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)

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