The Water Nymph Club (Part Six)

During the summer of 1923, the Telegram published a syndicated series of swimming tips for women. As Toronto’s pools open up, it’s time to finally wrap this up.  Click here for the full series

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 20, 1923.

The final week of  lessons were devoted to life-saving techniques. While they continued in their normal spot on the comics page on August 20, the Telegram devoted two pages to its coverage of the Water Nymph Carnival. Prepare yourself for plenty of winsomeness…

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph carnival 1 pt 1

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph carnival 1 pt 2

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph carnival 1 pt 3

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph carnival 2 pt 1

tely 1923-08-20 water nymph carnival 2 pt 2

The Telegram, August 20, 1923.

tely 1923-08-21 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 21, 1923.

tely 1923-08-21 water nymph contest voting

The Telegram, August 21, 1923.

How it appears voting was conducted at the carnival.

tely 1923-08-21 mayor congratulates water nymphs

The Telegram August 21, 1923.

Coverage of the carnival’s awards ceremony. By this point, based on the coverage, that this event could have used to promote youthful female virility in 1930s Germany.

tely 1923-08-22 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 22, 1923.

tely 1923-08-23 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 23, 1923.

No header was included with the next-to-last installment – perhaps a hint that the end was nigh?

tely 1923-08-24 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 24, 1923.

And the series ends with tips on resuscitation. But the paper wasn’t quite finished with its coverage of the Water Nymph Carnival…

tely 1923-08-25 a winsome nymph inded

The Telegram, August 25, 1923.

tely 1923-08-25 artist's memories of the water nymph carnival

The Telegram, August 25, 1923.

It does not appear as if the Water Nymph Carnival became an annual promotional event for the paper. Checking if the name was used elsewhere, a quick scan of Newspapers.com shows…

washington herald 1913-04-13 water nymphs

Washington Herald, April 13, 1913.

…a vaudeville act which visited Washington D.C. prior to the First World War.

The name was also used for a diving competition during “Pasadena Day” at the Los Angeles Live Stock Show in October 1920. In between the cattle judging events, the Los Angeles Times reported on October 6, 1920, attendees could see “some of the loveliest swimmers and divers in Southern California.”

The word “winsome” was not used.

minneapolis star 1925-05-30 water nymphs

Minneapolis Daily Star, May 30, 1925.

Finally, swimming lessons being put into use for a “water drama” in Minneapolis.

Enjoy your swimming this summer and, especially under current conditions, do so safely.

Bonus Features: “Knocking out that rag is my only passion”

Before diving into this post, read my TVO article on the Star and the Charitable Gifts Act.

Warning: there’s a lot of material in this one, as so much ink was spilled in the press concerning the Charitable Gifts Act (CGA). What I’m presenting here is a tiny fraction of the coverage. At the peak of the controversy, a quarter of the Star‘s pages (averaging around 56 pages an edition) mentioned the CGA.

Due to COVID-related closures, I was unable to check the Telegram‘s coverage. As the Globe and Mail remained closer to George McCullagh’s heart, I imagine the Tely‘s coverage wasn’t much different, other than using language better suited for the paper’s audience.

star 1948-05-10 atkinson death front page 640

Toronto Star, May 10, 1948.

star 1948-05-10 atkinson foundation

Toronto Star, May 10, 1948.

star 1947-07-14 tely for sale

Toronto Star, July 14, 1947.

Let’s step back a few months, to the news that the Telegram, which had been administered by trustees since founder John Ross Robertson’s death in 1918. Throughout the Charitable Gifts Act saga, politicians and the press wondered why the arrangements surrounding the Tely and the Hospital for Sick Children had not been questioned.

tely 1948-12-01 front page mccullagh note

The Telegram, December 1, 1948.

A front page message from George McCullagh after he bought the Telegram. One can quibble about the claims of political independence, given McCullagh’s strong ties with George Drew and other Progressive Conservatives. Still, he modernized the paper, bringing it into the postwar era by gradually lessening its strong British flavour (the Union Jack soon vanished from the masthead) and bringing in a new generation of talented writers and editors.

honolulu star-bulletin 1949-01-08 mccullagh's hatred of the star

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 8, 1949.

McCullagh’s dislike for the the Star made it into the North American wire services, with this story spreading as far as Hawaii.

star 1949-03-26 cga 1

Toronto Star, March 26, 1949.

The first of many front-page Star editorials on the CGA and its potential effects.

gm 1949-03-28 editorial on protecting ontario charities

Globe and Mail, March 28, 1949. 

star 1949-03-30 dennison and temple

Toronto Star, March 30, 1949.

