Since 1984, the Alcuin Society has recognized excellence in book design with a national awards program. The TMU Libraries are happy to showcase the award winners in nine trade book categories for the 2022 publishing period. The books will be on display in the exhibition window outside of the Archives & Special Collections (ASC), 4th Floor of the Library building, from November 7-29, 2023.
Books are judged in the following categories:
Children’s picture books
Comics (book-length comics with strong visual storytelling and dedication to production values; e.g., graphic novels)
Interested in reading these fabulous books? The TMU Libraries have several of the award winners in the collection, including the titles highlighted below:
All of the books are on loan from the Alcuin Society and the Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries are pleased to be one of the Toronto stops for this national touring exhibition. Later, the books will be touring Germany. For a full list of venues, see the Alcuin Society website.
Explore the vibrant 2SLGBTQ+ history at TMU! For LGBT History Month we are highlighting key moments and achievements of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities at TMU and more broadly in Toronto.
The Wilde ’82 History Conference was one of the first North American gatherings dedicated to the recovery of LGBT histories. It was held on TMU campus on June 30-July 3 1982. The name of the conference was in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s famous North American Tour.
In 1986, TMU started offering the first LGBT course called “New Perspectives on Gay and Lesbian Realities.” The course was aimed at members of the LGBT community, allies and families.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the TMU theatre hosted the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal’s annual fundraiser called Fruit Cocktail. The show included vaudeville-style acts with cast members dressed in fruit costumes!
Did you know the TMU Libraries has copies of the Body Politic, a Canadian monthly queer magazine published from 1971 to 1987? It was one of Canada’s first significant gay publications, and played a prominent role in the development of the LGBT community in Canada. In 1973, the newspaper also spurred the creation of the ArQuives in Toronto in 1973, one of the largest independent 2SLGBTQ+ archives in the world and the only archive in Canada with a mandate to collect at a national level.
Throughout the month of October, visit our LGBT History Month display on the 4th floor of the Library building to view more material from Archives & Special Collections related to TMU queer history, or join us for the Pink Libraries Tour on October 24th and 26th.
The idea for this blog started in the summer of 2022 when I was brainstorming ideas for interesting ways to showcase our collections. I started looking through the Bass Stereographic Photography Collection and was intrigued by these three cards because I wasn’t familiar with them or where they might be located. Originally intending the blog to be a simple show and tell of interesting images around Toronto, it quickly evolved into a more in-depth project using the stereographs as the starting point for my search – a kind of showcase of how archival and special collections materials can be used to spark new ideas or enhance existing research projects.
Utilizing both online resources, and books from the TMU library collections – I was able to not only pinpoint the locations of the subjects in the photographs, but the history of the sites as well. There is a full bibliography available at the end of the blog.
In 1847 former Toronto Mayor and business man George Monro (1797-1878) purchased 60.5 acres of Lot 1 Concession 1 in Toronto. In present day terms the property, called Painted Post Farm, was bordered by the lake in the south, Scarborough Road in the west, Kingston Road in the north and Victoria Park in the East.
The properties to the east and west of Painted Post Farm were slowly being developed into summer resort and recreation areas and in 1896 Monro’s family granted a 10 year lease to the Toronto Railway Company (TRC) for a portion of their property. The section, which consisted of the bottom portion south of Queen Street East down to the lake, was leased by the TRC for the purpose building an amusement park which would be serviced by their electric trolley cars. At the time of the lease their tracks, which ran along Queen Street East, stopped at Balsam Avenue (3 streets east of the Monro property). In 1896 Munro Park (it is unclear when the spelling changed from Monro to Munro) was initially opened as a picnic area, with 50 benches and 100 seats, A large 1300 square metre dance hall, a bandstand, and some rides – carousel, swings – were added in the first season and in 1897 a mineral well was opened. By 1898 the street car tracks were run in a loop to the park and a ferris wheel was constructed. In 1899 a water carousel, Lundy’s Ostrich Farm, and two 90 metre boardwalks leading to the entrance of the dance hall were added. More sidewalks were created and the size of the performance stage was increased, with seating for 5000. The TRC began booking performers including acrobats, animal acts, comedians, magicians, musical performers, vaudeville and minstrel shows. They also added a motion picture venue in 1900.
