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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Some links regarding empathy

At a page at this website dealing with mindfulness meditation, I’ve shared a comment about empathy. In order to bring attention to the comment, I have created the current blog post. The comment reads:

Empathy

A July 12, 2012 Wired article is entitled: “Compassion over empathy could help prevent emotional burnout.”

A June 3, 2013 Harvard University Press article is entitled: “Is Empathy Bad?

A Sept. 10, 2014 Boston review article is entitled: “Against Empathy.”

A Jan. 4, 2017 CBC The Current article is entitled: “Against Empathy: Yale psychology professor says too much emotion leads to bad moral decisions.”

A Feb. 14, 2017 Science of Us article is entitled: “Rich People Literally See the World Differently.”

A March 1, 2017 Scientific American article is entitled: “Too Much Emotional Intelligence Is a Bad Thing: Profound empathy may come at a price.”

A June 24, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “‘It’s a superpower’: meet the empaths paid to read your mind: They feel your pain as if it were their own – and charge you £200 an hour to do so. Why has empathy become such a prized commodity?”

An excerpt reads:

The authors noted the correlation between the fall in empathy and the rise in narcissism, and suggested the emphasis neoliberal economics places on individualism as one likely explanation.

[End]

A second excerpt reads:

It is not only humans who are capable of the most sophisticated consolatory form of empathy. As the primatologist Frans de Waal has noted, chimpanzees will take special care when grooming a mother who has lost her child. But empathy isn’t always a predictor of the best moral outcomes. Like chimpanzees (with whom we share 98% of our DNA), our conceptions of selfishness and selflessness tend to relate to our own particular in-group. Studies have shown that the brain’s empathy circuits fire less when we observe pain in someone of a different race, social class, political persuasion, or even a supporter of a rival football team. The child psychologist Paul Bloom has argued that for this reason, empathy alone is not a reliable way of coming to a moral decision: “It can motivate cruelty and aggression, and lead to burnout and exhaustion.”

[End]

Comment

An underlying subtext concerns the question of who benefits – and what worldview and mindset benefits – from the denigration of empathy? A related question concerns evidence-based practice, as it relates to the topic of empathy. To what extent are we dealing with facts, when we talk about empathy, and to what extent are we dealing with framing?

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015)

I much enjoy the following overview (p. 280; I’ve broken the original, longer paragraph into shorter ones) from Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015) regarding “the worst approach to empathy”; the quoted text from the book goes as follows:

Beyond his time in the KGB, Vladimir Putin has no firsthand experience of Western society. To assume that he does, and that he should think like us or even understand how we think, is an example of what U.S. scholar Zachary Shore – in his 2014 book, A Sense of the Enemy: The High-Stakes History of Reading Your Rival’s Mind – describes as “simulation theory.”

We ask ourselves what we would do in another per­son’s position, but this is “unfortunately, the worst approach to empathy because it assumes that others will think and act as we do, and too often they don’t.” [62] As we have pointed out in earlier chapters, Putin’s under­standing – in the Russian context – of how the free market works or should work is very different from a U.S. or European perspective. It was informed by his experience growing up in the Soviet Union and working in St. Petersburg as deputy mayor, as well as by his studies in the KGB and life in Dresden when the East German economy was in shambles. Putin’s conception of democratic politics, or at least what he views as democratic politics, was filtered by his experience in the German Demo­cratic Republic, and then in the rough-and-tumble of post-Soviet Russian politics in St. Petersburg and later in Moscow.

[End]

 

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A message from Sheila Dai, reaching out to friends of her brother Jenning Dai

Jenning Dai (MCHS ’63 – 11B)

A May 31, 2014 blog post at the Preserved Stories website, a post that many people connected with Malcolm Campbell High School have read, is entitled:

Jenning Dai (MCHS ’63) tragically passed away 50 years ago this month (May 1964)

At the latter post, Sheila Dai has posted the following comment, which I am featuring as a separate post, in order to bring attention to it:

I searched the internet for a picture of my brother and just happened to come across this blog. I am so touched that a number of my brother’s close friends still remember him to this day and all of your comments brought back a flood of memories. I treasure the short time he was in my life. My parents adored him.

I would love to hear from all of you and hope this reaches you. We’re living in Rhode Island now but still have NY ties and still close enough to visit Montreal from time to time.

Please let me know how you are doing.

[End]

If you would like to get in touch with Sheila, and let her know how you are doing, as Sheila has requested.

If you wish to contact Sheila by email, please send me an email at jpill@preservedstories.com and I will pass your message along to her.

Alternatively, please feel free to make comments at the blog post you are now reading.