A few words about who was serving at Queen’s Park at the time. The result of the June 1948 provincial election was 53 PC, 21 CCF, 14 Liberal, and 2 LPP (Labor-Progressive Party, the legally acceptable name of the Communists). Though his party won, Premier George Drew lost 13 seats compared to 1945, including his own. He was vanquished by one of the men seen here, William “Temperance Bill” Temple. Drew handed the premiership over to veteran Peel MPP Thomas Laird Kennedy, who would serve as interim leader until the PCs voted for a permanent replacement on April 27, 1949.

Besides Temple, the CCF caucus of 1949 was an interesting mix of MPPs. Among them:

  • William Dennison (St. David), a speech therapist who served as Toronto’s mayor from 1966 to 1972.
  • Agnes Macphail (York East), elected as Canada’s first female federal MP in 1921. She had switched to provincial politics earlier in the decade.
  • C.H. Millard (York West), who was the United Auto Workers local president during the Oshawa GM strike in 1937, beginning a career which shaped trade union activism in Ontario.
  • Reid Scott(Beaches), who, at 21, was the youngest person elected to the Ontario legislature until Sam Oosterhoff in 2016. He later served the public as a city councillor, judge, and federal MP. When he died in 2016, he was the last surviving member of the parliamentary committee who chose the current Canadian flag.

star 1949-03-30 charities bill editorial cartoon

Cartoon by Les Callan, Toronto Star, March 30, 1949.

oj 1949-03-30 editorial 250px

Ottawa Journal, March 30, 1949.

The Ottawa Journal was among the conservative papers who disagreed with the bill.

gm 1949-03-31 bill assists charities 1

Globe and Mail, March 31, 1949.

A front page editorial where the G&M takes the high ground in paragraph one, then resorts to name calling in paragraph two. But then with a title like “Pay Up and Shut Up,” could you really expect less?

oj 1949-03-31 kennedy statement

Ottawa Journal, March 31, 1949.

Premier Kennedy’s thoughts on the bill. Apart from a three-year break following the Liberal landslide of 1934, Kennedy served as an MPP for Peel from 1919 to 1959. He served as minister of agriculture under four premiers, and retained the portfolio during his interim premiership. His name lives on via a Mississauga secondary school and two major roads in Peel Region (Kennedy Road and Tomken Road).

ws 1949-04-01 editorial

Windsor Star, April 1, 1949.

gm 1949-04-01 editorial cartoon

Cartoon by Jack Booth, Globe and Mail, April 1, 1949. 

The G&M‘s cartoon following CCF leader Ted Jolliffe’s filibuster (which, if you have access to the online archives of the G&M and the Star, you can read lengthy excerpts printed in each paper). The man in the dumpster at the back is federal CCF leader M.J. Coldwell. Pro-CGA coverage accused Jolliffe of defending the Star in order to lure the paper away from its traditional support of the provincial Liberals.

oc 1949-04-01 destroying a newspaper editorial 400px

Ottawa Citizen, April 1, 1949.

star 1949-04-02 charities bill editorial cartoon

Cartoon by Les Callan, Toronto Star, April 2, 1949. 

fp 1949-04-02 editorial 350px

Financial Post, April 2, 1949.

The Financial Post also reported on the potential effects of the original bill on charities and foundations, including the University of Toronto (with its interests in Connaught Laboratories and University of Toronto Press) and the Royal Conservatory of Music (which ran music publisher Frederick Harris).

star 1949-04-06 agnes macphail on bill

Toronto Star, April 6, 1949.

Agnes Macphail’s feelings about the CGA, along with a guest appearance by former premier Harry Nixon (also not a fan of the legislation).

star 1949-04-06 tory

Toronto Star, April 6, 1949.

Was John S.D. Tory (grandfather of the current Toronto mayor) an advisor on the CGA…

gm 1949-04-07 ccf filibuster john tory

Globe and Mail, April 7, 1949.

…or not?

ws 1949-04-06 editorial

Windsor Star, April 6, 1949.

cc 1949-04-07 anti cga editorial

Canadian Champion (Milton, ON), April 7, 1949.

newmarket era 1949-04-07 anti cga editorial

Newmarket Era and Express, April 7, 1949.

Excerpts of pro-CGA editorials from papers of all sizes and publishing frequency were reprinted in the Star.

kingsville reporter 1949-04-07 pro cga editorial

Kingsville Reporter,  April 7, 1949.

stouffville tribune 1949-04-07 pro cga editorial

Stouffville Tribune, April 7, 1949.

A pair of small-town pro-CGA editorials. Of the larger papers in the province, the G&M published a supportive editorial from the Hamilton Spectator. I wonder what the London Free Press‘s take was, as its name never came up in anyone’s coverage.

gm 1949-04-07 anti-jolliffe editorial slam

Globe and Mail, April 7, 1949.

The shortest CGA-related editorial, and a fine example of the snark that enveloped everyone.

star 1949-04-07 front page editorial

Toronto Star, April 7, 1949.