In 1906 the lease with the TRC was not renewed and all the buildings were removed from the property. The following year Scarboro Beach Park, just a few blocks from Munro Park, opened and it was purchased by the TRC in 1912. In the 1920’s the TRC became one of the two companies, along with Toronto Civic Railway, that became the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The Monro property and Munro park were later subdivided for residential development and nothing of the old park exists. A street, Munro Park Avenue, runs through the centre of the old park property and the shoreline is now part of Silver Birch Beach.
Reservoir Park, located in Toronto’s Deer Park neighbourhood, opened in 1874. The land it sits on is one of the city’s oldest public recreational spaces. But the area has a much older pre-colonial history. The area, called “Mishkodae” or prairie/meadow in Anishinaabemowin, was used for hunting by the Indigenous peoples. The lands open savannah like environment attracted the deer to feed. The area was also rich in plants that were harvested for use in medicines.
The reservoir and surrounding lands were part of two 200 acre lots that fronted on to Yonge Street between Summerhill and St. Clair Avenues. Lot 16 was purchased by Walter Rose who constructed a house, called Rose Hill, in 1836. The neighbouring property, lot 17, was purchased by Charles Thompson and a house “Summerhill” was constructed on the property in 1842. In 1853 Thompson developed some of his property into an amusement park with swings, landscaped gardens, and paths leading down into the Ravine. The park was referred to as Thompson’s Park, but he changed the name to Summer Hill Spring Park and Pleasure Grounds.
In 1865 Walter Rose died and his property was subdivided and sold. Some of the property was purchased by Joseph Jackes and Richard Dunbar. Thompsons property was sold to Larratt Smith in 1866. In the early 1870’s the city hired consultants E. S. Chesborough and T. C. Keefer to design a waterworks system. They recommended a site north of the city for the construction of a reservoir. In 1872 the city purchased sections of property from Jackes, Dunbar, and Smith for the reservoir. Smith’s sale was contingent upon the city’s maintaining his section of property as the parkland it already was. The reservoir itself would be constructed on the Rose Hill property. In October of 1873 the construction contract was awarded to R. Mitchell and Co. and construction was completed in December of 1874 – named the Rose Hill Reservoir for the property it sat upon. The reservoir could hold 126 million litres of water and was connected to the John Street pumping station 8 kilometres away.
After its construction Reservoir park was a popular attraction with its access to the Vale of Avoca/Yellow Creek Ravine. The reservoir, considered the community’s lake, was closed to the public during World War I to protect the water supply. This was done again for World War II – with a fence being erected in 1940. After the war was over the fence was left in place to help protect against water contamination. In 1949 the city began considering covering the site because of the pollution from birds, dogs, and people. Fish were found to be swimming in the reservoir at one point. In 1960 the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto commissioned consulting engineers Gore & Storrie Ltd to plan for an expansion and covering of the reservoir to much protest of the local community who didn’t want to lose their lake. The renovation project (1964-1966) cost $3.4 million dollars and increased the reservoir to 270 million litres. A water fountain, reflecting pools, waterfall and other water features were added to the new landscape to make up for the loss of the lake.
Reservoir Park became part of the larger present day David Balfour Park whose entrance is located at 75 Rosehill avenue and is now a 20.5 hectare park. A major renovation was completed in 2022 with work on both the reservoir and its surrounding park. Accessible, multiple use trails, new lighting, and an expanded community garden were added.
Government House was the name for the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and Ontario – a tradition which ended in 1937 with the closing of the final residence Chorley Park. Between 1792-1937 there were 9 homes used by the Lieutenant-Governor, none of which are still in existence today.
The Government House featured in these stereocards was the 7th home – is known as Old Government House. Located on property at King and Simcoe Sts (where Roy Thompson Hall and Metro Hall currently stand) the house was designed by architect Henry Langley of Gundry and Langley and constructed by Grant & York of Peterborough. The three storey red brick and ohio cut stone home featured galvanized iron cornices and a mansard roof. The main entrance faced Simcoe Street and featured a covered carriage entrance featuring a 100 foot tower. The main building was three storeys above a basement level, with the kitchen wing only 2 storeys. It also had a large glassed conservatory which opened off of the dining room. The house completed construction in 1870, with the John Beverley Robinson, the 5th Lieutenant-Governor for Ontario, being the first to reside there.
