Archive for the ‘FYI’ Category

Update on Plans for the Fegan Boys’ Distribution Home at 295 George St., Toronto

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

In September 2013, The Ontario Genealogical Society was made aware of the City of Toronto’s interest in for former Fegan Boy’s Distribution Home. Concern about the future of the home, and the many inscriptions on its exterior walls left by the boys passing through, prompted OGS President Shirley Sturdevant to send a letter to The City enquiring about their plans for this historic property.

Subsequent emails with city administrators and a telephone conversation with Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, left The Society with the understanding that the property had been designated a heritage property and that it and other heritage properties in the area would be integrated into the overall redevelopment of the street. The City planned to acquire the property and carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment to identify how that property and others were being appropriately conserved in keeping with the City’s Heritage Policies in the Official Plan.

Once the City acquired the property, they planned a stabilization and securement process to ‘mothball’ the heritage properties until the redevelopment began, expected no earlier than 2017. As part of that stabilization process, The City would be willing to consider additional measures to ensure the preservation of the bricks to which we referred. If it was determined that our organization could assist in any way we would be informed.

This week, the President sent a message to query where The City was in this process and received the following response:

“Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in preserving this important part of our history on George Street. The City of Toronto is purchasing that property, along with other heritage properties on that block, and will incorporate them into a redevelopment to create a new shelter, long-term care home and service hub, pending council approval in 2015.

After the City takes possession next week, we will issue an RFP for the stabilization of the heritage houses until the redevelopment begins. If all goes as planned, the stabilization will take place by early summer. Specs for stabilization include the installation of a frame around the inscription, with hoarding and sealant across the top. This will remain in place until the redevelopment begins, likely in 2018.

Within the next couple of weeks we will have a website in place where you will be able to follow the progress of the project. I will email you the URL when it is available.

Rudy Mumm

SSHA Project Lead, George Street Revitalization

General Manager’s Office

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, City of Toronto”

We thank Mr. Mumm for this update and watch with interest the stages of development for this significant property. Our members stand at the ready to be of assistance if called upon.

Join OGS for Archives Awareness Week at the Archives of Ontario

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The Archives of Ontario is pleased to be celebrating Archives Awareness Week in partnership with the Archives Association of Ontario, the Ontario Genealogical Society, and York University’s Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections. We’ve got a great day of on-site activities planned for Thursday, April 10th from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visit the Archives of Ontario where you can:

• learn about our collections and services
• explore our partners’ information tables
• attend presentations on archival research and preservation
• tour the building

Admission is free! You can register online at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/about/archives_week.aspx 

OGS Bids Goodbye to the Manager of our Digitization Division

Friday, March 28th, 2014

After 5 years as our in house and roving Digitization Manger, we bid Ruthann LaBlance a sad but fond farewell. We wish Ruthann every success in her future endeavors and to that end, we sent her off to a bright future fortified by cake!

Good luck Ruthann, you will be missed!

FYI: Upcoming Beach & East Toronto Historical Society Meeting

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Kew Gardens in the Beach, August 7 1914

Kew Gardens in the Beach, August 7 1914

The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society and The Toronto Public Library are pleased to present award winning author and historian, Jean Cochrane.

Topic: 100 Years Ago in the Beach

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Time: 7:00 – 8:15 pm

Location: The Beaches Library, 2161 Queen St. E. Toronto

Admission is Free. All are Welcome!

Photo courtesy of The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society

FYI: Upcoming Heritage Event

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Heritage Toronto is pleased to present an exploration of the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans.

Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province’s First Peoples

Date: Wed Apr 02, 2014

Time: 6:30 p.m.8:00 p.m.

Location: Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Phone: 416-395-5577

Join the editors and some of the contributors to Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province (2013) for a panel discussion. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Marit Munson
  • Dr. Susan Jamieson
  • Dr. Anne Keenleyside (Trent)
  • Dr. Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc.
  • Chief Kris Nahrgang of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation
  • Dr. Neal Ferris (Western Ontario)
  • Dr. Andrew Stewart of Strata Consulting

The panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence in Fall 2013.

History Matters: Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Past and Present

Presented in collaboration with ActiveHistory.ca and Heritage Toronto

URGENT:Province of Ontario Seeking Descendants of Those Buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A forgotten burial site, The Barrack Hill Cemetery, located in Ottawa, has recently been unearthed, exposing human remains and some casket materials. The Province of Ontario is actively seeking the descendants of those buried here so that their remains may be relocated with respect and dignity.

Click here to read the full story from CBC News.