The Star‘s front page editorial the day after the CGA passed. This sums up several other articles which had run in the paper over the previous week.

star 1949-04-07 mccullagh and time

Toronto Star, April 7, 1949.

McCullagh’s interview appears to have been in the Canadian version of Time – it’s not in the April 11, 1949 cover dated American edition.

gm 1949-04-08 editorialGlobe and Mail, April 8, 1949. 

star 1949-06-23 drew and mccullagh and newspapers 1

star 1949-06-23 drew and mccullagh and newspapers 2

Toronto Star, June 23, 1949.

How the Star and McCullagh’s papers covered the 1949 federal election is worthy of a post of its own, if only to show the depths both went to sling mud at each other. Drew fared poorly in his first election as federal PC leader, as their seat count dropped from 65 in 1945 to 41. In Ontario, their count dropped from 48 to 25.

star 1958-03-26 front page

Toronto Star, March 26, 1958.

The Water Nymph Club (Part Five)

During the summer of 1923, the Telegram published a syndicated series of swimming tips for women. As summer swim season approaches (maybe), it seems like a good time to return to this series.  Click here for the full series

tely 1923-08-13 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 13, 1923.

Winsome: “generally pleasing and engaging because of a childlike charm and innocence” (for example, “a winsome smile”) – Merriam-Webster

Get used to seeing “winsome” a lot during the rest of this series: the Tely would use it a lot. Do not feel embarrassed if this creeps you out, as from a 2020 perspective, it comes off as the editors going overboard to fetishize female swimmers.

tely 1923-08-13 a nymph is always a lady

The Telegram, August 13, 1923.

On the front page of the paper’s second section, readers were told why men cannot be water nymphs. Something about Greek mythology and concrete gender boundaries. Still, the paper made sure any hot-blooded men would have an opportunity to show off their swimming skills and torsos. Given that prohibition was still in effect in Ontario in 1923, there was little chance that, unless you took a flask behind a pavilion, “Swimming Expert” Johnnie Walker would enjoy with you a swig of the fine beverage he shared his name with.

Then again, the copy editor might have tossed back a few shots. Johnny (not Johnnie) Walker was a distinguished swimming coach and instructor, whose notable students included George “The Catalina Kid” Young. Walker’s renown was such that he received an obituary in the New York Times in 1935, which mentioned his training camp for Lake Ontario swimming marathons and his role as swim coach at the West End YMCA. During 1923, his son Tommy was a champion in an American pentathlon.

tely 1923-08-13 water nymph carnival ad

The Telegram, August 13, 1923.

By this point, at least two ads a day were dedicated to promoting the carnival. Let’s take a break and return to the actual lessons…

tely 1923-08-14 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 14, 1923.

tely 1923-08-15 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 15, 1923.

Your break from “winsome” is about to end…

tely 1923-08-15 fine array of water nymphs

The Telegram, August 15, 1923.

More historically important than the Water Nymph Carnival: work progressing nicely on Kingston Road between Oshawa and Whitby.

tely 1923-08-16 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 16, 1923.

tely 1923-08-16 water nymph carnival article

The Telegram, August 16, 1923.

tely 1923-08-17 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 17, 1923.

tely 1923-08-17 water nymph carnival ad 2

The Telegram, August 17, 1923.

And here’s your admission coupon…

The Telegram printing plant listed at 650 Dupont Street is today the Dupont and Christie Loblaws.

tely 1923-08-18 water nymph club

The Telegram, August 18, 1923.

Next time: Complete team coverage of the 1923 Telegram Water Nymph Carnival.

Additional sources: the May 1, 1935 edition of the New York Times.

A Guide to Online Toronto Historical Newspaper Resources

Let’s say you’re a historical writer/researcher. You have some Toronto-related projects on the go, or are taking your enforced stay at home as an opportunity to work on those ideas you’ve had on the backburner. You determine you’re going to need to do some newspaper research for your project.

In many cases, this isn’t a problem.

For some time, I’ve thought about creating a series of guides for Toronto-centric historical resources. The current situation surrounding COVID-19 feels like an appropriate time to show where you can find old Toronto papers online for free—which titles are available, and which aren’t. If there’s anything I miss in the following list, send a message and I’ll add it.

Toronto Public Library

star 1919-02-17 front page

If you have a TPL account, you have full access to the following newspaper archives:

Globe and Mail
Covers the Globe (1844-1936) and the Globe and Mail (1936-2015).

Toronto Star
Covers the paper from 1894 to 2016. Note that the early issues (1892-1893) are missing.

To access these, go to “A to Z List of Databases” page.

Tip: If you’re in either of these databases and want results from both of them at the same time, click on “ProQuest” in the top left corner, then conduct your search. This will also provide one-stop-shop access to the rest of the ProQuest databases the TPL offers, which opens up stories from the National Post, some Metroland community papers (from the late 1990s on), post-2015 G&M and Star stories, magazines, academic journals, and so on.