I will endeavour, as well, to pass along Facebook messages, from the Facebook Groups that function as an online forum for students from Malcolm Campbell High School (from the 1960s into the 1980s) in Montreal.

MCHS yearbooks DVD

I would also like to remind MCHS grads (or children or grandchildren of grads) that a DVD of MCHS yearbooks from 1962-63 to 1973-1974 was put together for the MCHS 2015 Sixties Reunion that took place in Toronto in October 2015. People from across North America worked together to create PDF scans of each of the above-noted yearbooks.

If you would like a copy, please contact me at jpill@preservedstories.com. We have sent out quite a number of these. In return, we ask for a suggested donation of $5 to cover the costs. People have been very conscientious in helping out with covering of the costs. We much appreciate that assistance.

 

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Five steps to have a successful conversation based on research from the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Sketchnote by @ImpactWales

DC6DhvtXgAI0U_v

 

The image is from a June 22, 2017 tweet from

Helen Bevan‏ @helenbevan

Five steps to have a successful conversation based on research from the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Sketchnote by @ImpactWales

[End]

 

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How Mississauga’s historic Small Arms Building was saved from demolition years ago

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Inspection Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo. Click on this and other photos to enlarge them. Click again to enlarge the image further.

DSC_0239

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo.

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

I was really pleased to have the opportunity, at a Small Arms Building groundbreaking ceremony on June 17, 2017, to record interviews about the steps – initiated when a Lakeview resident had seen a demolition truck at the gate of the building site – that saved the Small Arms Building from demolition several years ago.

As the result of a serendipitous observation by a local resident – by a person who happened to be at the right place at the right time – the Lakeview community was able to quickly take steps that eventually led to the designation, in 2009, of the building under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The latter provincial legislation deals with heritage buildings that are worth saving because of their cultural heritage value or interest.

The first – and crucial – step in the designation process was to keep the building from being demolished in the first place. In this case, it was a close call.

I have heard many, many stories in recent years about how the building came to be saved.

As with any story that is told by those of us not directly involved with the topic at hand, with constant retelling details in these kinds of stories tend to change.

This is akin to a process whereby human memories – in the absence of verifiable, corroborated documentation – can be viewed as malleable, capable of being stretched or bent into different shapes with the passage of the years.

When local history stories are based on second-hand accounts, inaccuracies can arise as the stories are repeated (including in published accounts), as I have noted in following local history stories in Mississauga and Etobicoke in recent years.

By way of example, with regard to the near-demolition of the Small Arms Building, I have heard reference to “a bulldozer that had appeared at the site.”

In fact, I have spoken about such a bulldozer myself, at this website, repeating a story I had heard. I have also heard a reference to “a wrecking ball that was about to do its work.”

At the June 17, 2017 groundbreaking ceremony, I had the opportunity to discuss what in fact happened, that enabled the building to be saved from demolition.

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Transcript of brief interview based on a resident’s first-hand observation

A lightly edited transcript of a June 17, 2017 discussion with a Lakeview resident reads as follows.

Lakeview resident: So, what happened was … Jim Tovey was involved with the Heritage Mississauga board at that time, and I’d heard that the building, which I drove by all the time, had this wonderful heritage aspect.

And that they were thinking of trying to get something together, to preserve the building.

And then there was one morning, I was driving … [by the corner of Lakeshore Road East and Dixie], [when I saw] a well-know wrecking company, with a truck, that was pulled up to the gate and waiting to go into the site.

And I just, like, I went home and I said, “Well, they’re trying to save that. What’s going on? Now, is this in imminent danger of being torn down?”

And then we phoned Jim Tovey, who like I said was on the Heritage Mississauga board. And so, within – he just somehow, working his magic, it just stopped right then, and the building was saved.

And, it was very serendipitous. I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I knew who to call. My only little part, but it took – that’s what it was.

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

[End]

Truck from a wrecking company, with a huge dumpster on the back

A truck from a well-known wrecking company, with a huge dumpster on the back, is what caught the resident’s attention, on the day in question.

In additional comments on June 17, 2017, the resident noted that “there’s some various versions of the story going around. But it wasn’t actually a wrecking ball. It was actually a truck with one of the huge dumpsters on the back. And like I said, there was a well-know company name [of a wrecking company] on the truck. Which made me go, ‘Okay, this isn’t something – Something’s wrong here.'”

A story that warrants celebration

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

Groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017. Jaan Pill photo

I am aware of many instances, for example in Etobicoke in the 1950s and in more recent years, when it was known that a particular building had heritage value, but the demolition was completed before steps could be taken to save it. The back story related to the Small Arms Building in Mississauga, which I describe at the post you are now reading, represents an instance where such a demolition was prevented, thanks to a timely, serendipitous observation by an attentive and resourceful local resident.

