By any other name …

Back in the 1830s, when the city was still being carved from the immense, dark forest but was already gaining fame for its boggy streets, Toronto had a problem neighbourhood brewing: March St. Just two blocks long, it wasn’t a large area but what March St lacked in size it eventually made up for in trouble.  Which is pretty remarkable because, […]

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Christmas Catalogues

When I was growing up the Christmas season was heralded by the Consumer’s Distributing catalogue being tossed on your doorstep.   Of all the catalogues you were likely to receive, it was the thickest and could provide hours – days even – of glossy-paged joy.  I don’t recall ever zeroing in on a specific toy, or […]

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Billiard Halls

Growing up, I had an oddball idea of adulthood – though I suppose most kids do.  As I’ve mentioned here before, I’d steeped myself in old detective novels and film noir movies as a kid and they’d given me a kind of skewed idea of what passed for a good time once you’d shed your teens.  As […]

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Armistice Day

From the distance of nearly a century, it’s hard to imagine the tumult of emotions unleashed by the armistice which ended the First World War on November 11th, 1918.  After four long, grim years of war and an incomprehensible number of dead, the overwhelming feelings of joy and relief – and likely a fair dose […]

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The T. A. Lytle Story

When I first began this page, a year and a half ago, I wasn’t quite sure where to start.  For several years previous I’d been taking photos of old buildings I loved and feared for and so (given Toronto’s reckless building boom) I’d amassed quite a collection. In the spirit of laying seed for something […]

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Well it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Toronto – okay, all of Canada – and you can tell because it’s pretty tough to find a can of pumpkin puree anywhere. If you live outside of Canada you might be surprised to hear that we celebrate our annual feast so early.  I know that when I was living in the States some […]

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Rascals, Scamps & No-Goodniks

I’ve been thinking about childhood a lot lately (as you can probably tell from my Cool Water and Fair Days posts) and it suddenly hit me that we haven’t come across many kids in these strolls through Toronto’s past.  But, of course, they were there – at the edges of all these stories – even if they were […]

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