Tag Archives: Toronto

History Slam Episode 169: Jeannie’s Demise

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/History-Slam-169.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Ian Radforth about his new book Jeannie’s Demise: Abortion on Trial in Victorian Toronto, which examines the murder trial following the 1875 death of Jeannie Gilmour, a young woman who had gone to Arthur and Alice Davis to have an abortion. We… Read more »

Remember/Resist/Redraw #25: “We won’t be quiet until we get the Special Diet!”

Earlier this month, the Graphic History Collective released Remember/Resist/Redraw #25. The poster looks at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s successful 2009 struggle to increase access to the Special Diet benefit, an additional $250 for those living on social assistance to purchase food. With art by Rocky Dobey and an essay by John Clarke, the poster highlights the power of poor… Read more »

Did you hear the One about the Cardinal, the Rabbi, and the Minister? Spiritual Leaders and Big Social Problems in 1970s Toronto

David M. K. Sheinin People sometimes do a double take when they learn that longtime Toronto city councilor Joe Mihevc holds a doctorate in theology. “How did you go from theology to politics?” they ask in mock opprobrium for the latter. Mihevc smiles: “It was easy to make the jump.” Though most active in post-1990 Toronto, Mihevc is a holdover… Read more »

A History of the Toronto Public Library in Four Buildings

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Emily Macrae As public buildings closed their doors in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public libraries across Canada pivoted to strengthen connections with communities online, offering virtual story times and lending out wi-fi hotspots in addition to adapting ongoing work ranging from providing reading recommendations to supporting Indigenous language revitalization. Toronto Public Library was no exception. In April,… Read more »

Race Relations, Psychological Testing, and Resistance to Change: The Toronto Police, 1970s-1980s

David M. K. Sheinin As a city changes, as tensions grow between the police and the communities they serve, how can we know if a candidate has what it takes to lead a major police force? Is it possible to predict success (or failure)? Those questions are at the core of a debate that has raged for decades on whether… Read more »

That Other Time the Toronto Police Tried to Solve the Race Problem: The Ethnic Relations Unit, 1970s-1980s

David M. K. Sheinin In the early 1970s, to gain insights into the Italian immigrant community in Toronto, the police set up an Ethnic Relations Unit. In 1975 the unit created a “Black Section” followed by Jewish, Southeast Asian, and other sections. The experiment in building bridges to ethnic communities failed because this solution to growing police-community tensions reinforced rather… Read more »

Remembering Emma Goldman: Pandemics, Prisons, and Mutual Aid

Franca Iacovetta & Cynthia Wright When the pandemic came, Emma Goldman was in a state penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri. Goldman and her life-long comrade and fellow revolutionary anarchist, Alexander Berkman, had been arrested under the Selective Service Act of 1917 for conspiring to oppose the draft. Goldman had been reaching audiences of thousands all over the US with her… Read more »

Staging History

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By Craig Heron Historians have become increasingly attuned to the role of performance in history. Many of us have written about the pomp and pageantry of the powerful, the theatre of the high courts, the processions of urban respectability, the rituals of resistance among the poor and powerless. We have been much more reticent, however, about using theatre to present… Read more »

Reflections on the Far Right, Intellectuals, and Hope in Toronto and Beyond

By Edward Dunsworth It’s been quite a month for the far right in Toronto. Two weeks ago, proto-fascist hype man Steve Bannon – unable just days prior to attract more than twenty-five people to an event in Kansas – drew a sold-out (and well-heeled) crowd to downtown Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, where he squared off against former George W. Bush… Read more »

“The town’s gone wild”: Sounds of Victory in Toronto, 11 November 1918

By Sara Karn Come along, be merry, join our Jubilee. Mars has got the knock-out, Peace is in, you see. Toot your little tooter, deck yourself with flags. Grab your feather tickler, be among the wags. Don’t forget the powder, sprinkle it around. Laugh-it will not hurt you; make you strong and sound. Show you are a human – be… Read more »