The TPL also has digitized copies of the British Colonist between 1838 and 1846. Using the normal library search function, type in “British Colonist,” the month and the year you are looking for (H/T to Jane MacNamara).

Google News

me sample page

A short-lived project to digitize papers. There’s useful material here, but it’s a pain to work with. You can’t download pages (I use screen captures to preserve material for later use), the papers are poorly organized and full of gaps, and the search function is useless. Toronto-based papers available on here include:

British Colonist (1843-1854)
WARNING: from 1848 on issues are mixed in with a Halifax paper of the same name.

Colonial Advocate (1824-1834)

Financial Post (1907-1986)
Scattered missing issues. If you are a paid subscriber to Newspapers.com, save your brain cells and search for FP (and its successor, the National Post) there.

Mail and Empire (1895-1900)
Listed under “Daily Mail and Empire.” Large gaps within this time period.

Mackenzie’s Weekly Message (1852-1853)

Toronto Daily Mail (1881-1885, 1887-1895)
Large gaps within these two time periods.

Toronto World (1885-1886, 1890, 1911-1921)
Large gaps. Some of the missing weekday issues between 1911 and 1915 are filed under the Toronto Sunday World. The uploaders were not paying close attention.

Ontario Community Newspapers Portal

weston sample page

Hosted by OurDigitalWorld, lots of material covering the GTA. While some communities on the portal only have indexes, the following have pages you can view and download:

Barrie
Clarington (including Bowmanville and Orono)
Halton Hills (including Acton and Georgetown)
Milton
Newmarket
Richmond Hill
Weston
Whitby
Whitchurch-Stouffville

Simon Fraser University

cjn example

SFU has digitized numerous ethnic papers across the country, including the following Toronto-based titles:

Canadian India Times
Canadian Jewish News
Canadian Jewish Review
Courrier Sud
Crescent
El Popular
Hung Chung She Po
Messenger
Minchung Sinmun
Modern Times Weekly
Shing Wah Daily News
Tairiku Jiho
Vestnik
Zhyttia I Slovo

Canadiana (updated July 27, 2020)

Recently redesigned, Canadiana (part of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network) has a growing selection of Ontario newspapers. Current holdings include:

Weekly Mail (1873-1880)
The weekly edition of the Toronto Daily Mail.

Toronto World (1881-1915, 1918-1919)
The majority of issues from these periods.

Internet Archive (updated June 15, 2020)

thevarsity102_0001

The main draw here is The Varsity, covering all issues from 1880 to 2010. Other U of T papers uploaded include an assortment of Erindale campus papers and some issues of Toike Oike.

The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has uploaded a selection of editions of the Toronto Sunday World published between 1912 and 1920. More on their collection here.

Now

NOW Magazine

The entire back issue archive. Registration required.

Who’s Missing?

20121027lasttelycover

While these resources will cover many of your needs, there are plenty of papers that haven’t been digitized yet. Here are several key publications that are missing in action:

The Leader (1852-1878)
For a time the city’s leading conservative rival of the Globe, until it fell out of favour with the Tories, which led to the creation of the Mail. Left a physical legacy in Leader Lane, a small street near St. Lawrence Market.

The Mail/Mail and Empire (1872-1936)
One of the city’s first papers to make use of columnists, including pioneering female journalist Kit Coleman. There were periods where it was an exciting paper to read, other times the dullest waste of newsprint imaginable. Also interesting to see its evolution during the 1880s from a near-official Conservative party organ into a paper with an independent mind, before returning to the Tory fold.

The Telegram (1876-1971)
While portions of the paper’s photo archive have been digitized by York University, no issues are currently available (I was once told by somebody at York the cost to do so would be prohibitive, given it was published for nearly a century). Given the paper’s strong influence, for better or worse, on City Hall politics, its long circulation and philosophical war with the Star, and overall excellence during the late 1960s (the “After Four” section is fantastic for tracking the city’s youth culture), its lack of availability is unfortunate.

The Toronto Sunday World (1880-1924)
The haphazard selection on Google News gives a good hint of the perennially underfunded World, whose “Sunday” edition (actually published late Saturday night) is a great early 20th century weekend paper. The paper’s final period (1921-1924), when it was published by the Mail and Empire, is difficult to find even on microfilm.

The News (1881-1919)
The News had several personality shifts over its existence, and, thanks to a labour action, spawned the Star. When it was good, it was really good, especially under E.E. Sheppard in the 1880s and John Willison in the early 1900s.

Star Weekly (1910-1968)
A weekend spin-off of the Toronto Star, which evolved from a weekly compilation of stories into a magazine-style publication full of features, fiction, and colour comics. Merged with Southam’s The Canadian weekend supplement in 1968, resulting in the name gradually being phased out. While The Canadian and its successors can be found intermittently in the online Star archives (as well as other online archives of Southam-owned papers), the Star Weekly isn’t included.

