Remembering Toronto’s history – Globe and Mail article, May 18, 2013 – Also May 17 Toronto Star article about historic Ward community

The title and opening paragraphs of a May 18, 2013 Globe and Mail article by Eric Veilette about the value of historical societies read as follows:

Remembering Toronto’s history, with the help of the web

The building at the west-end intersection of Dupont, Dundas and Annette streets was the site of an 1837 stagecoach robbery led by Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. Now, it’s a 24-hour Coffee Time.

Times have changed in Toronto. Neil Ross, president of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society, counts the pre-Confederation tale among his favourite footnotes of Toronto lore. “Here’s the leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion, one day after marching armed men down Yonge Street – three years after he was Toronto’s first mayor – robbing a stagecoach in front of the Peacock Tavern,” Mr. Ross said.

[End of excerpt. You can access the full article here.]


Local historical societies come and go, or wax and wane, depending on circumstances. In my experience, they are a tremendous resource for networking and information sharing.

West Toronto Junction Historical Society; La Société d’Histoire de Toronto

I’m delighted to know of the work – described in the above-noted Globe and Mail article – of La Société d’Histoire de Toronto, which has a walking tour, in French, on May 26, 2013 of the trails used by First Nations groups along the Humber River – – and of the Junction Historical Society, which will hold a walking tour of the work of prolific Junction architect James Ellis on June 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm:

Laptop U

I’m reminded of the power of the Internet to share information, as highlighted in a May 20, 2013 New Yorker article entitled “Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online?”

The article by  begins with the following opening sentence:

“Gregory Nagy, a professor of classical Greek literature at Harvard, is a gentle academic of the sort who, asked about the future, will begin speaking of Homer and the battles of the distant past.”

Tubes (2012)

I’m reminded as well of Tubes: A journey to the center of the Internet (2012). The opening paragraph of a blurb about the latter study at the Toronto Public Library website reads:

“Everybody knows that the Internet is the most powerful information network ever conceived. It is a gateway to information, a messenger of love and a fountain of riches and distraction. We are all connected now, but connected to what? In Tubes, acclaimed young journalist Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey to find out.”

The Ward, one of Toronto’s most historic, yet forgotten, communities – May 17, 2013 Toronto Star

Also of interest is a May 17, 2013 Toronto Star article by John Lorinc describing the historic Ward neighbourhood in Toronto. The opening sentences read:

A week from now, thousands of people will fan out across Greater Toronto to take advantage of a once-a-year opportunity to poke inside intriguing buildings that are often closed to the public. As in previous years, the Doors Open roster includes architectural gems, cultural or religious institutions, and heritage buildings.

But there will be no doors to open in one of the city’s more historic, and yet most thoroughly forgotten, communities — a once dense Kensington Market-like precinct known as “the Ward,” home to thousands of poor immigrants who arrived here between the 1890s and the 1920s. The area, which today would likely be described as a “priority neighbourhood,” later became Toronto’s first Chinatown.

[End of excerpt. You can access the full article here.]

Doors Open – May 2013 (Toronto) and September 2013 (Mississauga)

Further information about Doors Open Toronto on May 25 and 26, 2013 can be found here and here.

Doors Open Toronto is a great concept and a great event!

Doors Open Mississauga also warrants celebration; it takes place on September 28, 2013.

Doors Open Ontario offers information about the history of the Doors Open concept.

The Doors Open Ontario link notes that the first Doors Open Day (La Journée Portes Ouvertes) took place in France in 1984.


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