The house cost $102,000 dollars to build and was paid for with government money. Its construction was not without critics – many not seeing the need for a whole residence for the Lieutenant-Governor to live in, when offices and sitting rooms in the legislature could be provided at a much lower cost. An article in the January 6 1869 Globe newspaper pointed out “Very little is said in any quarter in defence of the lavish expenditure being made upon the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario…the prospect is that the Governor’s residence in Toronto will be, all circumstances considered, more expensive than Rideau Hall at Ottawa.” The article continues on to discuss the considerably less amount of funds being spent on hospitals.
In 1910 the area where Old Government House was located was becoming increasingly commercial and industrial. The Canadian Pacific Railway (C. P. R.) began purchasing lands adjacent to the house. It was felt that a new residence was needed and property in north Rosedale was purchased. In the April 18, 1910 edition of the Toronto Star the Ontario Government put a legal notice: “Tenders for Government House property…up the first day of June 1910 for the purchase of property known as Government House property situate at south-west corner of King and Simcoe Sts…containing 6.19 acres…the buildings on the said property consist of a three storey residence, coach house, stables, gardener’s house, gate lodge, conservatories and greenhouses.”
The property was purchased for $800,000 by the C. P. R in June with the Lieutenant-Governor staying in residence while the new house was constructed. Unfortunately in March of 1912 the C. P. R. requested that the residence be vacated so they could begin developing parts of the property. A temporary residence was located for the Lieutenant Governor – Pendarves House (now Cumberland House) at College and St. George Sts. was rented until Chorley Park was completed in 1915. Lurie and Company wreckers purchased Government House, demolishing the building and selling off materials for use in other construction projects. Demolition began in June of 1912 and was completed in August of that same year. The C. P. R. used the space for a railway yard.
The Bass Stereographic Photography Collection was donated to the University Archives and Special Collection by Gail Bass in 2018. The items were collected by the late Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass and included approximately 8000 stereograph cards – including 800 cards showing scenery, buildings, and landmarks from across Canada.
City of Toronto Archives “What’s Online” https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/whats-online/
Toronto Public Library Digital Archive https://digitalarchive.tpl.ca/
Toronto Public Library Local History & Genealogy https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/history-genealogy/
Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of York and the Township of West Gwillimbury and Town of Bradford in the County of Simcoe, Ont. Mika Silk Screening, 1972.
Brown+Storey Architects Inc. (2016, June 6). Rosehill Reservoir, Toronto Heritage Impact Assessment. https://www.brownandstorey.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Rosehill-Reservoir-HIA-Draft-Final-20160606-reduced.pdf
Robertson, J. Ross. “Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto : A Collection of Historical Sketches of the Old Town of York, from 1792 until 1837, and of Toronto from 1834 to 1908.” Internet Archive, 1 Jan. 1970, archive.org/details/landmarkstoronto05robeuoft/page/n5/mode/2up.
“Rosehill Reservoir.” Lost Rivers Walks, www.lostrivers.ca/points/Rosehill_Reservoir.htm#:~:text=Built%20in%201873%2674%20with%20a,was%20constructed%20on%20its%20roof. Accessed 13 July 2023.
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “David A. Balfour Park.” City of Toronto, 6 Mar. 2017, www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/143/index.html.
“Fine stained window lost to the province”. The Toronto Star. 25 June 1912. pp. 1 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-1/docview/1432739672/se-2.
Forsyth, Grant, Mrs. “Memories of Government House: passing of a famous social shrine.” The Globe (1844-1936). April 27, 1912. pp. A2, A7 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/memories-government-house-passing-famous-social/docview/1316227696/se-2.
“Gallery 1793-1815: Fort York Government House, 1800. Library & Archives Canada, C-16016.” Friends of Fort York , www.fortyork.ca/29-gallery/103-gallery-17931815.html#!1800_Fort_York_Government_House. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.
