The Correct Way

The July 17 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this advice column, titled “The Correct Way” (I’ve only shown an excerpt here):


A Google search on Jeanette McPherson and “The Correct Way” drew a complete blank, partially because there are a number of people with the same name as her. She might be lost to history.


Scholes Hotel

The March 12 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for the Scholes Hotel:


From the Toronto city directories, I traced the history of the Scholes Hotel:

  • In the 1880 directory, John F. Scholes is listed as operating the Toronto Athletic Club at 185 Yonge Street.
  • In the 1885 and 1890 directories, 185 Yonge is just listed as a saloon, run by John F. Scholes.
  • In the 1900 directory, the Athlete Hotel is listed at 203 Yonge, with J F Scholes as the proprietor.
  • The building is named the Athlete Hotel until 1924, if the city directories are to be believed, and was renamed the Scholes Hotel in 1925. (Some sources list the name change as happening in 1918.)
  • By 1946, the Scholes Hotel was at 201-3 Yonge, and John L. Scholes was the president of its company. Maude L. Scholes was the secretary-treasurer.
  • In 1947, the hotel was sold; it was still listed as the Scholes Hotel, but Harvey Lichtenberg had taken over as president. He remodelled it into the Colonial Tavern.

BlogTO has a picture of the Scholes Hotel – its sign is quite striking.



Serials from 1935

The July 17 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star continued the practice of serializing novels for its readers. There were two on the go that day:



Maysie Grieg (1901-1971) was an Australian romance novelist. She was incredibly prolific, writing over 220 stories, inevitably with happy endings. This page provides a list of over 170 novels of hers, some of which were written under the pen name of Jennifer Ames. On this list, Sweet Danger is number 26, one of six novels of hers published in 1935.

Rex Beach (1877-1949) was an American novelist and water polo player, competing for the United States in the 1904 Olympics. He wrote more than 30 novels, 18 of which were turned into movies; Jungle Gold, one of his later novels, was published in 1935. Some of his novels are available online as part of Project Gutenberg.


Naborhood Shoe Stores

The July 17 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an ad for a chain of shoe stores:


What an annoying spelling!

The Naborhood Shoe Stores chain did not last long under this name: by 1937, it had been merged with Reliance Shoe Company Ltd., run by James P. Maher. He re-branded the stores under his own name; the Maher shoe store chain existed for many decades after this.


Sexism, 1934 style

The October 16 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained three articles in which women were at a disadvantage to men.

First, the Women’s Council imposed a ban on discussion of birth control:



The good news, I guess, that they didn’t want to discuss sterilization of the mentally unfit either.

The National Council of Women weren’t done. They also claimed that there were very few women fitted for election to public office:


Finally, Ontario premier Mitchell Hepburn stated that he was opposed to hiring married women whose husbands were employed:



Hygiene scare ads

The October 16 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two ads that suggested that women would become spinsters if they didn’t use the proper soap.

First, there’s this ad for Lifebuoy, in which a woman avoids the fate of becoming an “old maid”:


Not to be outdone, Palmolive describes the story of a woman who avoided the fate of being “forgotten”:


Men were also at risk too. Consider what happened to poor Tom, who was passed over for a job because he didn’t shave properly:


It looks like Gillette Blue Blades doesn’t offer a volume discount: they’re five cents a blade whether you buy five or ten. At least Tom doesn’t have to shave his neck, as it has mysteriously disappeared.


Entertainment in 1949

The February 17 1949 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two interesting ads for entertainers. One was for all the way out in Burlington, and featured that weird disembodied head look that sometimes appeared in ads at that time:


The other featured more conventional headshots:


Both of the entertainers featured here were (arguably) on the downside of their careers when they appeared live in the GTA. Sully Mason (1906-1970) was one of the singers in Kay Kyser‘s band during the Second World War, and Valaida Snow (1904-1956) was a multi-instrumentalist (focusing on trumpet), singer, and dancer who toured the world in the late 1920s and 1930s. Tragically, both of them died relatively young with the same cause of death: a cerebral hemorrhage.

I could find nothing definite about Dusty Brooks. I’ve found links on IMDb and AllMusic, but I don’t know if either of them are for this Dusty Brooks.

Of course, YouTube has links:


Round the world

The February 17 1949 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad:


Kate Aitken (1891-1971) was a broadcaster and cooking expert who started her radio show on CFRB in 1934. By 1950, she was so popular that an estimated 32% of Canadians listening to the radio were listening to her show. She received 260,000 letters a year, which required 22 secretaries to handle. She wrote or contributed to more than 50 cookbooks.


Little shrimp

I keep returning to the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star because there is so much there. Here’s an article about someone who would have been in line for the Worst Husband Award of 1933:


Claire Windsor (1892-1972) was a silent film star whose career did not survive the transition into talkies. She was born Clara Viola “Ola” Cronk, but officially changed her name to Claire Windsor in 1943; I don’t really blame her.

This excerpt reveals that Mrs. Read was eventually awarded $75,000, and Mr. Read was found guilty of stealing $11 from Ms. Windsor.


Grocery stores in 1933

I’ve been posting a lot from the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star because it has a lot of interesting stuff in it (naturally). This paper had three different ads for grocery stores.

The first was for Loblaw Groceterias (which eventually became Loblaw’s, then Loblaws). In 1933, they were already a retail giant, with nearly 50 locations in the city, including the 389 Spadina Road location mentioned here:


This is up from 28 locations in 1928. (By the way, I love the very idea of Dreadnought Toilet Rolls.)

A newer rival in the business was Adanac (Canada spelled backwards, of course), who weren’t in business in 1928, but by 1933 had opened 16 stores in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs:


The customer and grocer appear to be having a somewhat flirtatious conversation here!

The Adanac chain remained in business through 1948, with 30 branches listed in the Toronto city directory, but it is not listed in 1950.

Finally, there is an ad for an independent grocery store:


The Don Avon Marketeria remained in business until sometime between 1951 and 1956 (I didn’t narrow it down further). It’s interesting to me because you used to be able to see a faded ghost sign for it on the wall of the building that it was in:


This photograph was taken in 2001. The sign was difficult to read then, and it is now gone (the building has been repainted).