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Barbara Myrvold
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Are you interested in finding out more about the development of a community in Ontario to: Research the history of a house or other buildings Trace people that have lived in an area including family members, missing persons, birth parents Determine how a site has evolved over time Discover the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Local History & Genealogy
Hi John Thanks for sharing the information about your ancestor, James Wallis, who was a prominent early resident of Yorkville – documented as living there as early as 1837. Wallis served on Yorkville’s first municipal council in 1853, and, like the other four councillors, he was commemorated on the Yorkville coat of arms with his initial (the letter “W”) and a symbol of his trade (an anvil for blacksmith). The coat of arms was originally on the Yorkville Town Hall, and now can still be seen on the façade of the Yorkville Fire Hall at 34 Yorkville Avenue. After Wallis left the council he served as Yorkville’s treasurer for several years. The green in front of Wallis’s smithy on the east side of Yonge Street (approximately where the Toronto Reference Library is now located) was the spot where Yorkville‘s annual celebrations for Queen Victoria’s birthday started for many years. One oldtimer recalled: “Promptly at sunrise … village notables would assemble around one of Wallis’ big anvils that had been brought out of the shop for the occasion and solemnly fire off twenty-one rounds.” As you mentioned, the name of Cumberland Street commemorates the birthplace of James Wallis. Originally known as Sydenham Street, it was renamed Cumberland after Yorkville was annexed to Toronto in 1883, by City of Toronto Bylaw 1319. Barbara Myrvold
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So glad that you enjoyed the blog, and thanks for letting me know. Barb
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Such a small world. So good to hear from you Donna. All the best, Barb
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In her December 2017 report, City Librarian Vickery Bowles noted, “Toronto Reference Library celebrated its 40th anniversary with a series of programs and blog posts featuring collections and highlighting the history and architecture of the building. The activities and accompanying social media generated lively discussions about what TRL has meant... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2017 at Toronto Reference Library Blog
Hi Muriel Looking forward to seeing you at tomorrow's talk and thanks for your comments on all three blogs. I just discovered an article published in Quill and Quire in February 1974 and written by Al Bowron (one-time head of Scarborough Public Library) suggesting the the "only possible use" for 10 Asquith, "if it were preserved, would be to house the library's Conan Doyle collection - but rehabilitation costs might be prohibitive." As we know, that did not happen and the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection is now housed in its own room fitted up to evoke the atmosphere of Sherlock Holmes study at 221B Baker Street. It can be accessed through the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Barb
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Hi Edward Looking forward to seeing you at the Discover Special Collections talk on Wednesday! Barb
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Hi Muriel Thanks for you comments. It was a revelation to me about how much of the Toronto Reference Library site had been occupied by Parker's Dye Works, and that they were on the property for 75 years! Barb
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Hi Muriel I too my fascinated by street names, and have included a section about them in most of the local history books that I have prepared for Toronto Public Library. Hope you have enjoyed the next two blogs about this historic site. Barb
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Hi Marie Like you, I am fascinated by the origin of local street names. My unpublished revision of Yorkville in Pictures has a major section about "Yorkville Place Names" that includes almost all of the local streets, listed alphabetically by their present name. Where applicable, former name(s) also are included, presented chronologically by the dates when they were first shown on registered subdivision plans, maps or directories. Of course, the origin of the names is provided. Barb
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As the Toronto Reference Library celebrates its 40th anniversary on November 2, we take a backward glance at the changes to the site as the area evolved from dense forest to suburban village to downtown neighbourhood. The present library is bound by Yonge Street on the west, Asquith Avenue on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Toronto Reference Library Blog
Hi Andrea Thanks for sharing your memories of Bathurst Heights Branch. The Toronto Public Library Archives has a few more pictures of its interior, which I will email to you. One of them shows a card catalogue! I'll ask my colleagues if they too remember "the amazing Sheila". Barbara Myrvold
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On behalf of Cathy Pyper, Eglinton Square Branch Head: "Thanks for your post Archana S. We hope we can leave lasting memories with everyone who visits the newly renovated branch."
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On behalf of Cathy Pyper, Eglinton Square Branch Head: "You will not be disappointed Shamim, I hope you find the newly renovated branch as beautiful as we do."
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Hi Muriel Thanks for your comment. To learn more about the GECO factory, I highly recommend Barbara Dickson’s 2015 book, Bomb girls : trading aprons for ammo, described as “An account of the women working in high-security, dangerous conditions making bombs in Toronto during the Second World War.” See paragraph six above - "mostly all women" - for links to Toronto Public Library copies. Barbara Myrvold
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Thanks for your post and coming to check out the new branch!
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Thanks for your contribution, Ray - and yes, you can return your great grandfather's overdue book of 106 years, which would make an interesting addition to the Toronto Public Library Archives. We would even waive the fines! To clarify, Toronto Public Library is 134 years young, since it was established in 1883, It's the City of Toronto that is celebrating its 183 birthday this year. Barbara Myrvold
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I should also have pointed out that Toronto Public Library's Sanderson Branch was named to commemorate Charles R. Sanderson (1887-1956). Officially Charles R. Sanderson Memorial Branch, it opened at the southeast corner of Bathurst and Dundas streets on 27 September 1968.
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Charles R. Sanderson was Toronto Public Library's chief librarian from 4 February 1937 until his death on 24 July 1956. The above quote originally appeared in Sanderson's report that was published in the annual report of the Toronto Public Library Board for 1942, which is available for viewing on the Library's Digital Archive. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-TPL-A-0059&R=DC-TPL-A-0059
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Hi Shawn Thank you for providing the invaluable information about your father's role in the creation of the Honest Eds sign. Would you be willing to share your father's name and the architectural and structural engineering firm where he worked when he designed the sign. I enjoyed your story about the sign - "Something just as great" - that was published in Toronto Comics 3. Toronto Public Library has a copy of this book, which is being catalogued now and will be placed in the Arts Department, Toronto Reference Library. Barbara Myrvold
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Honest Ed’s is closing its doors for good on December 31. The legendary bargain store has been a major feature of the Bloor West streetscape since 1948 when 34-year-old Toronto entrepreneur Edwin “Honest Ed” Mirvish started Canada's first discount retail store at the southeast corner of Bloor and Markham streets.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Local History & Genealogy
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Toronto local history collections are provided in more than 30 branches of the Toronto Public Library. The collections include materials of historical significance about a specific geographic area. This could be the Toronto neighbourhood(s) served by the local branch library; an historic community, such as an annexed municipality; or the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Local History & Genealogy
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Toronto has been dubbed a “city of neighbourhoods” and neighbourhoods are of great importance to local residents and organizations, as well as to city planners and service providers. But finding local information is often difficult, so Toronto Public Library staff has created an interactive neighbourhood map to assist users in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Local History & Genealogy
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Jane’s Walks will be held on May 4 and 5 in almost every neighbourhood in Toronto, as well as in many other Canadian centres and countries around the world. Named to honour writer and civic activist Jane Jacobs, several Toronto walks feature Toronto Public Library branches, including: Layers of Leaside... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2013 at Local History & Genealogy
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You are invited to join me and other library staff, along with our partners in the North York Historical Society, the North York Community Preservation Panel and Gibson House Museum, for an historical walking tour of the North York Centre neighbourhood. North York Central Library, 1987 Meet us at 10:30... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at Local History & Genealogy