A visual legacy of the First World War

It was almost 100 years ago that the First World War began, yet there is still war in our world. It appears we have learned nothing. War is terrible. People die, are maimed, they suffer from what in the world wars was called shell shock (now there are other terms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder). […]

Beacher won hockey gold – in 1924

Writing about hockey a while back, I mentioned one of the all-time greats who was raised in the Beach – Reginald Joseph “Hooley” Smith. Hooley was one of the sports legends known throughout the Beach area. He was a hockey superstar of the games later designated as the first Winter Olympics, which took place in […]

The true story of Leslieville

There has been some controversy about Leslieville, the stretch of Queen Street East from Pape to Greenwood. The real history, however, has been muddled – Leslieville was never an incorporated village or town. It was called Leslieville because of one of the original pioneers of the area, who had a large nursery in the vicinity. […]

Hockey has a long history in the Beach

The East End, especially the Beach, is steeped in the history of all types of recreation activity. At this time of year we are geared to ice skating and hockey. There is no doubt that hockey has kept Canada together, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, from the Northwest Territories to southern Ontario. […]

What’s in a neighbourhood’s name?

Once again, we have controversy about the names and naming of certain areas in our East End. I have come to the conclusion that whomever wants to use this name or that name in this vicinity can – this is a democracy in our city and country. However, when I am writing about something I […]

Remembering all our fallen

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War – the war that was to be the war to end all wars. That was not to be, however – since then another world war and many other terrible conflicts have taken tens of millions of lives. The Canadian contribution has been immense, […]

Celebrating the little-known Kew Beach Athletic Club

At the bottom of Lee Avenue stands a forlorn-looking building that looks like it has seen better days – and it has. This is the Kew Beach Boathouse, built around 1932-33. At one time it housed canoes, and it really was an architectural marvel. We will try to restore it to its once great place […]

East End schools in a class of their own

Thinking about what my next historical article would be, I realized this is the month everyone goes back to school, so I should do an article on the schools, but a little differently. One of the oldest school in the area, if not the oldest, is Norway Public School, near Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue. […]

Beach has always been a tourist area

What is a heritage area? I look around our great city and see a few areas that are designated as a tourist area, such as the Eaton Centre. How in the world can the Eaton Centre be designated a tourist area during holidays but not the Beach? Over the past few decades I have fought […]