The Sun (1971-)
For all its self-mythologizing, the Sun has not been kind to its online archives, nor has any digitization appear to have taken place. Some people might count this as a blessing, but it is a valuable record of editorial opinion.

Eye/The Grid (1991-2014)
Stories are available here and there, but the removal of its archive was a lousy move on Torstar’s part, making plenty of valuable coverage of Toronto’s cultural and political scene vanish.

1933 Mail and Empire Women’s Pages 8: Wrapping up the Cooking School

For previous entries in this drawn-out series, follow this link.

me 1933-04-08 applause marks close of cooking school 1

me 1933-04-08 applause marks close of cooking school 2

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

More front page coverage to wrap up the cooking school, plus a list of winners.

me 1933-04-08 apology ad

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

Beyond the lead story, an apology was printed for those who were turned away.

me 1933-04-08 peek frean ad

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

Readers were reminded of products that were demonstrated at the show, so that they’d remember to buy those fine products on their next shopping trip.

me 1933-04-08 our wonderful party will be remembered cooking school

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

Ann Adam was full of exclamation marks in her summary, because exclamation marks are good! They are indeed wonderful! Wonderful for expression! Wonderful for the enthusiasm of advertisers and suppliers! Wonderful for the recipes you will make!

me 1933-04-08 spinach

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

And then it was time to return to regularly-scheduled content, such as these ideas for using spinach.

me 1933-04-08 woman's point of view

Mail and Empire, April 8, 1933.

Let’s finish off with this installment of “Woman’s Point of View,” which tackles gardening and unemployment, money and unemployment, and Russia.

(More on the member of the Ignatieff family mentioned here)

The Telegram Cares When It Comes to Helping You Vote

tely 57-06-07 where to vote i'm going to vote graphic 500px

The Telegram, June 7, 1957.

During election campaigns, newspapers usually focus on partisan battles and the drama surrounding the fortunes of political leaders and local candidates. But, as the Telegram did in 1957, they have also provided public service with full information on where to vote, how the voting process works, and even offer assistance to those who need help getting to their polling station.

tely 57-06-07 where to vote i'm going to vote article

The Telegram, June 7, 1957.

Getting 63 car dealers across Metropolitan Toronto to help on voting day feels like an impressive feat. Rides were traditionally offered by individual or party campaigns.

tely 57-06-07 where to vote i'm going to vote map

A map of Metro’s ridings in 1957. Below were a list of local campaign offices (“committee rooms”)  for the four main parties who ran that year: CCF, Liberal, Progressive Conservative, and Social Credit. Many candidates had more than one office in a riding–in York-Scarborough, 12 sites were listed for Liberal Frank Enfield.

The next day, the paper ran photos depicting situations where you could call the Tely for voting assistance…

tely 57-06-08 how tely will help voters 1

tely 57-06-08 how tely will help voters 2

tely 57-06-08 how tely will help voters 3

tely 57-06-08 how tely will help voters 4

The Telegram, June 8, 1957.

tely 57-06-09 dief endorsement

The Telegram, June 9, 1957.

Mind you, the Tely had its own ideas on who to vote for in ’57, as seen in this editorial from the short-lived Sunday edition of the paper.

Election Results, 1930 Style

Originally published on Torontoist on April 29, 2011.

20110429newspaperstand

Newsstand at the northeast corner of King and Bay, November 9, 1931. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 58, Item 1289.

How will you discover the latest election results? Watch them on television? Head to the neighbourhood bar? Follow your favourite website’s coverage? Take the matter into your own hands and tweet the early returns to the entire world? OK, maybe you should be careful with that last option—if a tattletale rats you out, an Elections Canada official may reward you with a hefty fine, since social media is off-limits while the west coast is still voting.

Back in 1930, early reporting wasn’t a problem. The internet hadn’t been invented yet, Canada didn’t have a national broadcasting network, any telegraph and telephone operators who sent early results to the west wouldn’t have faced any harsh legal penalties, as section 329 of the Canada Elections Act wasn’t enacted for another eight years.

How did Torontonians satisfy their election night curiosity at the dawn of the Great Depression? Thanks to the city’s four daily newspapers, voters who cast their ballots on July 28, 1930, had two options: listen to special radio broadcasts in the comfort of their homes, or join the crowds gathered outside the cluster of press buildings around King and Bay to find out if Conservative leader R.B. Bennett would topple the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

For those in a partying mood, the liveliest festivities were found at the Star’s new headquarters at 80 King Street West (now the site of First Canadian Place). Four screens were set up: one for typed bulletins with the latest results, one utilizing a telautograph (an ancestor of the fax machine) “by which the actual writing of the operator at the telegraph wire is made visible to the crowd,” and two movie screens. To soothe those who were anxious and to entertain those who were bored waiting for the results, a 22-piece orchestra was on hand. For readers who couldn’t make it downtown, the Star set up two screens at Fairmount Park at Bowmore Road and Gerrard Street East (one featuring the latest bulletins, the other comedies), which were accompanied by diversions ranging from a military band to a ladies’ softball game. Coverage on the Star’s radio station, CFCA, was anchored by hockey broadcasting pioneer Foster Hewitt.