Gross, P. (1877). Illustrated Toronto, past and present. Canadiana. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.24893/1
“Lieutenant-Governor obliged to vacate: C. P. R. wants possession of a portion of old government house property.” The Globe (1844-1936), March 2, 1912, pp. 9. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/lieutenant-governor-obliged-vacate/docview/1324238400/se-2.
Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada. “Fort George National Historic Site – Navy Hall.” Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada, 25 May 2023, www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/.
“Separate depots for the railways – rumour that it is the C. P. R. which is buying land in Wellington Street”. The Toronto Star. January 4, 1910. pp. 1 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-1/docview/1435964760/se-2.
“Some bold biffs at Government”. The Toronto Star. February 9, 1910. pp. 7 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-7/docview/1431991356/se-2.
“Tenders for Government House Property”. The Toronto Star. April 18, 1910. pp. 6 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-6/docview/1436256066/se-2.
“The C. P. R. gets the Government House”. The Toronto Star. June 7, 1910. pp. 6 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/page-6/docview/1436270790/se-2.
“The Governor’s Residence”. The Globe (1844-1936). January 6, 1869. pp. 2 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/governors-residence/docview/1518970923/se-2.
“The Lieutenant Governor’s Residence”. The Globe (1844-1936). June 29, 1868. pp. 2 ProQuest, http://ezproxy.lib.torontomu.ca/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/lieutenant-governors-residence/docview/1518951434/se-2.
We can trace the origins of theatre programmes to the publicly-posted British playbills of the seventeenth century, which then evolvedto personal souvenir printings in the late-nineteenth century. We defer to the Canadian spelling, although you might see the interchangeable American “programs,” or defaults to the brand name “Playbill,” but they all refer to the same tradition. These personal reference items are sometimes sold as lavish souvenirs but are most often given freely to theatre patrons as they take their seats, and can have multiple functions. Most practically, they are a guide to the on- and off-stage artists involved with that night’s entertainment, and might include notes from the director or guidance on casting changes. They are souvenirs, to be filed away or consulted, to be autographed or even framed. Toronto Star theatre critic Karen Fricker noted in an April 2023 article that these “bridges between the spectator and the theatrical experience” can even double as a diary of sorts. They are evidence of attendance, something to spark memory and reminiscence over the joy theatre can bring. Programmes can be as simple as a single photocopied sheet; they can be glossy, high-quality publications. Some feature photos, some barely feature the names of the artists. Some are as thick as a novella, some are no bigger than a napkin, while some are printed as an entire newspaper. For many, the physical programme is intrinsic to the theatre-going experience, and despite recent moves to replace physical programmes with digital, smartphone-centred equivalents, collectors cling tight to their physical mementoes.
On October 21, 2021, Joseph Paul Christie—Paul to his many friends—passed away peacefully at home. Paul lived a long and joyous life, from his youth in Toronto to adventures in London as a bookseller and a distinguished career as a court reporter with the Ministry of the Ontario Attorney General, but one of his many defining traits was his love of the arts. For the last thirty years of his life, Paul served as a front of house team member (to over-simplify, we might say ‘usher’) at theatres around Toronto, most notably the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres. From this insider’s position, Paul saw as much theatre as he could. His theatregoing career stretched back to boyhood, and lasted until he literally could not see any more plays, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed theatres in the spring of 2020. After Paul’s passing, the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections were honoured to receive a gift commemorating a life in the theatre. In dozens of carefully curated binders, we were presented every programme (and ticket stub, and clipping, and souvenir postcard) that Paul Christie collected over the course of sixty-eight years, filed chronologically and with extensive annotation to create the Paul Christie Theatre Program Collection reflecting a lifetime in the arts.
As a former theatre professional and current contract member of the TMU libraries team, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help with the description and cataloguing of the Paul Christie collection. This collection stretches from the sporadic souvenirs of a teenage boy, starting with an autographed 1952 programme for a piano concert by Lubka Kolessa at Etobicoke Community Concerts Association, one of two items that year. From these humble beginnings, it is clear Paul “caught the bug,” a theatregoing habit which peaked in 2012, in which he attended one hundred and fifty six performances, at a rate of three per week. A lover of opera, orchestral performance, theatre, and dance, Paul’s tastes were eclectic and adventurous.
