It’s been a busy week-and-a-half for me on the writing front: a trio of stories set (mostly) in Toronto for TVO. Because after a holiday break, you need a good kickstart to get back in a regular writing groove.
Not everything I find over the course of my research for these kinds of stories can or should make the final cut. So, where appropriate and time permitting, I’ll share with you the scraps from the cutting room floor or the side material that’s too good not to post.
Toronto Star, October 7, 1920.
The earliest Loblaws ad I found, when the chain opened its third store, which shares the current address of St. Lawrence Hall.
Toronto Star, August 26, 1926. Click on image for a larger version.
Within a few years the ads grew larger, and the spotlight was shone on house brands. This ad also shows how the company pitched the benefits of self-service, as competitors slowly began switching over to the format.
The Globe, June 13, 1930.
The introduction of one of Loblaws’ oldest house brands. It may be bagged now, but the look of Pride of Arabia coffee has changed little over the past 90 years.
In 1926 The Globe published a special supplement about Loblaws and related food stories. Among the article titles:
“Interesting Story of Orange Growing Goes Back to 1865”
“Salmon Induced Never to Travel Into U.S. Waters”
“Fine Frozen Foods May Be Appetizing Even on Cold Days”
“Analysis Can Show That Canned Fish is Good, Safe Food”
“Fattening Foods Described For Folks Who Are Thin”
“French Government Made Note of Early Use of Ice Cream”
And, my favourite, “Buying of Products Sold in Groceterias is Full of Romance.” The “romance” derived from items sourced from exotic lands like Asia Minor, Burmah, Mesopotamia, Siam, and Sicily. “Few people actually realize,” the article notes, “the romance existing in the conduct of a modern groceteria establishment, or the great extent of the operations necessary to place at the disposal of the buying public the many and varied lines demanded today.”
The Globe, November 19, 1926.
Photos took readers into the various departments which supplied each groceteria. Some of those spotlighted aren’t a big surprise…
The Globe, November 19, 1926.
…while others just seem funny now. Maybe a Loblaws exec who stumbles upon this post might be inspired to launch a new, 100th anniversary artisanal, handcrafted mayonnaise division.
The Globe, October 2, 1931.
Some chest-thumping as the company opened its 100th location. A condo was recently built on this site.
The trade obit for T.P. Loblaw.
You may also want to read an earlier piece I wrote for Torontoist about the opening of the Cinesphere.
Published circa 1972, this magazine offered readers highlights of the park along with articles spotlighting different regions of the province. “We are an interesting and exciting province,” observes Premier William Davis in his introduction. “One of our greatest assets, our size, is one of our problems. We are so vast it is almost impossible for a person to travel over the whole of the province and get to know it all.”
After a few paragraphs about the economy, Davis concludes that he believes “the province will remain as accommodating as it has been in the past, exerting steady and calm influence on Canada and the rest of the world. I believe we will continue to keep our voices down and let ourselves be judged on the quality of our lives, the clarity of our ideas and the full measure and value of our accomplishments.”
His present-day successors in government would be wise to generally revisit that conclusion.
The section on the Cinesphere from the magazine, highlighting its second season offerings. The ETROGS (named after Sorel Etrog, who sculpted the award winners received) soon became the Genie Awards, which lasted until they were merged with the Geminis to form the Canadian Screen Awards in 2013.
The Varsity, October 6, 1965.
I suspect that when this ad for the Canada Student Loans Plan was published, newspapers were supposed to insert the nearest locations at the bottom. The Varsity decided to let applicants find that out on their own.
Confession: trying to sort the financial details of what students could and couldn’t apply for in terms of bursaries, loans, and scholarships under CSLP and POSAP between 1964 and 1967 was confusing, especially as conditions constantly changed. Congratulations to those who figured it out without suffering a nervous breakdown.
Front page, The Varsity, September 30, 1966.
The Varsity‘s turnout figure for the 1966 POSAP protest in Queen’s Park was at the high end of the estimate scale, while the Globe and Mail claimed as few as 1,200 (I used the Star‘s figure of 2,000, which seemed like a nice, median number). Inside this issue, the Varsity‘s editorial felt the gathering was a success. “It means student leaders do not need to think and work in a vacuum–with efficient and patient preparation they can obtain the co-operation and support of their fellow students and of the faculty and administration.”
Globe and Mail, September 29, 1966.
Queen’s Journal, September 29, 1966.
Following the changes to POSAP in early 1967, the Globe and Mail reported that a rumour spreading around student councils and media “that agitators will be given special preference by the Government in their applications for loans.”
Globe and Mail, August 17, 1967.