Category Archives: Local History

Concert tonight: “What is Toronto?”

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How might historical themes be translated into musical composition? A group of musicians will engage with this question tonight as part of “What is Toronto?” This concert will explore the iconic events, places, and unique qualities that define perceptions of Canada’s largest city, both past and present. The event is organized by Spectrum, a group of Canadian composers who create… Read more »

Podcast: “Public Spectacles of Multiculturalism: Toronto Before Trudeau” by Franca Iacovetta

Did Torontonians accept different ethnic cultures before the federal government initiated the road towards “official multiculturalism” during the early 1970s? If so, why? Where can we find examples? Award-winning historian Franca Iacovetta explored these questions in front of a public audience at the Toronto Public Library’s Dufferin/St. Clair Branch on February 28th as part of the 2013 History Matters lecture… Read more »

The Politics of Place: Local History and the Megaproject

By Pete Anderson Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environment, and the Everyday, 1953-2003 Joy Parr University of British Columbia Press Paperback, 304 pages, $32.95 Just as all politics can be viewed as local, so, too, can history. Joy Parr’s Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953–2003 (UBC Press, 2010) explores local reactions to a series of “megaprojects,” with a focus on… Read more »

Development, Community, and Citizen Activism in Toronto’s Kensington Market: 1960s and 2013

By Daniel Ross A few dozen locals braved the cold on February 16th to march in the streets of Toronto’s iconic Kensington Market. They were  protesting plans to open a big-box supermarket in the neighbourhood. Developer Tribute Communities plans to break ground soon on a condo development on College Street—just east of the market’s northern entrance—that will include a 20,000-square… Read more »

Podcast: “Beyond Orange and Green: Toronto’s Irish, 1870-1914” by William Jenkins

The 2013 History Matters lecture series kicked off on January 31st, when migration historian William Jenkins (York University) gave a talk to a crowded room at the Parliament branch of the Toronto Public Library.  His presentation examined immigration patterns and political allegiances of Toronto’s Irish between 1870 and World War I, and how struggles at home and abroad had an… Read more »

Trunks & Trains: Summers at Winnipeg Beach

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By Ruthann LaBlance Winnipeg Beach: Leisure and Courtship in a Resort Town, 1900–1967 Dale Barbour University of Manitoba Press Paperback, 264 pages, $24.95 Dale Barbour’s Winnipeg Beach: Leisure and Courtship in a Resort Town, 1900–1967 chronicles the rise and fall of a Manitoba resort community. Not only does Barbour craft a history of Winnipeg Beach, he explores how ideas of… Read more »

History on Steroids: How a Local Community is Using New Media to Explore its Past

By Glenn McKnight The Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC) has launched its own War of 1812 commemoration project in Oshawa, sponsored in part by the Government of Canada with a combination of tried and true presentations and displays along with some added “muscle enhancers.” FBSC is known for its Oshawa Remembers audio recordings of World War Two and Korean… Read more »

A Web of History: How Digital and Social Media is Changing Heritage Awareness in Toronto

By Jay Young A common cliché of our time is to observe that the internet has made us more connected than ever.  Although historians might question the accuracy of this statement, the web, social media, and smart phone apps have allowed new opportunities for engagement with historical artifacts, stories, and landmarks. One only has to look at Canada’s largest city. … Read more »

The Effects of Early Community Development on Church Architecture

By Dan Oliana Over the last couple of years, I began to take notice of the churches in my home town of Sault Ste. Marie and admired their architectural design and details. My interest spread and I started looking for other churches and as is human nature, compared them, noticing the marked differences in their range of decorative detail and… Read more »

Historical Roots: Sandy, Skeletons, and Elm City

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By Jeffers Lennox Having spent four years living in Halifax, I’ve experienced my share of Nor’easters. During my MA year, a huge snowstorm forced the university to close on the day scheduled for my first comprehensive exam.  The entire class considered this a divine gift. Having now returned to the east coast after two years in Montreal and two years… Read more »