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Barbara Myrvold
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Queen Street East, southeast corner of Waverley Road, 1903 Researching the history of your Toronto house, or any other building in the city for that matter, can be a rewarding, though sometimes frustrating activity. Fortunately many resources are available online, so that some of your research can be done at... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Local History & Genealogy
Hello Andrew. I think that it is very likely that your great-uncle and Charles Smith knew one another, since they both were in the University Companies that started to reinforce the PPCLI in summer 1915. The Nomimal Roll in Appendix V, Vol. 2 of the Princess Patricia's history lists every person who served with the Regiment during the First World War. The entry for your great uncle is on page 340. It includes his Regimental number (411096), Name (Turner, H.), Original Overseas Unit (1st Univ.), Joined PPCLI in the field (July 28, 1915) and Regimental record: Pte. w. June 2, 1916. s.o.s June 6, 1916. Russian Cross of St. George. As I indicate in the latest iteration of my blog, the history of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 1914-1919, is an invaluable source; vol. 1 and vol. 2 are available online. Harris Turner must have been a resilient person. He was back in Saskatoon, the 1921 Census records, living with his wife, Alice, and their two-year-old son, also named Harris, and was the proprietor of a printing press business. Thanks for sharing his story, Barb
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Hello Jaan My source for Thomas Parker is the Toronto directory for 1877. Here is the link: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-758720&R=DC-758720. Thomas Parker had at least two listings in this directory. The first was on p. 337 of the alphabetical section: PARKER THOMAS, PROPRIETOR ONTARIO DYEING AND SCOURING ESTABLISHMENT, WORKS AND OFFICE: 109 YONGE STREET, YORKVILLE." The second entry was in the Yorkville section: "PARKER THOMAS, dyer and scourer, 109 Yonge, h 40 Hazleton av." Here is its link: http://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/758720.pdf#page=407: The 1877 directory appears to be the first one that had a listing for Thomas Parker. He was not included in the local directories for Toronto, York County or Yorkville published in 1876. The Library's introduction to Toronto city directories cautions researchers to be aware, "Information in each directory was usually compiled the previous year. This means that data contained in a directory predates the directory's publication date by one year. For example, the directory for 1900 reflects the status of the site in 1899." See https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/history-genealogy/lh-city-directories.jsp Following this precaution, I may have erroneously assumed that Thomas Parker was in Toronto (Yorkville) in 1876, but he certainly was there in 1877. If you want to do further checking on the Parker family's early days in Yorkville, then I suggest that you consult Toronto Public Library's new online finding aid, Places within Toronto in Digital Toronto City Directories, 1837-1969. It provides direct links to separate listings for Yorkville in Toronto city directories from 1866 to 1883, the latter being the year that Yorkville was annexed to the city; thereafter its listings were included with the main listings for Toronto. Here is the link: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/history-genealogy/places-in-digital-toronto-city-directories.jsp Barbara Myrvold
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Toronto city directories are invaluable for researching local history, genealogy and other topics. Now, for the first time, there is an online guide – Places in Digital Toronto City Directories, 1837-1969 – to help researchers quickly find directory information about more than 100 former hamlets, villages, small towns, townships and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at Local History & Genealogy
Re 1) Copyright is held for 90 years so materials published after 1928 are still in copyright 2) I do not have expertise in copyright law so couldn’t advise you on this. Barbara Myrvold Local History Senior Services Specialist Toronto Public Library Special Collections Department, Toronto Reference Library 789 Yonge Street, Toronto M4W 2G8 Tel: 416-395-5516
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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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