His collection spans the rise and fall of many of Toronto’s most legendary theatres, including the Crest Theatre, Theatre in the Dell, Centre Stage, and Melody Fair. He attended the first ever production at the O’Keefe Centre—Camelot featuring Julie Andrews and Richard Burton in 1960—and remained a patron of that venue as it evolved from the Hummingbird Centre to the Sony Centre to Meridian Hall. Paul’s theatregoing spanned the birth of Theatre Passe Muraille, the Factory Theatre, Soulpepper, and Buddies in Bad Times. He was a champion of the Toronto Fringe, and often attended a dozen shows in a single week to support new and emerging artists, evidenced by the intricate and specific notes he jotted in the margins. Paul was there when TIFF was still called the Festival of Festivals. He had his finger on the pulse of the next big thing: he saw world premieres of Hosannaat Tarragon, Kim’s Convenience at the Fringe and Come From Away at Sheridan College, all destined to become Canadian classics.
Paul briefly dabbled in the theatre himself, and several of his souvenir programmes note his involvement as playwright and actor with the Dickens Fellowship of Toronto. He played Herbert Pocket in his own adaptation of Great Expectations entitled The Benefactor, and later took on A Midsummer Night’s Dream’sBottom in the Shakespeare Society of Toronto’s 1960Twelfth Night Revels cabaret. While it was clear that the theatre was a crucial element in Paul’s life, he eventually left the stage to the professionals, and settled into his greatest role: audience member.
Paul was a globetrotting theatregoer, with almost annual trips to New York City to enjoy what Broadway had to offer. He saw the original production of West Side Story three times (and kept three programmes as proof), saw Barbra Streisand’s breakout role in Funny Girl, and was there for the rise of the megamusicals in the 1980’s (Cats, Phantom, and Les Mis were regular repeat watches). Paul’s time in London afforded him opportunities to soak up British theatre, which included works at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatre Royal Covent Garden, and the Royal Opera. He also took advantage of the proximity to the continent, taking in opera in Germany and Moliere in Paris. He travelled regularly around Canada, with theatre programmes marking stops in Vancouver, Charlottetown, Halifax, and, most often, Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Shaw and Stratford Festivals held a place of great joy in Paul’s artistic pursuits, and he was a loyal patron for nearly seven decades.
The remarkable thing about the Paul Christie Theatre Programme collection lies not in the rarity of the items or the fame of its collector. Rather, it is a snapshot of a part of one man’s life that brought such great joy, in attending performances across an extraordinary range of genres. To read through the collection of more than four thousand theatre items is to get to know Paul. As an Elgin and Winter Garden employee, he witnessed many hundreds of performances of all types at both theatres, from touring musicals to high school rentals to the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. He attended Christmas Eve services each year at Roy Thomson Hall with the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, and carefully filed those programmes alongside the theatre ones. He was a proud ally of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, and was an avid supporter of queer-themed plays, cabarets, and fundraisers, especially through the dark days of the 1980s AIDS epidemic and beyond. In this, it was clear just how much Paul valued community and the power of the arts. Paul loved to rub shoulders with celebrities, and sought autographs from his favourite performers (including Maureen Stapleton, Gwen Verdon, Martin Short, and Paul’s favourite, Grant Tilly), who often left him with autographs which made clear how much his support was appreciated.
Most incredibly, Paul used his theatre programme collection as a journal of sorts: each item is a treasure trove of annotations, opinions (where he would note his favourites in each show, and occasionally even those he did not care for), and clippings. From the earliest days in the collection, Paul collected newspaper articles and advertisements for the plays he had seen, and built intricate scrapbook pages to memorialise each performance. Sometimes he even returned to past entries to claim an autograph on a long-ago object or to supplement with new details. For the shows that did not offer a programme, Paul would make his own, on a napkin, or the back of an envelope.
In his latter years, Paul’s collecting intensified, and it is clear that live performance was an overriding preoccupation, particularly with the advent of cheap, convenient screenings of live opera, ballet and theatre in movie theatres. Even these movie ticket stubs, for events which usually do not provide a programme, were carefully annotated. Often, Paul would attend up to three or four films a week to see performances from the Metropolitan Opera, National Theatre of Great Britain, and Stratford Festival. Later entries even included developed photographs of the marquees and posters outside of theatres and cinemas, carefully placed to preserve a moment in time.