This is a story that warrants celebration. As well, thanks to a first-hand account from a reliable source, we now have definitive – accurate and verifiable – information about how the preservation of the building came about.

Small Arms Building & Inspiration Lakeview

Click here for previous posts about the Small Arms Building >

Click here for previous posts about Inspiration Lakeview >

 

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Marlene Slotin writes: Does anyone remember these details from Ville St. Laurent in the 1950s?

I very much like how this website occasionally serves as a networking resource.

A previous post is entitled:

We’ve had many comments in response to Graeme Decarie’s Bois Franc question

At the previous post, Marlene Slotin has shared a comment, which I’d like to present as a separate post, in order to bring attention to it:

June 17th 2017 Does anyone remember the following..I grewup in Ville st. laurent in the 50’s. My father was a jewish peddler with canadian outfitting co. on st. laurent..the main. I attended beth ora synagogue with rabbi morris halpern in the 60’s. I went to sir winston churchill high school in the 60’s. I lived on valade st. corner st. louis. My best friend was beverely nermeroff & candy fisher.

[End]

 

 

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Lively, well-attended groundbreaking ceremony at Small Arms Building, June 17, 2017

A well-attended June 17, 2017 event at the historic Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga began with a series of lively presentations, followed by a most enjoyable groundbreaking ceremony.

The ceremony marks the beginning of the repurposing of the historic Small Arms Building as a creative hub, which – as noted in a 2017 City of Mississauga news release – “will support community, culture, arts, and heritage uses.”

 

Technical note

On a future occasion, I’ll bring along a tripod to steady my camera when using telephoto during a recording such as this one. I am learning as I go.

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill photo

 

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The OMB took this 9 Meaford Ave. photo montage as evidence; Committee of Adjustment rejected it out of hand

The OMB took this 9 Meaford Ave. photo montage as evidence.

The Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment had rejected it out of hand.

The Committee has made a point of consistently rejecting such mock ups, prepared by residents.

In the subjective view of the Chair of the Committee, expressed on a number of occasions, such mock ups have no value whatever.

We as residents are most fortunate that the OMB is willing to consider such images as valid evidence.

The 9 Meaford OMB decision is accessible here:

PL161048-JUN-13-2017

This is a point to keep in mind: There is tremendous value – depending on the circumstances – in preparing such material, when residents are presenting their views to decision-makers with regard to “Minor Variance” proposals.

C3r4ZM0VYAAdayp.jpg-large

 

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Seeking old address for Crystal Springs Elementary School on Mistral St in Montreal

The following message is from Dawn; please contact me if you can help with information:

Hi,

My Dad went to Crystal Springs Elementary School on Mistral St in
Montreal. I know that it is no longer there but I was looking for an
old address for the school. Or the address now of where the school
used to be located. I’m putting a compilation of old schools my
father attended together even if they are not there anymore for a
fathers day gift.

If you have any information on the location of this school it would be
super helpful!!!

Thanks 🙂

 

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City of Mississauga kicks off rehabilitation of Small Arms Building; official ceremony begins 11:00 am, June 17, 2017

Military history mural at front of Small Arms Building, which was designated as a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009, as a result of a community initiative led by Jim Tovey who now serves as Ward 1 Councillor in Mississauga. The mural has since been moved to the inside of the building. The temporary wall at the left of the photo, protecting the site of the Hanlan Water Project, has now been removed. Jaan Pill photo

Hanlan Water Project site is located just east of the Small Arms Building. Jaan Pill photo

A Hanlan Water Project construction site is located just east of the Small Arms Building. Work at the site has been completed. Jaan Pill photo – Oct. 29, 2016

In situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ event at Small Arms Building, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

View of Small Arms Building in Mississauga: Corner of Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East. Jaan Pill photo

View of Small Arms Building in Mississauga: Corner of Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. The display is from the TRCA / Sawmill Sid portable sawmilling project behind the Small Arms Building. The project is repurposing trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer. Jaan Pill photo

Click here for previous posts about the Small Arms Building >

Click here for previous posts about postwar emergency housing (in vicinity of Small Arms Building and elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Region) >

 

Tweet from Mayor Crombie

I learned about the June 17, 2017 event from a recent tweet from City of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie:

Bonnie Crombie @BonnieCrombie

Groundbreaking to kick off @citymississauga Small Arms rehabilitation project set for June 17 at 11 am. http://ow.ly/q9Z830cAe9v #Canada150

[End]

The link at the tweet refers to the following June 14, 2017 news release at the City of Mississauga website:

City of Mississauga Kicks off Rehabilitation of Small Arms Inspection Building

Details include:

Date:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Time:

Official ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
Following the ceremony, a tree planting will take place to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Light refreshments to follow.