If you know or think you may have had ancestors in Ottawa between 1828 -1845, particularly Rideau Canal workers, that may have been buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery, then please contact the Ontario Registrar of Cemeteries, Michael D’Mello OR Corina Burnel, before March 21, 2014:

Ministry of Consumer Services

Registrar of Cemeteries

Toronto, Ontario

Tel: 416-326-8393

800-889-9768 ext 6-8393

Fax: 416-326-8406

Email: michael.d’mello@ontario.ca

Website: http://www.omba.com/contact_government.php

Free Conference: The Art of Biography

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Fascinated by historical biography? If so, come on out to a free day-long conference on The Art of Biography. This conference is going to be an excellent opportunity to hear four prominent authors and historians discuss their approach to writing biography, with a focus on Canadian history.

The conference is taking place at the Jackman Humanities Building (corner of Bloor and St. George) in Toronto on Saturday March 22, 2014.

Please visit our Conference website or see the attached flyer for Program details: http://www.biographi.ca/en/article/art_of_biography.html

If you would like further information about this event or would like to confirm your attendance, please contact Michael Wilcox at 416-946-8593 or by email at: michael.wilcox@mail.utoronto.ca

Ottawa Branch Gene-O-Rama, 30 Years and Counting!

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Come help Ottawa Branch celebrate the 30th Gene-O-Rama

Dates: 21-22 March 2014

Location: Confederation Education Centre
1645 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa
(corner of Hunt Club and Woodroffe)

Speakers, Marketplace, Computer Room
Featured speaker: Jane E. MacNamara

For the latest details as they become available: http://ogsottawa.on.ca/geneorama/

For more information e-mail: conference@ogsottawa.on.ca
Register On-Line at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/gene-o-rama/

Canada Census Preservation and Accessibility

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

In December, OGS President, Shirley Sturdevant, sent a letter to the Head Statistician for Statistics Canada with concerns about the preservation and accessibility of Canadian censuses. A copy of this letter was also sent to Hervé Déry, Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Library and Archives Canada.

A letter of response from Marc Hamel, Director General, Census or Population Program (c.c.: Hervé Déry) was recently received. In it he discusses the stringent quality control used in microfilming the censuses and the part played by Library and Archives Canada. At the time of the release of the 1921 Canada Census through Ancestry.ca, some members indicated that the surnames or even surnames and given names were cut off in images for some townships where they were seeking ancestors. Mr. Hamel explains that a random check was done to review the quality of the digitized images but, since no defect was located, asked that specifics be provided to further direct their investigation. OGS asks that those currently aware of such instances send specific details to president@ogs.on.ca so the facts can be gathered and sent in one message.

Please take time to read Mr. Hamel’s letter, which can be viewed at https://www.ogs.on.ca/home/advocacy.php#census, to learn about future plans for the preservation and release of census and the National Household Survey records for 2006 and beyond. Please note that third party information has been concealed and know that contact has been made with Library and Archives Canada on your behalf. See more below.

Also, be aware that, according to Mr. Hamel, the legislation governing the 92-year policy for releasing census information will be reviewed prior to the 2016 Census.

The Ontario Genealogical Society and the public-at-large need to consider all things related to the collection, preservation and release of census data in any form in order to be prepared for these discussions which will be debated in Parliament. Together, we must gather information and make informed recommendations. Together we must speak for those who will one day seek their ancestors as we have sought ours.

Fabien Lengellé, Director General Content Access Branch of LAC, explains that conditions and camera quality were less than perfect in the late 1950s when the census records to that date were microfilmed so it is not surprising that there might be errors. Their decisions for the 1921 census release will be the same for the 1931, 1941 and 1951 censuses. LAC views censuses as extremely important. They are trying to look at records being generated during our time and determine what people will want to see 100 years from now.

Commenting on the LAC decision to release the 1921 census through Ancestry, M. Lengellé, explained that Ancestry had 18 million visits to their site for those records almost immediately. The LAC site could never have handled that. LAC continues to work with a number of other companies to deliver information to researchers as quickly as possible.

OGS Polish Special Interest Group

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Are you interested in Polish Genealogy? Are you interested in Eastern European Genealogy? Are you interested in joining a special interest group specifically for Polish and/or Eastern European Genealogy? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, we are looking for you to help form a special interest group specifically for us. We feel we can learn much from each other and from those whose genealogical research and interest matches our own. How about you?

Anyone interested in joining the Polish or Eastern European SIG should email Kathleen LaBudie-Szakall at PolishSIG[@]ogs.on.ca

Those attending the OGS Conference will meet on Saturday, May 3, at noon in the cafeteria to discuss forming a Polish or Eastern European SIG. Or, I will be at the Bruce & Grey table the entire weekend. We hope you will join us at Brock University, St. Catharines.