The final binders of Paul’s collection are heartbreaking in retrospect, because we know the world is about to change. In the first two months of 2020, Paul attended 21 performances, finishing with the National Ballet of Canada’s Romeo and Juliet at the Four Seasons Centre on March 12, 2020. After a lifetime of theatregoing, however, the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly shuttered the theatres and all at once closed the book on a lifetime in the audience. It is telling that Paul was so prolific until there were no more shows to see, and it must have been a devastating blow to lose this outlet.
When Paul passed away in October 2021, his love of the theatre proved central to how he was remembered by his many friends and family. We are honoured to preserve his lifetime in the theatre at the TMU Archives and Special Collections. After several months cataloguing this incredible collection, I feel as though I knew him.
If you’re looking for photographs from the 1940s to 1990s taken in Ontario, there is a wonderful collection at the Archives and Special Collections waiting for you!
The Collingwood collection was donated to the Archives & Special Collections in 2021 by a relative of the photographer. The collection consists of 35 mm and 2 ¼ negatives, prints, and textual records. The volume of the collection is high and it is being processed and it will be added to our database. A part of the collection consists of acetate based negatives suffering from vinegar syndrome. Vinegar syndrome is a term that refers to the odor of vinegar that is emitted due to hydrolysis of the acetate base of the negatives. The deteriorated negatives require special care and handling practices and due to their condition are not accessible for viewing in the reading room. The Archives and Special Collections is in the process of digitizing the deteriorated negatives before moving them to cold storage to increase accessibility to the collection.
Harold Grant Collingwood was born on August 4, 1909, in Exeter, South Huron, Huron, Ontario and died at the age of 87 in May 1996. As an avid photographer, he photographed well-known jazz musicians, street views, buildings, events and venues. He was a commissioned photographer who took photographs for numerous companies namely the Mclean Hunter newsletter and Chatelaine magazine. In his portfolio, there are photographs depicting the office culture of the 40s to 90s in Canada. You will be able to find photographs of important events like the Eaton’s main store demolition and buildings like the old City Hall and the new City Hall. As a result of the variety of subjects that Collingwood photographed, this collection can be used for researchers who are interested in Toronto street views, events and even fashion between the years 1940 and 1990. Additionally, since Collingwood was commissioned to photograph events for companies and businesses, it can also be an excellent resource for researching the existing industries and businesses in Canada during that time period.
Drop by the Archives and Special Collections Department on the 4th floor of the library to see the current exhibition of the Collingwood collection. If you are interested in learning more about this collection you can check our database.
Photographs from TMU Libraries’ Special Collections are currently on view at Mount Dennis Library as part of Robert Burley’s exhibition The Last Day of Work. The CONTACT Photography Festival exhibit includes historical records from the Kodak Canada Corporate Archives and Heritage Collection, including a 2004 letter announcing the closure of Kodak Heights, the company’s former manufacturing plant in Toronto’s Mount Dennis neighbourhood. The 48-acre lot was the home of Kodak Canada from 1912 until its closure in 2005.
At this time, we are looking to expand our collection of oral history recordings of past employees. If you are a former Kodak Heights employee or family member with ties to Kodak Canada and are interested in participating, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kodak Canada Archives has extensive photographs, publications, and memorabilia related to employees and corporate life at Kodak. Here are some highlights, including a 16mm film about the history of Kodak Canada, pages from a scrapbook with postcards and photographs taken during employee baby showers and retirement parties, and a souvenir brochure used in tours of the Kodak Heights’ facilities.
The University Library First Edition Photobook Award was launched in 2015, with Alison Skyrme, Special Collections and liaison librarian and Christopher Manson, Image Arts instructor leading the awards program. The award was initiated in relation to work completed as part of a third year Image Arts course titled: The Photographic Book. For the course, students learn design and composition principles and are required to conceive of, and produce, their own photobook from their own photography.
“Over the eight years the award has been granted I have always been impressed with the quality of the work that the photography students produce,” says Skyrme.