20110429mailempire

Mail and Empire building, northwest corner of Bay and King streets, December 30, 1913. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 2037.

A few doors east of the Star at the northwest corner of King and Bay, the Mail and Empire didn’t add any frilly touches to its offerings, apart from a loudspeaker that played music and a platform for candidates to address the crowd. Results were screened across the street on the side of Cawthra House. The paper promised that during its four hours on air over radio station CKNC, there wouldn’t be any breaks from its election coverage for regular programming—“lulls, if any, between results will be filled in with music.”

The opposite was true of the Telegram’s radio plan. Listeners of CKGW were promised that there would be little disruption to the programs they normally enjoyed on a Monday night, as updates from the Tely intruded for three brief election bulletins. Meanwhile, down at the Tely’s office at Bay and Melinda (now occupied by Commerce Court), results were flashed on the side of the building. Breaks were filled by movies, projected drawings sketched on the spot by the paper’s cartoonists, and live music courtesy of the 48th Highlanders. (We wonder if any of the pro-Bennett blurbs the paper used as space fillers during the campaign—such as “British Bankers Back Bennett…So Should You” and “Vote Bennett and a Boom/Oust W.L.M. King and Gloom”—were projected on “the old lady of Melinda Street.”)

20110429globeads

Advertisements, the Globe, July 26, 1930 (left); the Globe, July 28, 1930 (right).

The Globe, then located at 64 Yonge Street, projected returns for the public via a stereopticon (or magic lantern) onto a canvas hanging on the Melinda Street side of the Dominion Bank Building (now One King West). Seven phone lines were set up to provide returns for eager callers. The paper promised that for its radio coverage on CFRB, “Special preparations have been made to make the radio newscast as rapid and accurate as human ingenuity and the super-powered equipment of CFRB will permit.” Regardless of which way the vote went, readers were promised that Prime Minister King would provide a short radio message once the results were in.

That speech turned out to be a concession address, as Bennett emerged the victor. While the result may have disappointed ardent followers mulling outside the Liberal-leaning Globe, we suspect the crowd was jubilant outside the staunchly Tory Telegram. Despite each paper’s fierce partisanship, no fights between neighbouring left-leaning Star readers and right-leaning Mail and Empire fans were reported. If there were any bitter feelings, voters bottled them up until the internet comments section was invented.

Additional material from the July 28, 1930, edition of the Globe; the July 26, 1930, edition of the Mail and Empire; the July 26, 1930, and July 28, 1930, editions of the Telegram; and the July 28, 1930, edition of the Toronto Star.

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

globe 30-07-26 westinghouse ad

The Globe, July 26, 1930.

If you’re going to listen to the election results via radio, you want to make sure your set is working. There were no reports as to whether this ad prompted a run on tubes throughout Toronto.

globe 1930-07-29 radio returns

The Globe, July 29, 1930.

me 30-07-28 mail election night plans

Mail and Empire, July 28, 1930.

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Toronto Star, July 28, 1930.

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Toronto Star, July 29, 1930. Click on image for larger version.

I love how the spotlights emanating from the Star‘s building have been drawn in for dramatic effect. There also appear to have been plenty of disembodied limbs in the crowd.

star 1930-07-29 record election crowd watches star returns 1200px story

Toronto Star, July 29, 1930. Click on image for larger version.  

tely 30-07-29 how results were relayed

Evening Telegram, July 29, 1930.

While the Tely had reporters stationed in Conservative campaign offices around the city, it is not mentioned if they sent anyone to hang out with the Liberals. One Grit candidate they might have spent the evening with was Samuel Factor in the short-lived riding of Toronto West Centre, who knocked off former Toronto mayor and veteran Conservative MP Tommy Church (a politician the Tely treated with the reverance usually reserved for religious deities).

Vintage Toronto Ads: A Home University Fit For an Empire

Originally published on Torontoist on March 2, 2010, though the image was long-missing there.

empire 95-01-26 home university

The Empire, January 26, 1895.

Ah, nothing like using the bait of personal enlightenment to lure people hoping to expand their knowledge base into buying newspaper subscriptions and a set of encyclopaedias. The only cost to unlocking the “sum of all knowledge” and avoid being forever disparaged for having only attended a little red school house was to read the news of the day filtered through the official viewpoint of the governing political party in Ottawa. It may have mattered little which of the five great classes of humanity an Empire reader belonged to, as long as they ultimately used the knowledge gained to cast their ballots for the Conservatives (or, to go with the party name that was fading from official use, Liberal-Conservatives).

