News from the Archives v02-1
- Created by: Albert Fulton
- Date: 1993-03-01
- Provenance: Collected by members of Toronto Island Connections group, scanned by Edward English, OCR by Eric Zhelka, PDF by Eric Light
MARCH 1, 1993
PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION Sunday, April 25, 1-5pm, 5 Ojibway.
The Archives photo collection has recently been magnificently augmented by Marg
Burrows with her donation of more than 200 prints, mostly 5x7s and 8x10s. Of professional
quality, they were taken during the ‘50s, ’60s and ‘70s by her husband Bud, and they show
people and places on the Island and its environs. I have been cataloguing and mounting
them in albums, and you can see them and the rest of the Archives collection on Sunday
afternoon, April 25. Also on display will be more than 200 other historical Island photos
which have been kindly loaned for this exhibition. Lynn Purves has lent her excellent
collection of Lake Shore, Centre and Hanlan’s homes and other buildings prior to their
demolition between 1959 and 1968, and Jane Hodgson has provided a great batch about life
at Centre Island including 8×10 glossies of the Ferryboat Follies and (wow!) the Dominion
Day bathing suit contests! Other scenes of Centre Island life have been lent by Roxann
Vivian Smith, whose father, Bill Sutherland, ran the Manitou Hotel from 1929 to 1959.
Roxann also graciously allowed herself to be subjected to an hour and a half taped interview
about the exciting first half of her life spent year-round on Centre Island. Growing up in the
Manitou Hotel was not your average childhood!
Now, how about your own collection of historical Island photos? We would be
delighted i f you would bring any of your mounted or framed golden oldies with you, or, i f
you give me a few days, I will label and mount any loose photos in albums or on our display
boards. Of special interest are old snapshots of Algonquin houses and their inhabitants, the
AIA building and its activities, boats in the lagoon, etc. And please invite former Islanders
to attend, whether or not they come bearing photos! Many of the houses and people in our
photos are unidentified, and we hope that you and the other visitors will be able to add
information to the labels. You can pick up invitations to give out or to mail, or, i f you
provide me with names and addresses, I will send them out. Hope to see you and your
guests on the 25th!
THE ISLAND IN THE MEDIA
The January issue of Canadian Living contained the last in a series on Canadian
island communities. Prepared here during the winter of 1991-92, the photos show a good
cross-section of Island life, ranging from the kindergarten Christmas party at the school to
a Pioneers’ meeting in Kay Walker’s living room (and a couple of ice boats!)
With all the recent house sales on the Island, i t appears that the Real Estate News
wants to get in on the action. One of their reporters, Vanessa Ring, was dispatched to
prepare a piece on Island living, and the results should be forthcoming shortly. The boxes
are stuffed on Fridays, and the price is right. Vanessa and her family lived at 16 Ojibway
in the late ’50s, and her father, Ted Ring, was a teacher at the Island school.
Warm thoughts on a cold night. On Sunday evening, February 21, the night of the
big storm, the YTV Young Canada Series showed a number of inviting summertime Island
scenes of the ferry docks, flower gardens and amusements at Centre Island. It won’t be long!
A videotape is in the Archives.
ODDS AND ENDS
The current Market Gallery exhibition (until June 6) is called Toronto Impressions:
Historical Contemporary Prints from the City’s Collection. On view are 69 works from
c.1840 to 1991, including a 1984 serigraph by Harold Klunder titled Toronto Island.
For artists considering entering their work in this summer’s Nathan Phillips Square
exhibition and sale (July 9,10,11), the application deadline is April 30. Forms and info are
available at the Archives.
No doubt you are a l l excited about the 1993 Bicentennial celebrations t o
commemorate the founding of the Town of York. The Toronto 200 Committee has planned
a number of activities, the highlight being the reenactment of the arrival of John Graves &
Elizabeth Simcoe, at Harbourfront on August 7. The latter-day versions will be greeted by
a couple of actual 6th generation descendants of the Simcoes. Spruce up your old boats —
there will be a parade in the Harbour. The Committee has prepared a kit for anyone
wishing to participate in any of the events or to stage their own; it is available at the
Archives or by calling the Toronto 200 Hotline at 392-1993.
Kathleen Roe has donated a wealth of newspaper and magazine clippings and a
fascinating file of Tales of Toronto Island by Kathleen and a variety of other writers. Other
materials have been loaned or donated by Adam Zhelka, Rick/Simon, Al Schoenborn,
Peggy Russell, Babs Lye, David Hustler, Enid Cridland, Klaus Bock, and Alice Aitken.
