Preserved Stories Blog

MCHS bio for: Barbara Sayfy, class of ’70

Barbara Sayfy, class of ’70

Barbara Sayfy, in a photo from when she was 17

I graduated from MCHS in 1970 and went onto Dawson CEGEP for a 3 year Business Administration program.

Raised in Montreal (lived in Ahuntsic and then in New Bordeaux living on Joseph Casavant Street). I have two older siblings – our family is now split from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal. My niece and nephew are growing their families in Vancouver and I do get out there at least once a year but back to Montreal quite often (speeding along the 401!) to spend time with my senior Mom – she is aging gracefully at 91.

The family (that is me and my older brother who lives in Beaconsfield) is currently looking into alternate housing for her as this summer posed some medical challenges for Mom. As you can imagine, life is busy for all of us!

After graduation in 1973 from CEGEP, I joined a large financial institution on St. Jacques (BMO Bank of Montreal) in old Montreal and spent the majority of my career in that organization as an Executive Assistant. I accepted a transfer to Toronto in 1981 and have been living in Etobicoke all these years. For the majority working in downtown Toronto locations, but now not enjoying the long commute.

My career took a turn twice in that I followed an Executive to a trust company in 1988 but then returned to BMO in 1994 (after this trust company was merged with a large life insurance company) and then I left BMO in the spring of 2008.

Plan International Canada Inc.

I have supported numerous Presidents during my career but have found the ideal position these past six years working at Plan International Canada Inc. – one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Plan Canada has only one agenda – to improve the lives of children.

I have been very fortunate to support an amazing female executive who has grown the revenues substantially. I also manage the Board process and enjoy working alongside the Board members who hold voluntary positions with our organization. A rewarding position as I consider this to be my last full time employment as retirement awaits me in a few years!!!

My work week stems anywhere from 40 hours to 50 hours and am often tied to the ’blackberry’ but luckily my assistant also enjoys what she does and we are quite the team. – check out the website.

Lac Simon

Our family still owns a ‘cottage’ on Lac Simon (Cheneville, QC) which is located northwest of Montreal and I do spend as much time there as possible during the summer. I believe my MCHS yearbook entry mentions the lake but also mentions that my aim was to marry a millionaire.

Well - that never happened!

Moving to Toronto back in the early 80′s, I lost touch with many of my high school friends but I did reconnect with a few of the gals two years ago by chance running into one of them at my office lobby and have sent them the notice for this 60′s reunion. Luckily, I met Heather Liddell just by chance as well at one of our Condo meetings when she was running for the Board. We are now good friends and neighbours.


Posted in MCHS 60s Biographies & Histories, Newsletter, Toronto | 3 Comments

Join David Juliusson for Culture Days bike ride: From Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, 2014, Culture Days will be held in South Etobicoke.

David Juliusson recently circulated a text about an upcoming event, which I am pleased to share with you:

From September 26 till 28th, Culture Days will be held in South Etobicoke. More than 80 events are planned to celebrate the unique former communities of Long Branch, New Toronto and Mimico.

One event will be a public piazza at Islington and Lake Shore. Community leaders have long envisioned a public square there and for one weekend there will be.

Community groups will have booths where wide ranging topics such as better transit to local history can be explored. This will be the meeting place for a bike ride of the area.

History of New Toronto

Meeting at 1 PM, we will explore the history of New Toronto. It is unique. Early on railways and local industry provided a solid economic base that attracted people to live in the area. Many residents still live and work locally. The amenities soon followed.

Today, New Toronto still has a unique feel. From the Beaux-Arts Revival building to its beautiful waterfront parks, to its strong artistic community to its remaining workers cottages, New Toronto is a community worth exploring. A bicycle is a great way to do so.

The ride is open to anyone and suitable for all ages. A part of will be on Lakeshore, but the majority is on designated bike paths, the Waterfront Trail or quiet back streets.

Come ride with us and explore our community.