Each year student works are submitted for the award and the winning photobooks are selected by panel. In addition to the award, the photobooks are purchased by the Library to become part of its book collection. They are housed by Special Collections and are available for viewing in the Archives and Special Collections reading room. The acquisition of these titles is supported by a donation from The Photographic Historical Society of Canada.
“Every year our collection of student books grows, we have 54 in the collection now, and it becomes a stronger and more impressive record of the creativity and talent of the photography students over time,” says Skyrme.
For the winter semester the Award winning books from the past three years will be on view in the exhibit cases on the 4th floor of the library, located just outside our reading room doors.
This week the nostalgia machine has churned out never before seen images of everyone’s favourite puppet cartoon show, Fraggle Rock! Yes, you heard that right, Muppets.
Our collection includes nearly 600, full colour vintage negatives of everything from the backdrop, to the set, props, and of course the stars of the show; otherwise known as the supreme rulers of the universe, the Gorgs! Oh, and some Fraggles and Doozers as well. You can also see the amazing production team behind our beloved creatures, but rest assured the magic is still there once the illusion is shattered.
These images provide a once in a unique intimate opportunity to see the innerworkings of how the internationally acclaimed TV show was produced. The collection was graciously donated by the Canadian production designer Robert Arthur Hackborn who workers for the CBC. His work as a set designer and a film director have greatly influenced the trajectory of the creative vision of multiple productions, not just Fraggle Rock. Make sure to check out the rest of his donated works of audio visual, photography, published materials, textual records, objects, and graphic materials!
Since 1984 the Alcuin Society has recognized excellence in book design with a national awards program. The Library is happy to showcase the 39th award winners in eight trade book categories, for the combined 2020 and 2021 publishing period. The books will be on display in the exhibition window outside of the Archives and Special Collections (ASC), 4th Floor of the Library building, from Nov. 1-Dec. 16, 2022. An exhibition catalogue will be available for consultation inside the ASC during regular hours of operation.
All of the books are on loan from the Alcuin Society and the Toronto Metropolitan University Library is pleased to be one of the Toronto stops for this national touring exhibition. Later, the books will be touring Germany. For a full list of venues, see the Alcuin Society website.
One book, the third prize winner in the category “Pictorials” has a TMU connection since one of the co-authors of Out North: An Archive of Queer Activism and Kinship in Canada is Craig Jennex, assistant professor in the English Department. The book was designed by Jessica Sullivan.
The Henley Regatta is still held today (Henley Royal Regatta). It was first held in 1839 and was originally staged by the Mayor and the people of Henley as a public attraction with a fair and other amusements. The emphasis changed to focus on competitive amateur rowing. There is a Royal Canadian Henley Regatta held annually in St. Catharine’s (Henley Regatta) which was first held in 1880.
Start ’91 was the inaugural pre-orientation program offered to incoming first year students. The 2 day program was held July 26 and 27 with the purpose of providing the participants with a variety of experiences to help prepare them for university. Campus tours, resource sessions, and interactive sessions with current students, staff, and faculty were held to help develop relationships and build confidence in the attendees. In 1992 the name changed to “Summer Orientation” and was expanded to 2 two-day sessions, one in July and one in August. This was eventually replaced with “Discover Ryerson”, a one day program with sessions for both incoming students and their parents. Toronto Metropolitan University currently offers the Summer Jumpstart Program, through Student Life and Learning Support. This summer long program offers a variety of sessions in various streams in July and August
Longlac, now part of the Municipality of Greenstone, sits on the North East end of Long Lake. Longlac is about 4 hours east of Thunder Bay and is a 12 hour car trip up Yonge Street/Hwy. 11 from our location at 350 Victoria Street.
“Summer at Ryerson” series
The “Summer at Ryerson” series was organized through the department of Continuing Education. It ran between May and August and offered courses for personal interests such as dance, fitness, canoeing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. During the second year of running, they added in craft shows and weekly concerts by Lake Devo and in the Kerr Hall Quadrangle. In 1982 it offered 4 courses in sailing – a program that would continue into the Fall and Winter semesters with the chance to sail the Caribbean. The last Summer at Ryerson appears to have been held in 1985.
Stay tuned for next month’s blog highlighting a recent acquistion to Archives and Special Collections’ holdings.