOTE: If you don’t see the confirmation e-mail, check the junk/spam folder.

Once you are registered/verified, repeat Step 1 to log in.

If you end up on a different page after logging in, go back to the project page (the link in Step 1).

Click on “Vote Now” to cast your vote.

Visit every 24 hours to continue voting.

You can also make a financial donation and receive a charitable tax receipt. The amount you donate will also translate into votes for OHS i.e. 1 vote for every dollar donated. Of course, the more votes we have, the more likely it is that we can draw the attention of potential supporters.

Please help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter as well! Share our Facebook post and Twitter post with your family and friends.

The money will be used to continue the restoration and maintenance of the John McKenzie House. Another key objective of this project is to increase on-site accessibility to the house for all community members. We have already secured half the funding needed to complete this particular restoration project, and we need your help in raising the rest.

Please remember to vote every 24 hours. Please also circulate this link in your mailing lists and social media networks so that we can reach as many people as possible.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my colleagues: e-mail Daniel Dishaw ( and/or Hassam Munir ( or phone (416) 226-9011/tollfree:1.866.955.2755

On Behalf Of The Ontario Historical Society

Subject: This Place Matters: Restoring and Rebuilding the John McKenzie House

This Place Matters, 2017

The National Trust for Canada

Support the OHS Crowdfunding Campaign for the John McKenzie House

Help us get the ball rolling and show the rest of the country that this place matters!

GOAL: $15,000

Every dollar raised counts as a vote for the John McKenzie House Restoration Project – Every time you click “VOTE NOW” the project gains a vote. You can vote once every 24 hours.

As many of you know, for over 25 years the Ontario Historical Society (OHS) has worked to restore, maintain, and protect this provincial heritage landmark, located in Willowdale, Ontario. Since saving the John McKenzie House from demolition in 1992, the OHS has invested over $1.18M toward its restoration.

Community members and local groups have come to rely on this stunning, three-storey Edwardian home as a place to meet, connect, and host a variety of community events.

We need your help to continue the process! A heritage restoration of the kitchen and the ground-level hardwood flooring is just one of several projects that would serve to restore the heritage character of the house, while also increasing on-site accessibility for all community members. The OHS has already secured half the funding needed for these projects and we need your help in raising the rest.


Copyright © 2017 The Ontario Historical Society, All rights reserved.

OHS Members and Friends

Our mailing address is:

The Ontario Historical Society

34 Parkview Avenue

Willowdale, Ontario M2N 3Y2


Add us to your address book

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ACO newsletter: CBC Radio’s Day Six examines how remnants of Canada’s first Parliament Buildings unearthed under Toronto car wash

The image is from the CBC Day Six article, for which a link is included at the post you are now reading. Caption: A computer-generated image shows what the two brick buildings of Upper Canada's first Parliament would have looked like in the early 1800s. (Robert Grillo/ASI)

The image is from the CBC Day Six article, for which a link is included at the post you are now reading. Caption: “A computer-generated image shows what the two brick buildings of Upper Canada’s first Parliament would have looked like in the early 1800s. (Robert Grillo/ASI).” Click on the image to enlarge it.

The following item is from a recent newsletter, available at this link, of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario:

CBC Radio’s Day Six examines how remnants of Canada’s first Parliament Buildings were found underneath a Toronto car wash

The car wash and dealership at King and Parliament Streets has long been known as the site where Upper Canada’s first Parliament Buildings once stood. But those buildings burned down twice, and it wasn’t known if any remnants remained. In the year 2000, archaeologist Ron Williamson’s firm, Archaeological Services Inc., was hired by the City of Toronto to determine if any of the original brick buildings had survived. The subsequent excavation was spurred on in part by Rollo Myers, local history activist and the former manager of Architectural Conservancy Ontario, who investigated historic documents in depth, used 3D modeling to predict the location of possible remains, and pushed the City to investigate. In October of that year, Williamson’s team discovered charred floorboards, limestone footings and fragments of ceramics, during an investigative dig.

You can read the CBC article and listen to the full interview with Ron and Rollo here:



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