[End of text from David Juliusson]


Posted in Historiography, Long Branch, New Toronto, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Fort York Visitor Centre exhibit includes photos of the Long Branch Aerodrome and aerial shots of Long Branch

I was very pleased to recently receive emails from David Juliusson and Michael Harrison in connection with John Boyd’s album of First World War photographs.

You can access the album at the Toronto Archives at this link.

When you click on the photos they don’t enlarge very well but you do get a general idea of their content. I would enjoy being able to post individual shots but I do not have time, for the next while, to organize the process of tracking down the requisite jpeg files. If anybody can help with the latter process, let me know at

Michael Harrison notes that if you want to see the photos up close, your best bet is to visit the Fort York Visitor Centre.

“As part of the exhibit they have a reproduction of the above which includes photos of the Long Branch Aerodrome and aerial shots of Long Branch.”

I very much appreciate knowing about these photos. The topic of local history as it relates to the First World War is of much interest to me.


Posted in Communications, Historiography, Long Branch, Military history, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

You are cordially invited to attend a great series of talks about 13 Villa Road on Sept. 18, 2014 at the Committee of Adjustment at the Etobicoke Civic Centre. After 1:00 pm

Eight residents at Villa Road and Fortieth Street have prepared and rehearsed a great series of evidence-based, 5-minute talks, each addressing an entirely separate theme related to our objections to the proposed severance of 13 Villa Road.

The speakers will deliver solid evidence, related to the Official Plan, presented crisply and with passion.

Over 20 letters in opposition from the residents directly affected by the severance and variance proposals

We have submitted over 20 letters in opposition, from Villa Road, Fortieth Street, and James Street, to the proposed severance and variances.

If you wish to see the letters and accompanying documentation, please visit the Committee of Adjustment offices, next to the Etobicoke Civic Centre on the Fourth Floor, and request to see the three folders related to 13 Villa Road.

We strongly encourage you to attend this meeting

We encourage you to attend the Sept. 18, 2014 Committee of Adjustment meeting, if time permits in your schedule.

The meeting is at the Council Chambers,
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall

Contact us if you need a ride

If anybody needs a ride, please let me know at

We have arranged for rides for a couple of our long-time residents, among them a resident who has lived on Villa Road for over 70 years, and will be pleased to arrange for additional rides.

Bring snacks and water

We start at 1:00 pm; the proceedings will be several hours. We recommend taking snacks and water to drink.

Let me know if you have questions.

Please share this message with any fellow resident who may be interested, including a neighbour who may be facing a similar variance application or OMB hearing on their street.

As residents of the City of Toronto, we have much to learn from each other. There is much value in comparing notes. All of us have to work together.

The fact we have social media is very helpful now, because we can compare notes and we can work very quickly.

Please contact me if you have an interest in sharing information, or consulting with us, regarding any of these topics. Send me an email at – that’s the fastest and surest way to get in touch with me.


Posted in Communications, Construction, Historiography, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Torontoist article: Meet a Council Candidate: Russ Ford, Ward 6 – Snapshots of candidates running for city council in 2014.

Image courtesy of the Russ Ford campaign

The following text is from a Sept. 16, 2014 Torontoist article.

Candidate: Russ Ford (age 60)

Ward: Ward 6 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), currently represented by Mark Grimes, who is running for his fourth term.

Background: Ford is on leave from the LAMP Community Health Centre, a non-profit that provides health services to the community, where he is executive director. Its health programming includes recreation programs, a drop-in program for homeless people, harm reduction, and clinical services for people who do not have OHIP. During Ford’s tenure at LAMP, the organization’s budget has grown from $2 million to $13 million. Ford also worked for 10 years in the policy and planning department of the City of Toronto.

He is married and has two adult children, and in his spare time likes playing sports and watching documentaries. He makes it clear that he is not related in any way to the more famous political candidates named Ford.

