Blog

Unlike the front page where I try to keep the stories a bit more formal and well-cited, the blog page is for less formality, more opinion, and unstructured thoughts. It’s also a place to share a bit more of the sausage-making of history from the perspective of someone caught in the middle of three approaches.


Then & Then & Now: Queen East at Woodbine

Pushing it back another 23 years: Woodbine Avenue, looking north from Queen East (1955). Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 220, Series 65, File 123, Item 4.

At the beginning of the year, I ran a then and now of Queen East and Woodbine from 1972 to the (near) present. While browsing the City of Toronto Archives’ database, I landed on this one of the same view from 1955/56.

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In the Eyes of Official Ottawa, 1932

Almost nothing displayed was much of a surprise, really. The city’s 1932 atlas was published in colour and identifies numerous landmarks, buildings, and points of interest across the city at the time. Civic, federal, and ecclesiastical infrastructure are all about what would be expected.

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Apartments, the Depression, and Research Never Completed

Snear Miller’s “Val Cartier” in 2016. I could have walked the 30 seconds to shoot it myself, but Google Maps provides. It was a nice morning, at least. Image: Google Maps, 2016.

Interest-based research is a wonderful thing. Something catches your interest, you ride it out, put it aside. It’s that last part that really gets you. All that effort should, really, result in something. At least a poorly-written blog post, if not something more substantial. This has been one of my peskier issues. (more…)

The Heritage: Seniors Housing for Regina, 1971

The Heritage: a home for Regina’s seniors since 1972. Image: Google Maps, September 2016.

As I explore a bit in an upcoming piece about the MacLaren House nursing home (1967-1993) in Ottawa, shelter for seniors came to be a major concern in housing policy during the 1960s.1To be certain, it was a known issue long before that, but it was not until the 1960s in Canada that it received a dedicated policy response.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. To be certain, it was a known issue long before that, but it was not until the 1960s in Canada that it received a dedicated policy response.

Skyline Hotel, Etobicoke, c. 1962

The Skyline Hotel, c. 1962. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1464 File 24 Item 5.

Midcentury hotels are one of the first things that got me into urban history. There is just something about their design and the role that they tended to play that proves endlessly interesting. Although hardly competition for the Constellation Hotel down the road (now demolished), the Skyline recently caught my eye.

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