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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.

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Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm FamilySearch Family Tree
FamilySearch Family Tree
Jun 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
FamilySearch Family Tree @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
THE PROS AND CONS OF PARTICIPATING IN A GLOBAL FAMILY TREE Speaker Stephen Young will discuss his long involvement in conducting his own family history research and 30+ year career with FamilySearch, and demonstrate the[...]
7:30 pm The Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu
Sep 23 @ 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[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

6:30 pm Genealogy Resources in TPL’s Cat...
Genealogy Resources in TPL’s Cat...
Sep 24 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Genealogy Resources in TPL's Catalogue @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
TUESDAY, September 24 Co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library The Toronto Reference Library contains many excellent genealogy resources. This hands-on class will demonstrate how to use the Toronto[...]
4:00 pm Hands-On Criminal Justice Records
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records
Sep 26 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records @ Archives of Ontario | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Hands-On Criminal Justice Records of 19th Century Ontario Family historians are always seeking records that will help us tell the story of our ancestors’ lives. We want more than just names, dates and places. But[...]
6:15 pm Library & Archives Canada: A Gol...
Library & Archives Canada: A Gol...
Oct 9 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Library & Archives Canada: A Goldmine @ Toronto Reference Library
A GOLDMINE for FAMILY RESEARCHERS: LIBRARY & ARCHIVES CANADA Wednesdays, October 9, 16 and 23 (3 week course) Co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library. Registration is required. Registration[...]
2:00 pm Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy
Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy
Oct 18 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Intensive Hands-on Session:  Try Your Hand at Genetic Genealogy with Diahan Southard Working in pairs or small groups you will get a chance to take a DNA case step-by-step to learn how to explore your[...]
8:30 am Grow & Organize Your DNA Network
Grow & Organize Your DNA Network
Oct 19 @ 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Grow & Organize Your DNA Network @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Workshop: Grow & Organize Your DNA Network with Diahan Southard – Your DNA Guide Join us for a full day with Diahan Southard “Your DNA Guide” the internationally known speaker who can help you organize[...]

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?