(Apologies for omissions – please remind me!) The Archives are open for drop-in visits on
Sunday afternoons and by appointment at other times.
BILL 61 COMMITTEE HEARINGS
Following is the Hansard report of the excellent presentation by Bruce Weber. Other
Island speakers on January 26, 27 and 28 were Bill Roedde, Rick/Simon, Peter Holt, Kay
Walker, Enid Cridland, Brent Rutherford, Ian Brown, Sarah Miller, Peter Dewdney, Fred
Gaysek, Pam Mazza, Leida Englar, Martin Earle, Joey Gladding, Mary Anderson, Sheila
Murray, Cheryl West, Morris Hill , and Lindsay Stephens (reading a letter from Lou
Schoenborn). These community representatives deserve a great deal of credit for their
efforts. The Hansard reports for the 3 committee days and for the second reading debates
in November can be borrowed from the Archives.
The Toronto Island community has faced many unique
problems in the past and it’s been a particularly resourceful
community, but especially when partnered with responsive
governments, it has come up with really excellent solutions
to problems. Luck seems not to have been so good
when governments seemed unable to listen to the experience
of the local community.
There are a good many examples of situations that just
The Ongiara, the vehicular ferry that never fit into
the Ward’s Island ferry dock: Vehicles ever since have had
to use the Hanlans Point dock.
— The 1972 proposal for a concrete and steel circus
tent kind of ferry shelter, which fit neither the community
there nor the quiet atmosphere of the park at that time.
Cancellation of that project saved the taxpayers several
hundred thousands of dollars.
— We’ve never been quite convinced that the conventional
sewer trunk that stretches 10 kilometres across the
island and across the Western Gap was the proper solution
for handling sewage on the island.
The 1981 legislation we’d rather not talk about. The
arbitrator called it the “”dog’s breakfast.”” It didn’t quite fit.
The proposed new fire hall: Although the firehall is
desperately needed, it frightens us i f it’s really to house
bigger trucks, as we’ve been told. The 1989 fire at the
Algonquin Island Association clubhouse proved to us that
the one big truck over there, which was driven 100 yards
from the fire hall to the bridge, couldn’t go over the bridge.
It didn’t fit over the bridge and we’re very frightened of
the prospect of new fire trucks, bigger fire trucks, fitting
into a fire station, that don’t fit over the bridge, don’t fit
the bridge to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and don’t fit
access to Ward’s Island. But we desperately need new additional
fire services with small units that fit.
On the other hand, we’ve really enjoyed some very
valuable partnerships with governments. One such special
partnership was in the care of Barbara Hamilton. She was
an islander who battled eight years with severe progressive
multiple sclerosis, and although Barb was bedridden at age
33, a special friend, along with about 30 islanders, determined
that she would not be put in an institution.
Five years later into her disease and with her meagre
finances exhausted, we approached a marvellously supportive
bureaucratic Ministry of Community and Social Services,
which realized the impossibility of piecing together fragmented
programs for home care for the island situation.
We eventually won an order in council for attendant care
for Barb at home and she survived another three years. We
hope that the Ontario government is as proud as we are of
the quality of life that we were able to give to Barb in her
beloved community and at a fraction of the cost that it
would have required to have her in an institution.
The island community continues to face a lot of difficult
We’ve got a very large aged population; 17% of all
households are occupied by persons over 65. Many of
them are over 80, living alone, stubbornly independent but
We’ve got a number of seriously handicapped persons
among our 650 population, three with Parkinson’s disease,
possibly two with multiple sclerosis, two with schizophrenia,
two known rheumatoid arthritic persons, others with
Alzheimer’s, several stroke victims and one infant with
cystic fibrosis. We know them and we care for them.
We face delayed emergency services, especially when
the bay is iced over, although on only one occasion in 20
years has it been necessary for a helicopter to evacuate a
person, and that happened to be Barb. We have no stores,
no commercial services, no nursing homes, no Meals on
Wheels and often a reluctance of home care agencies to
understand that we’re only seven minutes across the bay.
Faced with these difficulties, the community is determined
to continue in its resourceful caring. But again, we
may have to call upon governments to partner with us to
create unique programs to allow this caring to continue.
First of all, let’s ensure that our seniors are not economically
evicted. Facing a $36,000 or $46,000 mortgage when
one is already retired is not an easy prospect. New housing
alternatives have to be possible. Two 85-year-old Filipinos
lived with me all last winter. I can tell you, a half-mile trek
to the dock from Algonquin Island is very forbidding for
Care in the home has to be supplemented, and we
really congratulate the Ontario government for its initiatives
proposed in Redirection of Long-Term Care and Support
Services in Ontario. Prior to publication of that paper
by the Ontario government, the Toronto Islands community
had already drafted what we called our Toronto Island
Health Response Network.
