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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.

Call for Speakers: Atlantic Canada

Toronto Branch is planning a full-day workshop in the fall of 2015 on Atlantic Canada genealogy and family history research.

Our keynote speaker for this event will be Halifax-based author and genealogist Dr. Terrence M. Punch. We are now seeking other speakers who would like to be part of this workshop, which will take place on Saturday 17 October at North York Central Library.

Peggys Cove Harbour 01

Proposals for lectures on all aspects of Atlantic Canada genealogy are welcome. We hope to be able to offer sessions on early immigration to the maritime provinces by United Empire Loyalists, the Acadians, and Irish and Scottish settlers; how to trace immigration through shipping records; settlement patterns in the provinces; and subsequent migrations to Ontario and other parts of North America. Potential speakers are invited to suggest other related topics.

You’ll find a link to our detailed call for presentations on our Speakers and Instructors Wanted page.

Please note that the deadline to submit a proposal for this workshop is Saturday 16 May 2015.

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,[...]

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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[...]

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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,[...]

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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?