28 reasons to celebrate Heritage Week in Toronto|
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Heritage Week, February 18 to 24, encourages the people of Toronto to learn
more about their city and to become aware about how the past constantly affects
the future growth and health of Toronto neighbourhoods.
"Toronto's history is worth knowing - not only to develop a sense of pride in
our city but also to better understand how our city has grown, and how those
events have an impact on our actions today," said Peter Carruthers, chair of
"This Heritage Week, I urge people to go to local heritage museums, participate
in activities and read about the people and events that have made Toronto
unique. To help people better enjoy the heritage of the city we have prepared
28 reasons - one for each day of the month of February - to celebrate Toronto's
Here are 28 reasons - one for each day this month - to celebrate Heritage Week
February 1, 1883: The town of Yorkville becomes part of the City of Toronto.
Fashion mavens find a new place to shop.
February 2, 1882: Members of the Salvation Army begin recruiting on city
streets. They were not the first people on Queen Street West to dress all in
February 3, 1890: John George Howard, architect, engineer and Forest Ranger of
High Park dies at his home Colborne Lodge, in High Park. High Park is Mr.
Howard's gift to the city and his home is now a museum.
February 4, 1939: The first airplane lands at Toronto's Island Airport. Now,
where is my luggage?
February 5, 1834: Simeon Janes, who develops the Annex as a residential
neighbourhood in the 1880s, is born in East Oxford, Britain.
February 6, 1955: The last service is held at the University Avenue Synagogue
February 7, 1950: Tommy Church, who was mayor of the city for seven terms,
dies at age 77. In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway used to poke fun at Mayor
Church in his newspaper columns in The Toronto Star.
February 8, 1879: Sir Sanford Fleming presents a paper advocating standard time
at the Sons of Scotland Hall on Richmond Street. The meeting started on time.
February 9, 1899: The Don River overflows its banks, closing the Queen Street
bridge for several days.
February 10, 1845: An act is passed incorporating the Toronto Board of Trade.
Let's get to business!
February 11, 1940: John Buchan - Lord Tweedsmuir - author of The Thirty-Nine
Steps and other thrillers, and Governor General of Canada, dies. Tweedsmuir
Avenue is named after him.
February 12, 1941: Bill Newell is hanged in Don Jail for murdering his wife at
Centre Island in 1940.
February 13, 1876: The first service is held at the new St. Andrew's
Presbyterian Church at Simcoe and King.
February 14, 1890: A fire seriously damages University College at the
University of Toronto and destroys 35,000 books.
February 15, 1815: Aeneas Shaw dies. Shaw Street is named after him.
February 16, 1796: Surveyor Augustus Jones and 30 members of the Queen's
Rangers blaze the trail that will become Yonge Street to Lake Simcoe. Which way
to the cottage?
February 17, 1759: A fleet carrying Major General James Wolfe leaves Britain to
attack the French colonial capital of Quebec City. The fleet will navigate the
St. Lawrence River using maps prepared by the father of John Graves Simcoe,
Upper Canada's first Lieutenant Governor.
February 18, 1864: A branch of the YMCA is organized in Toronto.
February 19, 1927: Radio station CFRB broadcasts for the first time. Early
popular programs and on-air personalities included Denton Massey's York Bible
Class, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, and Ben Hokeo's Hawaiian Quartette.
February 20, 1959: The Diefenbaker government cancels the Avro Arrow project.
People are still talking about it.
February 21, 1964: Yorkdale - one of Canada's first shopping centres - opens
its doors. Attention shoppers!
February 22, 1853: Curling teams from Toronto and Scarborough battle on Toronto
Bay. Toronto wins 39 to 16.
February 23, 1945: The TTC installs new equipment to allow streetcar drivers to
set switches without leaving their vehicle.
February 24, 1887: The first meeting of the Toronto Humane Society is held at
Shaftsbury Hall on Queen Street West.
February 25, 1752: Happy birthday John Graves Simcoe! Ontario's first
Lieutenant Governor first visited Toronto on May 2, 1793. English colonists
find a new place to fish.
February 26, 1966: The Bloor-Danforth subway opens. Please stand clear of the
February 27, 1953: The Arcade, a landmark on Yonge Street since 1888, is
destroyed by fire.
February 28, 1825: The Bank of Upper Canada buys land on the northeast corner
of Adelaide and George. Toronto's financial district continues to grow.
Heritage Toronto works to find ways for the people of Toronto to be integral to
the conservation and enjoyment of the places and spaces that the city has to
offer. It is one of the largest volunteer-based heritage charities in Canada.
Each year, the Canadian Ministry of Heritage designates a day and week in
February as Heritage Day and Heritage Week to encourage a greater awareness of
and appreciation for Canada's past.