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. Jaan Pill photo

In Situ, Oct. 29, 2016. The image at the centre of the photo makes evocative, engaging use of perspective cues to represent a hallway at the Small Arms Building. The paintings on display at In Situ were of high quality; I look forward to seeing additional displays of such paintings. Jaan Pill photo

Where:

Small Arms Inspection Building
1352 Lakeshore Rd. E.
Mississauga, ON

[MAP]

Parking:

Available at 1345 Lakeshore Rd. E., on the northwest corner of Lakeshore Rd.E. and Dixie Rd.

Background:

Constructed in 1941, the Small Arms Inspection Building is an industrial facility that was part of the former Small Arms Ltd. munitions factory complex that operated on the Arsenal Lands. The Small Arms Building and Arsenal Lands were acquired by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in 1992, with a portion of the lands and building conveyed to the City of Mississauga in 2017. The City designated the building as being of cultural heritage value or interest under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009.

[End]

Comment

It may be noted that it was on the initiative of Lakeview residents that the Small Arms Building was saved from demolition and was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The presence of a bulldozer at the site, some time prior to the series of steps leading to designation of the building, was an event that galvanized and mobilized the local community.

With the leadership of Jim Tovey (now Ward 1 Councillor, and at that time the president of the Lakeview Ratepayers Association), the Lakeview community at  once took steps – through immediate, high-level communications with the City of Mississauga – to ensure that the bulldozer would not initiate a demolition of the building.

This was a case when, through a combination of fortuitous circumstances, the presence of a bulldozer at the site of a heritage building did not lead to the process of destruction that was about to be completed. This event – the presence of the bulldozer and the actions taken by the local community – is a key back story related to the Small Arms Building, and the Official Ceremony that is taking place on June 17, 2017.

 

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Twins of the Second World War: Guest post by Bob Carswell (my friend from elementary school and high school days in Montreal)

Twins of the Second World War: The Shortt Stirling Bomber

The evolution of the treatment of identical twins during WWII came about due to perceived value in treating them as one unit. In the first years of WWII they were separated and expected to do their best based on individual merits.

In one family, two sets of fraternal twins went to war, one as a motorcycle rider, another as a private in the infantry, a third as a member joined the forestry team and the last was a rear gunner in a bomber. The infantryman was wounded, survive and returned to battle the first twin to die. The rear gunner also died in the war.

Shortt Stirling Bomber. Photo credit will be added; as a rule I do not use photos without credits; in this case a temporary exception is made.

Shortt Stirling Bomber. Photo credit will be added; as a rule I do not use photos without credits; in this case a temporary exception is made.

Two twins, each having lost a brother returned to Canada. Moving from Ontario to the West Coast, one became a paraplegic as a result of an industrial accident. His brother, always the laziest of the bunch ended up moving west to join his brother but actually seemed to be there to take advantage of the situation. These were not identical twins which will account for their behaviour patterns and different choices.

In another case, a pair of identical twin brothers went to war as early bomber pilots flying the massive Shortt Stirling bomber, the first four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. Flying with a crew of seven, a total of 2,371 of this bomber type were built. It first flew in May, 1939.

In late 1943 it was relegated to second line duties as a tow tug for gliders, transport airplanes and the like. Its one great advantage was that it could carry up to 14,000 lbs of bombs, double that of any bomber to follow putting it in a class of its own. During WWII, the Stirling flew a total of 14,500 sorties during which 27,000 tons of bombs were dropped. A total of 119 bombers were written off the books while another 582 were lost in combat. Two pilots of Stirlings were posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Twin brothers left an important mark as bomber pilots only to lose their lives in different situations. During WWII a total of 28 RAF squadrons flew the Stirling. To this day, attempts are being made to reconstruct the bomber without blueprints. However, the task is a mighty one and may not ever see completion.

[End]

A note from Jaan Pill regarding sources and citations

I have checked with Bob Carswell regarding sources and citations for his stories. From his responses, I have the sense that he has sound sources to back up his stories.  I will share some of the sources when time permits. As a rule, I like to ensure that when statements of any kind appear at this website, there is sufficient citation of sources to give readers a sense of the origin of the statement. In the case of photos, I make an effort to ensure that whatever is posted has a caption and a photo credit.

 

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