On why he’s running for council: “I’m running for council to change the agenda of City Hall. I think Toronto wants a progressive council. I’m running here because of my roots in the community and this is one of the few wards where we can actually make a change from a Rob Ford stalwart to a progressive councillor.”

On ward priorities: “What we have is a situation where condos are getting built, and there is no public investment in the infrastructure of the city. It’s causing major problems. And transit down here is just craziness, on Lake Shore Boulevard. People can’t get past their street to get onto the Gardiner. There has been zero planning. In fact, Councillor Grimes tried to move a motion to give developers an incentive to build condos along the waterfront, to which [City Planner] Jennifer Keesmaat said, ‘I think building on the waterfront is the incentive.’ There’s no child care centres, there’s no schools, there’s no public infrastructure to support an increasingly large population. That is a major issue.” Ford also said there’s a need for better constituent outreach and service.

For City services, what are the nice-to-haves versus the must-haves?“I think you have to take an equity perspective to it. I think you look at everything and say, ‘Does this make the city more or less equitable?’ If it doesn’t meet that measure, then it’s a nice-to-have. But we need support. The income gap in this city is obviously increasing, and it creates a number of social issues in this city which the City has basically ignored.

It applies to transit, for example. You look at the Scarborough extension versus the proposed LRT. The proposed LRT in Scarborough went to a number of low-income communities. Obviously, the Scarborough subway extension does not do that. So from an equity point of view—and low-income people are higher users, as a percentage, of public services, like transit—from an equity perspective alone the LRT makes so much more sense. Forget the financial stuff, although there, of course, the LRT makes more sense, too.”

Why Ward 6 should be angry with the Ford era: “They should be angry because the agenda of Rob Ford is anti-community. You look at the voting record, the budget where they tried to cut services for people. This phoney notion that the City was in financial turmoil when they came to power—it’s ridiculous. By law, the City cannot run a deficit. The City of Toronto never has a deficit. He used that right-wing mantra to try to cut very important services to people, and also I think it was extremely mean-spirited.

I’ll give you two examples. Attempting to cut the Christmas Bureau. Only affects low income kids, it means nothing to the City budget. They tried to impose a tax on garbage collection on charities and churches. Again, minimal impact on the city budget. But it’s indicative of an anti-community spirit. People in this area—across the city—voted for Rob Ford, because he came across as the common man. Well, Rob Ford is not the common man, nor does his agenda advocate for the common man. I’m hearing it at the door, because my name is Ford. Many people say, ‘You’re with the mayor,’ and I say, ‘No, no, ironically my name is Ford, I’m the anti-Ford candidate, and ironically I’m running against one of his biggest supporters.’ When people hear that they go, ‘Oh, thank God,’ and I get the vote.”

What’s the most overlooked issue at City Hall? “The biggest overlooked broad issue is poverty and income disparity. There are some councillors who support it, there are reports that come out. But when you look at, for example, David Hulchanski’s report on the Three Torontos [PDF], if you read that and you’re not alarmed by where this city is heading, you must have ice water in the veins.”


Posted in Newsletter, Toronto, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toronto Hydro Customer Alert: Criminals continue posing as utility employees and seeking payment over the phone

You can read the Aug. 27, 2014 CNW news release here.

The opening paragraphs of the Toronto Hydro Customer Alert, which is related to the topic of scams and scamming, discussed elsewhere at the Preserved Stories website, read as follows:

  • TORONTO, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW/ – Toronto Hydro customers should be aware of criminals claiming to be part of its collection and billing department. Toronto Hydro is aware of this scam and reminds customers to report any suspicious phone calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
  • According to the reports, customers are receiving phone calls from people claiming to be from the ”Toronto Hydro Billing and Collection Process.” The calls are being made from a 1-800 phone number and victims are being threatened with having their electricity disconnected if they do not immediately provide payment in the form of a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.  Do not provide any personal information including your account number.
  • Should customers receive a suspicious call, contact Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre immediately at 1-888-495-8501 and quote file number 844396.

