website security

April Meeting

Our April Toronto Branch meeting will take place on Monday 27 April starting at 7:30 pm at the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street in Toronto (convenient access from the North York Centre subway station).

The title of our main presentation at this meeting is Out of the Shadows: Imaging the Women of my Family. Branch member Bonnie Bell will tell us about her project to inspire members of her family to become interested in the history of their female ancestors. Using photographs, personal documents, and family stories and memorabilia, Bonnie set out to capture the essential character of each of the women of her past. In addition to sharing some of these  “snapshots” with us, Bonnie will explore the factors that shape how we present our family histories to our relatives and the larger world.

During our mid-meeting break, take the opportunity to drop by our information tables and find out about our Branch courses, workshops and other activities, or just mingle and chat with fellow family history enthusiasts. After the break, we’ll close out the evening with a short presentation from Elayne Lockhart on How DNA Broke Through my Irish Brick Wall and Took me Back 3 Generations – in England!

Please note that we will not be live-streaming our April meeting.

To find out more about what’s in store for future Branch meetings, please visit our Meetings page or browse through our Calendar.

Lost but Not Forgotten…

For King and Country, our online database of war memorials in Toronto schools, continues to grow, with 942 new names just added. These latest names are all from four elementary schools, three of which have now vanished from Toronto’s cityscape without a trace.

Children playing at Humber Bay School in 1914

Children at the Empire Day flag drill at Humber Bay School, May 22, 1914. Photo courtesy the Giles family

The Humber Bay School was built in 1888 on the west side of High Street in Etobicoke, close to the Humber Sewage Treatment Plant. The school premises and the name of the school changed several times over the next 75 years. In 1965, it became the first Etobicoke school to be closed because of declining enrolment, and the building was torn down in 1986 to make way for a housing development.  The Grand Avenue School once stood at 100 Grand Avenue in Etobicoke, just west of Mimico Creek. It was closed in 1969 but was later repurposed as a school for special needs. The building is believed to have been demolished in the late 1970s. The Silverthorn school was located at 55 Ypres Road, near Keele and Eglinton. It opened its classrooms in 1917 and was in operation until 2011, when its students were absorbed into the population of the middle school next door, since renamed Silverthorn Community School. The original building was replaced by a residential development two years ago.

The bricks and mortar of these three schools have gone, but their war memorials survive to remind us of students who volunteered for king and country. Humber Bay’s concrete obelisk memorial now stands proudly at a local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Grand Avenue’s illuminated list of those who served now hangs in the same Legion branch. And Silverthorn’s illuminated list is in the custody of its namesake school next door.

Image of Great War memorial tablet

Great War tablet at Fairbank Memorial Public School ©Toronto Branch OGS

The fourth school whose war volunteers have now been recorded by Toronto Branch is Fairbank Memorial School at 555 Harvie Avenue near Dufferin and Eglinton. Fairbank Memorial, which opened its doors in 1920, was named to honour those who served in the Great War. It houses not only an illuminated list, but also a Great War tablet made of limestone, cut, polished, and engraved by returned soldiers.

The For King and Country database is free to search and now contains a total of more than 39,000 names and 104 schools, with photographs and additional biographical and historical information in many cases. Please get in touch with the project coordinator if you have any photographs or memorabilia of Toronto’s vanished schools that you would like to share – or if you would be interested in volunteering your time to help us continue to expand this valuable collection.

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm Out of the Shadows: Imaging the ...
Out of the Shadows: Imaging the ...
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Bonnie Bell This presentation is one’s women personal project to inspire members of her family to become interested in the history of their female ancestors.   Using photographs, personal documents, and family stories and memorabilia, from[...]
7:30 pm Dead and Buried
Dead and Buried
May 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Sue de Groot Deaths produce many records—death registration, obituary, burial, cemetery, tombstone records, etc.This presentation demonstrates why to collect all records and what information they hold.  
7:30 pm Recent Developments in British a...
Recent Developments in British a...
Jun 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: James F.S. Thomson: Recent Developments in British and Irish Research  This presentation offers an overview of some exciting recently-released resources for British and Irish research. In addition to resources of direct and substantial genealogical interest,[...]

View Calendar

Courses starting & Workshops

6:30 pm Discussion Group: Genealogical R...
Discussion Group: Genealogical R...
May 6 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
THREE SESSIONS ON WEDNESDAYS, MAY 6, 20 AND 27, 2015 You may register for as many sessions as you like: one session only, any two sessions or all three sessions. Do you want to know[...]
9:30 am Genetic Genealogy
Genetic Genealogy
Jun 6 @ 9:30 am – 4:45 pm
Genetic Genealogy @ North York Central Library Auditorium | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
A FULL DAY WORKSHOP Are you wondering what genetic genealogy is all about? Or have you already had some DNA tests done for yourself and your relatives but don’t know what the results mean? Do[...]
5:30 pm Genealogy Summer Camp
Genealogy Summer Camp
Jun 7 @ 5:30 pm – Jun 12 @ 5:00 pm
Genealogy Summer Camp @ Various Toronto libraries and archives
Designed mainly for out-of-town family historians with Ontario roots, this unique program takes researchers to different archives and libraries each day. We’ve also welcomed lots of locals as “daycampers”. Each day starts with a tutorial[...]

View Calendar

Other Events

all-day OGS Conference 2015
OGS Conference 2015
May 29 – May 31 all-day
OGS Conference 2015 @ Georgian College | Barrie | Ontario | Canada
  The Ontario Genealogical Society is hosting its 2015 Conference, Tracks through Time, at Georgian College in beautiful Barrie, Ontario from May 29 to 31, 2015. Over the course of three days, there will be[...]
3:00 pm Scottish Family History Lecture
Scottish Family History Lecture
Sep 18 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Make a note in your calendar to come to an entertaining and informative lecture on Scottish family history by Chris Paton, a well-known professional genealogist living in Scotland. Chris manages the British GENES Blog (covering GENealogy News and[...]
all-day OGS Conference 2016
OGS Conference 2016
Jun 3 – Jun 5 all-day
OGS Conference 2016 @ International Plaza Hotel | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Toronto Branch will welcome hundreds of family historians to the largest genealogical conference in Canada. The event will be based at the International Plaza Hotel and conference centre, close to Pearson International Airport, Highway 401,[...]

View Calendar

Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 600 members? That members get a discount on publications, and course and workshop registration fees? And that Toronto Branch belongs to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, which means our members can also subscribe to and purchase Dell computer products at special rates?