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January 2019 meeting

The first of nine Toronto Branch meetings in 2019 will take place on Monday January 28 at Lansing United Church in North York beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A hundred years ago, the Spanish Flu took the lives of 50,000 Canadians in just over 18 months, and more than 50 million people worldwide. One in six Canadian households was hit by the Flu. Yet their stories are little known. Please join us for The Spanish Flu, Toronto’s / Canada’s Forgotten Pandemic, and find out from speaker Mike Clare where it began, how it spread and how the city and the country responded.

After our mid-meeting break, we’ll enjoy a short additional talk by Branch member Michael Nettleton titled What I Learned By Following The Monk From Buffalo.

Lansing United Church is located two blocks south-west of Sheppard and Yonge, at Poyntz Avenue and Beecroft Road (enter from Poyntz). It’s a short walk from the Sheppard-Yonge subway station, which also links to frequent bus service. If you are driving, parking on local streets is free after 6:00 p.m., and there are pay parking lots close by. The few spaces in the church parking lot are reserved for members with accessibility needs.

The Members Network will be gathering in advance of the main meeting from 6:15 on. All Branch members are welcome to join in for informal family history conversation.

Toronto Branch meetings are free to attend and open to all. Visit our Meetings page to find out more.children wearing protective face masks

Legacies of Lakeshore past

Volunteers added hundreds of new names to the Toronto Branch For King and Country database in 2018.

For King and Country is an ongoing Branch project to locate, photograph and transcribe memorials to students, former students and staff of Toronto schools who volunteered for active service during the two World Wars and other conflicts, and research the history of the schools themselves.

Our latest additions to the database are from memorials originally found in three Lakeshore neighbourhoods—once municipalities in their own right—Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch.

The Mimico High School was the first secondary school in Etobicoke. It has been closed for 30 years now, but its original building still stands, on the corner of Mimico Avenue and Royal York Road. We’ve added close to 900 names from the Mimico High School Book of Remembrance.

The David Hornell Junior School, on Victoria Street in Etobicoke, is itself a memorial—to Flight Lieutenant “Bud” Hornell, who moved to Mimico as a boy. He died in the Second World War after his plane went down in the North Atlantic near the Faroe Islands at the end of an anti-submarine patrol mission, and was the first R.C.A.F. member to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The names of Hornell and his fellow crew members are now in our database.

WWI memorial fountain

Memorial fountain honours 19 New Toronto soldiers of the Great War.

Two illuminated honour roll lists, both designed by A.J. Casson, are displayed at the James S. Bell School, formerly the Long Branch Continuation School, on Thirty-First Street at Lakeshore Boulevard West. The names of more than 450 men and women who volunteered for active service from the school have been indexed.

About 225 names have been added from two illuminated lists that once hung in the Wesley Mimico United Church, at the corner of Station Road and Mimico Avenue. Although the focus of the For King and Country database is on school memorials, we have included these lists because the historic church building now houses a Montessori school.

And finally, 19 names have been added from an unusual memorial that has had several homes over the years but is currently located at Legion Branch 643, on Judson Street in Etobicoke—a seven-foot-tall, 600-pound fountain erected by the New Toronto Soldiers’ Comforts Association in honour of soldiers from the New Toronto community who fell in the Great War.

The total number of schools and other institutions researched and documented in our memorials database now stands at 121… and the number of names recorded at 47,232. What are your genealogy plans for the New Year? Take some time to explore the For King and Country website… and feel free to leave a comment if you find a connection!

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm The Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu
Jan 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Spanish Flu @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
THE SPANISH FLU, TORONTO’S – CANADA’S FORGOTTEN PANDEMIC Speaker: Mike Clare The story of the Spanish Flu epidemic in Canada and Toronto is a forgotten one. Why? It has been called the most documented epidemic[...]
7:30 pm Toronto’s Early Police Detectives
Toronto’s Early Police Detectives
Feb 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Ellen Maki Visiting the haunts of felons and searching pawn shops for stolen goods were some of the duties of Toronto’s Victorian police detectives. Who were the policemen who became detectives, and was their[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

5:00 pm Hands-on Records of Inheritance
Hands-on Records of Inheritance
Feb 5 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hands-on Records of Inheritance @ Archives of Ontario | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
This course is jointly sponsored by the Archives of Ontario and Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. The course will be on three Tuesdays: February 5, 12, & 19, 2019 Registration is required. Finding your Ontario[...]
4:00 pm Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records
Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records
Mar 7 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records @ Archives of Ontario | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Course runs on three Thursdays: March 7, 14 and 21, 2019. Registration is required. Land records are a rich source of information about settlers in Ontario. This course deals with the earliest period, when land[...]

Other Events

all-day OGS Conference 2019
OGS Conference 2019
Jun 21 – Jun 23 all-day
OGS Conference 2019 @ London Convention Centre
The 2019 OGS Conference provides a great opportunity for family historians to attend stimulating workshops and lectures from engaging speakers from Canada and around the world, see what’s available in the genealogy Marketplace, catch up[...]

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?