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Circle of Young Canada

During the 1920s and 1930s, there were two regular features that appeared in the Toronto Globe:

  • The Circle of Young Canada, which was a page that appeared every Saturday that printed stories, poems, and drawings by young people. Regular contributors received membership pins.
  • The Homemaker, a daily feature presumably intended for homemakers (I’ll write about it tomorrow).

The Circle of Young Canada is forgotten today, but apparently many writers got their start by writing stories or articles for this page. It originated in the 19th century, and was originally called The Children’s Circle before becoming the Circle of Young Canada in the early 1900s. I’ve found references to it here and here.

The Circle was run by Nancy Durham until she passed away, and then was supervised by someone calling herself Cheerful Jane (I haven’t figured out her real name). It survived the merger of the Globe with the Mail and Empire in 1936, but only barely; the latest edition of it that I have found so far is June 19, 1937.

A typical edition of the Circle in the 1930s contained, among other things, “The Chatter Box”, an editorial piece by Cheerful Jane. Here’s the April 17 1937 edition of it:

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Editions of the Circle from 1937 included a pledge to protect birds:

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And there were reader-supplied stories and drawings, such as this one from April 17 1937:

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I don’t know why the Circle of Young Canada was discontinued. The last reference in the Globe and Mail to anything related to the Circle was the Nancy Durham Contest. Its prize-winning entries were printed in the September 18 1937 Globe and Mail:

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The Circle from June of that year references this contest, which suggests that plans to wind it up had already been finalized. But I haven’t yet found details – if I do, I will post them here.

3 replies on “Circle of Young Canada”

Thank you for linking to our project! I’ll keep an eye on your future posts, in case other information about our authors pops up. Of interest is that your other link is to an excellent biography of one of our authors: Mona Gould. If you haven’t read the full biography, I highly recommend it.

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[…] I found this poem on a post on the Toronto Old News blog that talks about the Circle of Young Canada column in the Toronto Globe. The column continued into the first year after the merger of the Globe with the Mail & Empire to become the Toronto Globe and Mail, but the last column the author of the blog post found was in June of 1937. The complete blog post can be found here. […]

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