[End of excerpt]


Posted in Newsletter, Scams and scamming, Toronto | Leave a comment

Sept. 20, 2014: Join Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, in re-enacting the first day of his 1793 journey up the Toronto Carrying Place (close to venue for MCHS Sixties Reunion)

The following information is from David Juliusson who shares this note:

“Madeleine is the expert on the Carrying Place and the original portage trails along the Humber.”

I’ve included this item in the military history category – as well as in the Malcolm Campbell High School category. The latter inclusion is because our MCHS Sixties Reunion on Oct. 17, 2015 will take place at Old Mill Toronto, located by the historic Humber River.

Message forwarded by David Juliusson:


Join Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, in reenacting the first day of his 1793 journey up the Toronto Carrying Place.

Saturday September 20th, 2014 assembling at the Rousseaux Site, by the Humber,
9:00 A.M., departing 9:30 (parking area south of 8 South Kingsway, Petro Canada Station).

Ending at the Governor’s 1793 camp site at Eglinton and the Humber River.

Colin Heath, Past President of the Simcoe Branch of the United Empire Loyalists, is the Gov. and Historical commentary by guide Madeleine McDowell.

no charge.

Here’s the poster:

The image, drawing of John Graves Simcoe, is included with the poster.






 9:30 A.M.


Early drop off at Etienne Brule Park


Info: 416-767-7633

This year marks the two hundred and twenty-first anniversary of the expedition.


The year 1793 also marks the year in which Colonel Samuel Smith acquired, as part of a land grant, all of what is now Long Branch (Toronto) alone with land extending beyond that.


Posted in MCHS 60s Biographies & Histories, Military history, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Bob Carswell from MCHS has shared a delightful update

Bob Carswell has shared a delightful comment at another post; I’m pleased to share it here as an MCHS Biography entry.

I’ve worked out a tentative paragraph structure for this post, and have added links to posts from the Preserved Stories website that reference themes that Bob Carswell mentions.

Great to read you message, Bob! What a delightful story you have shared.

Hi Jaan,

Haven’t spoken to you since the meeting in downtown Toronto after the 40th anniversary for MCHS. I see you are still alive. I was born in Harrogate, England in November 1944. My brother Jim who went to the High School of Montreal with your brother was born in 1943. We came to Canada with my mother, one of Canada’s 49,000 War Brides.

Military service

Those with children born to Canadian fathers brought 22,000 war babies like my brother and I. Both my parents participated in the military during the war, both became officers and both saw war action. My mother’s photo appears in the book Ghosts of Biggin Hill. Because of war service, they were treated as two individuals in the military which meant that no consideration was given to the fact that they were married to each other so they spent months on end apart at times. Such was WWII.

My first home in Canada was an apartment in a house in Pendleton, Ontario as a baby. My father had been posted back to Canada by the RCAF in June 1944 and as station adjutant was the last commanding officer of this Early Flying Training School with a staff of something like a thousand men and women, all waiting for the war to end.

He met me when I was four months old when they allowed a ship of wives to travel via the Azores to avoid any German subs as they headed to Halifax. Released from the RCAF after 6 years of service in the NPAM, Cdn Army Signals, CASF, RAF and RCAF, my father was ready to go back to work.

Lakefield College

A graduate of Lakefield College in Lakefield Ontario, he lost a lot of friends in the war. Settling in Montreal, he went back to P.S. Ross the accounting firm he had articled with before the war. After two years, a breakdown due to PTSD and a third child on the way, he joined Henry Birks and Sons in systems and methods.

Over the next 26 years before taking early retirement, he climbed the ladder to Office Manager, Assistant Secretary, and Secretary and Director of nine Birks companies. My mother never worked after the air force experience but contributed her hand as a volunteer to every cause going…most important to her, secretary of the Cartierville School Home and School while her 4 kids went there.