Based on these ads, the heart of the Empire’s library was the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Also known as the “scholar’s edition,” this incarnation of the popular series was published in twenty-four volumes between 1875 and 1889. Perhaps special note was made of this version being the “Edinburgh Edition” to distinguish it from the cheap forgeries that floated around the United States.

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Toronto Daily Mail, December 17, 1887.

As for the newspaper offering the means of expanding one’s knowledge, the Empire was launched when the Conservatives found they could no longer trust the Mail (which the party had backed since the paper’s founding in 1872) to always push party policies. The editorial direction of the Empire was clear when the first edition hit the streets of Toronto on December 27, 1887:

It is proposed to strengthen by all legitimate means the hands of the Party and the Government that have controlled the politics of the Dominion (with the exception of a term of five years) ever since the foundations of Confederation were laid. Believing that the public affairs of Canada have been, on the whole, wisely and ably administrated under the premiership of Sir John A. Macdonald, and holding that the remarkable progress of our country has been due in large measure to his far-sighted and patriotic administration, The Empire will extend to the Leader and his Government its fullest confidence and heartiest support.

In short, if you liked new Liberal leader Wilfrid Laurier, the Empire wasn’t going to be high on your daily reading list. Based on random flips through its pages, we recommend the Empire to those readers who have deep interests in the National Policy, coverage of the death of Sir John A. in 1891, and gatherings of late nineteenth-century cheese producers.

Faithful readers who dithered about buying a set of encyclopaedias had little time to ponder a purchase. Two days after the last of today’s ads appeared, the Empire published its final edition and merged with the Mail to form the Mail and Empire (which merged with the Globe in 1936). The newspapers on the left were mixed in their reactions to the Empire’s demise—the Star noted it was a “sorry good-bye” but that Empire staff “know how the chicken felt” on this “cold day” before the Star editorial writer criticized the Tories, while the Globe gave a front-page thank you to Empire staff for temporarily housing their paper after a fire in January 1895 destroyed the Globe’s office.

Additional material from the December 27, 1887, edition of the Empire and the February 6, 1895, edition of the Toronto Star.

1933 Mail and Empire Women’s Pages 7: See the New Cookery Methods and Latest Fashions

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Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

And so (after a long hiatus for this series), we roll into day 3 of the Mail and Empire‘s cooking school and fashion revue.

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Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

A sampling of the prizes used to entice readers to attend the cooking demonstrations.

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Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933. Click on image for larger version.

A sampling of the styles displayed during the fashion revue.

me 1933-04-06 crepes suzettes are you attending our cooking school

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

Beyond the reminders to attend the cooking school, regular content carried on. In this case, recipes for crepes suzettes and mayo.

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Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933. Click on image for larger version.

A full page of recipes, alongside ads for the cooking school’s suppliers. The Acme Farmers Dairy plant was located on Walmer Road south of Casa Loma. After a succession of ownership changes, the plant closed in 1986 and was replaced with housing. Pickering Farms was acquired by Loblaws in 1954.

Mrs. Shockley was rolling in endorsements during her stay in Toronto. On April 6 alone, besides these two ads, she also pitched Mazola Corn Oil and Parker’s Cleaners.

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Anchora of Delta Gamma, January 1932.

Sidebar: a contemporary biography of Katherine Caldwell Bayley (1889-1976), aka Ann Adam. Beyond what’s mentioned here, she also wrote several cookbooks as Ann Adam or whatever house names her clients used. Based in Toronto, she ran Ann Adam Homecrafters, a consulting agency which operated through the 1960s. Among her assistants was Helen Gagen, who later became food editor of the Telegram.

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The Globe, February 21, 1935.

An ad for one of Bayley’s regular radio gigs. CKGW, which was owned by Gooderham and Worts distillery, was leased by the forerunner of the CBC around 1933 and changed its call letters to CRCT. On Christmas Eve 1937 it became CBL.

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Bayley’s first “Today’s Food” column for the Globe and Mail, September 24, 1942.

When the Mail and Empire merged with the Globe in November 1936, Bayley’s columns were not carried over. Six years passed before she joined the Globe and Mail as a daily food columnist on “The Homemaker Page.”

Her reintroduction stressed the realities of wartime home economics. “This daily column is designed to help you with the sometimes rather complicated problem of adjusting your cooking and meal-planning to the regulations necessary in a country at war,” the page editor wrote in the September 25, 1942 edition. “Some foods are rationed; some are no longer obtainable, and of others we are asked voluntarily to reduce our consumption. All this, and the effort, in spite of it, to increase, rather than decrease our physical efficiency to enable us to fill wartime jobs, involves more careful catering for our families and a skillful use of substitutes.”

