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Twenty salesmen wanted

The February 11 1957 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad requesting twenty real estate salesmen immediately:

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Google Maps tells me that 1353 Weston Road is just southeast of Jane Street. The building still stands.

Naturally, I was curious: did John Sikura Real Estate become successful? Unfortunately, its fate was similar to that of this real estate agency. The company appeared for the first time in the 1958 city directory, but does not appear in the 1959 city directory.

I also looked up the men mentioned in the ad:

  • I couldn’t find Val Armstrong in the Toronto city directory for 1957 or 1958. Val might have been a nickname, of course, and Armstrong is a very common surname, so it would be hard to trace.
  • Hardiman Cureton wasn’t listed in the Toronto city directory either, but he was definitely a football player: in 1957, he was with the Ottawa Rough Riders. And he was definitely a successful salesman as well: he demanded a trade from Ottawa to Hamilton so that he could both play football and continue as an ice cream salesman in Toronto.

Cureton had been a first-team All-American and UCLA’s team captain in 1955, but he was in the CFL because he was a draft evader: had he returned to the United States, he would have been arrested. He had a good career in Canada: he won the Grey Cup as a member of the Tiger-Cats in 1963. He passed away in Richmond, Virginia, in 2003, so obviously he was eventually free to return to the land of his birth. There is a picture of him here.

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