Our first Montreal home was a new apartment, in a six-plex on Laurentian Blvd, then called Reed Street, the main route north to the Laurentians. We lived there for about 5 years. Then Dad had a house built on Martin Avenue in Saraguay and we moved there in 1951. It was torn down in the 90s to be replaced by a modern stone house. My Kindergarten was at Mrs. Terrat’s home at Reed and Gouin Blvd.

Cartierville School

It closed when the houses on the east side going down to the bridge were torn down to widen the road. Names I remember, Mrs. Carpenter, Kindergarten at Cartierville School, Mrs. Talbot, Grade one, Mrs. Shields, Grade three, Miss Stanforth in Grades 5 then 6 (We did not get along), Mrs. Jackson in Grade 7 and Mrs. Findlayson, the principal.

One year, Grade four was a divided class across the street in the old Anglican church before the new one was built. I remember a pair of identical twins, Robbie and Wallace, one on each side of the class.

Mrs. Findlayson and I came to blows at times especially when I pulled my hand away while she was trying to strap me. I was an average student yet very bright. I could never understand why my brother got VG and I only got G on my report card. High school was worse.

I spent 3 years at the High School of Montreal, 3 years at Malcolm Campbell High School and 2 years doing another 13 credits at Sir George Williams Evening High School. I then went into SGWU heading for a B. Comm degree.

Sir George Williams University

After taking two summer courses, my company transferred me west. I returned to Sir George Williams University in 1969 full time and completed my degree. In my 50s I self diagnosed my learning disabilities which had plagued me all my life and had myself tested at the U of T. which confirmed it. When things went bad for me later in life, I took five years off and went back to school.

In total I have four Bachelor degrees and a fellowship in the Institute of Canadian Bankers, equivalent to half a degree….B.Comm (marketing); SGWU; Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (management) and Bachelor of Arts (film) both from York University and a B. Ed from the University of Toronto.

I have been doing my family genealogy for some 40 years now and have a skill that way. My roots are English, Scottish, Irish from both parts, and Swedish-Finnish, an interesting mix. I also reunited my mother and her sister after 62 years and brought them together for the last ten years of their lives.

Family history

My family history turned out to be a very unique one going from the London Docks to entertaining the Royalty of England. I too married an English girl that I met at a summer chalet at Montgomery Center, Vermont. We lasted 12 years together, separated and divorced about 9 years later since she wanted to remarry.

I have a son and daughter. My son is single, lasted in one relationship long enough in Toronto for that to destroy him and he then chose to do an MBA at the London School of Business in the UK in 2007. Setting up his own entrepreneurial firm, he is currently doing his part in a massive project for the British Government and will likely remain in the UK for the rest of his life. My daughter who lives in Victoria, BC works for the VIHA.

Allan McDougall

She is expecting her second child in October 2014. Her eldest daughter made me a grandfather for the first time 2 years ago. Funny as it is, her husband’s mother lives a couple of miles from me here in Toronto. Jaan, You mentioned a school friend. You are talking about Allan McDougall, cousin to Jamie Duncan, and part of the old Saraguay family there. It was his grandfather Dr. Duncan that delivered my own father into this world. Allan moved out to Vancouver, set up a book distribution firm and ended up the North American distributor for the Harry Potter books. He is also a on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Library System along with a good friend of my youngest brother, also in Vancouver.

[Bob refers at this point in his text to an excellent book that he has written, that has the potential to be turned into a movie. ]

I am also looking for people who would help me edit my other many books to make sure they make sense and address the problems caused by my LD problems.

No money though as I am just a poor author and artist these days. Well, that is probably enough for now. Let me know what you want to know about Cartierville School and I will try to answer it. Cheers !!!


Posted in MCHS 60s Biographies & Histories, Military history, Newsletter, Toronto | 8 Comments

MCHS Sixties Reunion: By way of following up on a great suggestion from John Kovac (MCHS 1971), everyone who attended MCHS in the Sixties is invited

That is:

Malcolm Campbell High School Celebrates the Sixties

Did you attend MCHS anytime DURING THE SIXTIES ? Join us in Toronto Oct 17, 2015

Lets’s take it from here.