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Globe and Mail, February 27, 1963.

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Globe and Mail, December 31, 1964.

Bayley’s final G&M column received no fanfare elsewhere in the paper, but went out in a partying mood.

Back to the cooking school…

 

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By April 7, the cooking school was front page advertorial copy…um…news.

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Mail and Empire, April 7, 1933.

Next: the cooking school wrap-up.

The Dawning of the Age of the Ugly Girl (in North Toronto)

Originally published on Torontoist on May 14, 2011.

When a community paper like the North Toronto Herald (and its identical twin the North Toronto Free Press) featured fashion suggestions back in the early 1970s, they were aimed at homemakers or ladies-who-lunch and not those who viewed themselves as hip and groovy. Anything radical or, worse, “unflattering” to the feminine physique was deemed worthy of an editorial by an anonymous writer whose visual sensibilities were offended by the dawning of the “age of Aquarius”—or by an eye-opening trip to the local supermarket.

No hint of any fashion crimes is evident to readers grazing the front page of the November 5, 1971 edition of the Herald. What you will find are two columns devoted to community social notices (the top item was a simple acknowledgment that Mrs. Chester Jordan of Fairlawn Avenue “entertained a number of her neighbours”), a thinly-veiled advertorial for the local business association “from the retailer’s viewpoint” (merchant unnamed), coverage for the second week in a row of a new pizza pub, a preview of an amateur production of You Can’t Take It With You in East York, and one of many urgings dotted throughout the paper to “shop at your local retail stores.” We assume the latter included the paper’s publisher, North Toronto Herald Printers, whose own ad takes up a good chunk of page two.

The editorial page also looks innocuous upon first glance. Longtime conservation columnist “Hec” reports on his recent trip to the National Sea Products plant in Lunenberg and focuses less on preserving ocean perch than discovering the secret of their excellent flavour—all that’s missing is an interview with Captain High Liner. Another story informs readers that singer Paul Anka and impressionist Rich Little will make special appearances at an upcoming fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease at the Inn on the Park. While you might glance at these stories, we suspect your eyes will quickly divert to an unsigned opinion piece in the top right corner with its subject screaming out in full caps: “THE AGE OF THE UGLY GIRL.”

Curious, you read on and quickly discover the neighbourhood’s ingrained conservatism. This is not going to be the paper’s typical plea for better understanding among all creeds and colours (other editorials that month pushed for increased funding for the United Nations and less money for missiles). From the opening sentences, it’s clear that this editorial is launching an attack on the younger, foolhardy generation who probably aren’t upstanding members of the North Toronto Business Association.

They tell us this has been the Age of Aquarius. But it’s really been the Age of the Ugly Girl. Of course there are a lot of lovely ones—they stand out almost incandescently, so fresh, so natural, their hair shining, their faces clean and unmade-up. Yet they too are a trifle over-exposed and in their extreme minis and long hair, resembling nothing so much as a bevy of lovely mermaids.

Nonetheless, these attractive ones only serve to emphasize the generally unkempt, unpressed, almost unwashed look of the majority of girls who stroll our streets. For them, mini-skirts and “hot pants” only serve to emphasize their legs, lean, knock-kneed and scrawny or ugly flat. As girls, they seem deliberately to choose the styles that emphasize the bad points.

Where this passion for ugliness will end, no one knows. Are these supposedly “hip” youngsters governed by the same herd instinct which causes women to conform to fashions which flatter no one. Fashions for women for the past three years have resembled something out of a horror movie. Are the current styles just a snide joke of the fashion creators, a put-on, like the one in the Tale of the Emperor’s Clothes, which proved that most people will agree on almost anything in order not to differ from the majority opinion? Only a child had the good sense to say—“but the emperor has nothing on.”

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

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North Toronto Herald, November 5, 1971.

The full story about ocean perch. “Hec” appeared for years in the North Toronto Herald and the North Toronto Free Press.

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North Toronto Herald, November 5, 1971.

The paper also highlighted the left-handed nature of the designer of the pizza chain it was promoting at the time. Sadly, there was no article the following week heralding Pizza Patio as a cure for the “Age of the Ugly Girl.”

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Toronto Star, October 23, 1971.

While we’re talking about Pizza Patio, here are a few words from the Star‘s “Dining with Liz” advertorial column, which was its latest attempt to compete with the Globe and Mail’s Mary Walpole. The chain, which was later purchased by Pizza Delight, existed in Toronto through the mid-1980s.

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North Toronto Herald, November 5, 1971.

A few words about the newest competitor among Toronto’s dailies. I’m not sure even the Sun itself would describe itself these days as “a morning newspaper of information and wisdom which is hard to fault.”

Want to read more North Toronto Herald? Bound volumes from the early 1950s onward are available in the local history section of the Toronto Public Library’s Northern District branch.