This isn’t an organization, but it’s a bit of a formalization
of what the community has always done in supporting
its vulnerable members. Some of the aims that we came
through with were a directory of the doctor and nurses—
the one doctor. We did have another doctor last year who
left. By the way, we also had three lawyers on the island.
One is retired, a great-great-great grandson of the original
settler on Ward’s Island in 1830. The other one operates as
Anyhow, we’re looking for a directory of the doctors,
nurses, physiotherapists, the persons trained in CPR and
first aid on the island. This support network has already
helped 70-year-old Yvonne to come home from Riverdale
Hospital after she fractured her hip and her wrist. That she
did falling off her bicycle. The medical authorities were
very pleased to have her come home when they realized
the support she had in the community.
We’re looking for one or two paid health workers in
the community some day, who could monitor the seniors in
their homes, who could assist with their baths and personal
care, provide respite for care-giving spouses, respond in
crises and provide meals and housekeeping services. These
are happening right now, but we’re going to need much
more in the future.
We need more courses in first aid and CPR and we
were really happy to graduate another 15 islanders in CPR
last year. When we’re facing delayed emergency services
on the island, we need these people. We need to be ready.
We need speakers and workshops in Parkinsons disease,
Alzheimers, schizophrenia, geriatric concerns, the things
that we have to face every day, in order to enhance the
community’s knowledge and ability to support our handicapped
members. We’re looking in the future to a lot of
other things. We hope to have a couple of units designed
into the housing where we can actually house people who
really need nursing care, one or two units. We’ve lost four
or five people from cancer in the last three years. We
would have been pleased to have let them have nursing
care on the island.
In summary, I just ask you to listen carefully to our
concerns so that the trust can continue in a unique, cost effective
and quality partnership with government in the care of our community.
The Algonquin Islander
February 13 , 1970
JUST AN OLD-FASHIONED ORGY
The Algonquin Island Association is about
to hit a new low in lasciviousness. For the
first time, we are taking that lily-white
Symbol of purity and motherhood, the box
social, and are plunging it into the lecherous murkiness of the AIA clubhouse. The contrast, my dears, will be
delicious. And so will the food.
Sure, you remember box socials. The ladies spend days preparing their
most delectable edibles and pack them into boxes, which are then attractively wrapped.
On the fateful evening the boxes are auctioned off to the
gentlemen bidders. No one knows whose is whose. The winning bidder not only
gets the lunch, he gets to eat it with the lady who prepared it.
lf you’ve had a secret letch for your neighbour’s wife all these years , come to the AIA Saturday , February 22nd. It will be a combination Old Timey Box Social , Valentine Love-In and Regular Island Bash. There’ll be dancing, spirited bidding, booze, dim lights, jealous husbands.
There w i l l be no admission charge excepting the case of ladies who do not b r i n g boxes for auction.
Now you ladies may b e wondering what sort of things you can pack that
w i l l amaze your friends and delight your dinner date . I p e r s o n a l l y f a v o r a
cold s h a k e r o f ma r t i n i s o r a c h i l l e d magnum o f champagne. However , some –
would p r e f e r more s o l i d f a r e , a n d o n t h e i r b e h a l f we o f f e r a f e w suggestions .
First of all , t h e r e should be enough f o r a l a t e supper for two . And n o
peanut b u t t e r sandwiches p l e a s e . I t h a s t o b e something s p e c i a l . F r i e d
chicken i s t r a d i t i o n a l . Cornish game hens a r e nummy. Sausage r o l l s o r c o l d
roastbeef for the heartier t y p e s . Caviar . Potato Salad . Fruit T a r t s . . Use
your imagination . And a c t u a l l y , t h e r e i s n o th i n g t o s to p yo u f r om p u t t i n g
i n a b o t t l e o f wine and a couple glasses . Remember, y o u a r e t a k i n g a
strange gentleman t o d i n n e r . And some o f u s a r e p r e t t y s t r a n g e .
Finally , when packing your goodies, d o n o t f o r g e t t o p u t y o u r name o n a
card i n s i d e t h e b o x . You can give him your telephone number later.
Written by Jake Banky, Editor (15 Oneida)
Masthead by Liz Barry (13 Dacotah)
ALGONQUIN ISLAND ARCHIVES c/o Albert Fulton 5 Ojibway Ave