If you attended MCHS in the Sixties, you are invited to attend the MCHS Sixties Reunion at Old Mill Toronto on Oct. 17, 2015.

Please contact Howard Hight at if you wish to add your name to the MCHS Sixties Reunion database.

Please contact Jaan Pill at if you wish to help in the organizing of the reunion.

Volunteers to assist the MCHS Sixties Reunion organizing committee

A number of people have previously contacted me to offer to assist as volunteers. If I have not yet gotten back to you, I will contact you. As with many volunteers, I have many projects on the go, with the result that it can, at times, take me some time to get back to people who have contacted me.

In the event you have contacted me, and do not hear back from me in the next while, please send me an email to remind me.


By way of background about the decision to expand the range of potential attendees, in response to the excellent suggestion from John Kovacs (MCHS 1971), please refer to the following posts:

MCHS Sixties Reunion: John Kovac (MCHS 1971) has suggested we should invite everyone who attended MCHS in the Sixties

If you are Sixties MCHS alumna or alumnus, consider joining these three Facebook Groups

A reminder, as well, about three MCHS Facebook pages that are well worth visiting.

MCHS Facebook groups

Three Facebook Groups related to Malcolm Campbell High School – that I have learned about to date: please let me know of any additional ones – are of interest.

It’s worth your while to join these groups, and to participate in discussions – and to upload photos that are connected with past and current activities related to MCHS – at these Facebook pages:

MCHS ’60s Reunion Group

Malcolm Campbell High School Grads

MCHS Class of ’68


John Kovac (MCHS 1971) sent us the following message:

“How sad that our class of 71 is left off the invite list . We spent most of our time at MCHS in the Sixties , but get squeezed out of the fun reunion by a year .Think it over . I’m sure we can get a nice turn out for our year as well . John”

The discussion among the organizing committee can be summarized as follows:

1. Our MCHS Sixties Reunion database team reports that it would be a great idea to expand the lost of potential attendees.

“Interesting dilemma. Thought we had resolved before. BUT and there is always a but.”

“I therefore suggest a rethinking of the invitees to be.all MCHS students who were at the school any time during the 60s. Let it be a celebration of the 60s by those who were in high school during the 60s.”

“Think about it? Opens the doors to those who were there in the 60s at any stage of their high school career.”

2. “This perspective has merit, in my view, and warrants close thought.”

“The fact that we have a well organized MCHS Sixties Reunion database team in place, and thus have a good sense of potential overall attendance, adds weight to [this perspective].”

3. “The ideas … are great it will bring some ‘young blood’ into the group – looking forward to discussing this option plus any other ie – colour code everyone so that it will be easier to check out who was in your classes.”

4. “I agree with the [initial comment, from the first person on the MCHS organizing committee to comment] on this matter.”

5. “I’m with the [initial comment] on this. Obviously we can’t cover the whole period that MCHS was open, but any part of the sixties experience works for me.”

“Hi all – no need to deliberate long over this. Let’s just expand the invitation list beyond what we originally thought so we can include John [Kovac] and a few others.”

6. “I was the one who took a hard line on attendance but have no problem with expanding the invite list as proposed. As far as I’m concerned, go [for] it.”


Posted in MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s, Newsletter, Toronto | Leave a comment

Dress regulations at Malcolm Campbell High School: September 1969 message from the Prinicipal

In a recent email, Howard Hight (MCHS 1963) has shared with us the following message:

“go to this link and see how it was”


It’s a delight to know how many resources there are online that focus on stories and news about Malcolm Campbell High School.

And a reminder:

Howard Hight and Diana Redden are doing a great job in development of a database of MCHS Sixties alumni. If you wish to add your name to the database, please contact Howard Hight at


Posted in MCHS 60s Biographies & Histories, New Toronto, Newsletter | 3 Comments