What’s in the database right now?

Number of schools: 120
Other organizations: 3
Names on memorials: 47,679
Latest additions:
St. Michael’s College
Newman Club of the University of Toronto

Earlier posts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Leslieville School: 150 years and “The Maple Leaf Forever”

Leslieville (Leslie Street) school will celebrate 150 years on April 26. The school’s first principal was Alexander Muir, composer of “The Maple Leaf Forever.”

The school’s war memorials (485 names) have been indexed and a photo is on our website. Congratulations to this east-of-the-Don school and to a neighbourhood packed with history.

Leslieville School anniversary poster

Preparing War Memorials: Danforth Tech Shows How

How did schools collect the names for their war memorials? Danforth Tech, with 2,235 volunteers— more than any other school in the Commonwealth—shows us.

Danforth Tech's memorial form

Danforth Tech’s form for collecting students’ info for war memorials. Photo courtesy Danforth CTI Library and Archives

A War Memorial Committee sent forms like John D. Marr’s (pictured here) asking former students how their names should appear. This form, not dated, was probably completed shortly after the end of the Second World War, when John Marr returned to his life in Toronto.

“Have not seen that signature in years,” Ronald Marr commented when we sent him a copy of the war service record signed by his father. “P.O. Tel” likely stands for Petty Officer Telegraph,” he suggested. John Marr, a wireless operator on a corvette in the Royal Canadian Navy, became so skilled at Morse Code that he was appointed to teach recruits in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Another Danforth list shows John Marr’s Regimental Number: V-22191; his unit: RCNVR (Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve); and his address: 189 Wineva Ave.

Throughout the war, the school also sent out much longer “permanent war records” forms, asking for years of attendance at Danforth; date of enlistment; medals; campaigns served; names and addresses of parents; and much more. The returned forms and other records, including some photographs, are now kept in the school’s War Memorial Library. No long form for John Marr has turned up yet.

We hope to show some of Danforth’s long forms later, but will need permission of the former students or their families. A few are shown on Danforth Diaspora.

Danforth was daunting—the size; the scope. (See the full history and indexed names here.)  Librarian Barbara MacKay gave us generous access to the school’s library and archives. “For King and Country” volunteer Guy Anderson gamely input 2,472 names (some names are listed twice) determined to finish by Remembrance Day—and visited the school to update our photos. Ron Marr kindly gave permission to tell about his father, the young man who carefully filled out a form so many years ago.

For King and Country goes to Traffic Court

In the airport-style waiting room of Toronto West (York) Court House—Traffic Division, the security guard searching bags answers my question about the overhead sign “FAW.”

“I think the ‘F’ stands for first offence,” he says.

My first offence? Failing to produce my motor vehicle permit when stopped by police. A court officer quickly dismisses the charge—with a warning—when I show the “misplaced” document. I head to the coffee bar outside the waiting room. A display case catches my eye. Back to ask the security guard’s permission to photograph an unexpected find:

A Book of Remembrance “dedicated to York’s men and women who served in our Armed Forces during our country’s time of greatest need.” The book is open to pages 78 and 79. The thickness of the book suggests a collection of thousands of names. No visible clues to tell what war or wars; whether “York” refers to village, county, borough, or city. Probably there’s an explanation at the front of the book, but everything is under lock and key.

Also displayed is the York mayor’s chain of office, with a detailed history and explanation of the medallions of British, early Ontario, and native symbols.

The City (formerly the borough; earlier the township) of York was absorbed along with East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and Toronto, into a new megacity of Toronto on January 1, 1998.

There are a million stories in our megacity. This is one of them. Or maybe it’s a trilogy…

  • Book of Remembrance for “York”
    Toronto West Court Office, York Civic Centre
    2700 Eglinton Avenue West (one block west of Keele; north side of Eglinton Avenue)
    Toronto, Ontario  M6M 1V1
    (2nd floor-outside Traffic Court room)
  • York Museum, which “preserves and recounts the stories of the former City of York from its early beginnings to the present day.”
    Open by appointment.
    2694 Eglinton Avenue West, in the Centennial Recreation Centre
  • York Memorial Collegiate Institute
    2690 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto (York) Ontario, M6M1T9
    Built in 1929 as memorial to Township of York youth killed in the First World War, the school features many memorials to both World Wars—already photographed for our project. The indexed names will appear on our website as soon as possible.

These three York buildings are lined up side by side, on the north side of Eglinton Avenue, within sight of, and steps away from, one another. If you’re looking for info on York, here are three sources to check.

Book of Remembrance in York Civic Centre, Toronto, Ontario (photo ©Toronto Branch OGS)

Book of Remembrance in York Civic Centre, Toronto, Ontario (photo ©Toronto Branch OGS)