Extra pants free

Here’s an ad for free extra pants from the April 18 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I looked up One-Der Tailors in the Toronto city directories. It was a new firm in 1934 – its president, Thomas S. Cohen, had been vice-president of Regent Tailors Limited before starting this new venture. One-Der Tailors didn’t last long – it doesn’t appear in the 1936 city directory.

Because I was curious, I kept looking up Mr. Cohen in later city directories. He started a new venture in 1937, creating Pioneer Tailors, which operated on Spadina Avenue. The 1939 directory lists him there, but the 1940 directory lists the business as being run by someone else, and shows him with no listed occupation. He does not appear in the 1941 directory.

243 Yonge Street was listed as the Wanless Building in the city directory, with One-Der Tailors on the second floor. The building still stands – there’s a Burger King there now, but there is once again a tailor’s shop on the second floor.



The June 11 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star told the story of an unfortunate young man who accidentally killed himself while playing with a shotgun. For some reason, the Star printed three separate entries on this tragedy.

First, there was an article at the front of the paper:


A few pages in, there were photographs of the unfortunate victim and the even more unfortunate girl who witnessed his shooting:


And, near the end of the paper, there was another article describing the tragedy:


This last article seems to have been added because it contains quotes from the girl and from the brother of the dead man. I would guess that different editors worked on the separate articles and no one noticed that the same news item was appearing repeatedly.


Shriners on parade

The June 11 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured a number of articles and advertisements related to the Shriners convention that was in town at that time.

First, there was a feature article on the Shriners parade itself:


The Shriners’ arrival created logistical problems, especially for those unfortunate residents who lived near the parade route:


And there were articles about issues that occurred when residents were expecting to put Shriners up as boarders but didn’t get them:



A number of advertisements were written especially with Shriners in mind. There were two ads for cigarettes:



(“Es selamu aleikum” is an approximate rendering of the Arabic “peace be upon you”.)

There was also an add for Dunlop Maxfli golf balls:


You could choose the Spotkwick marking!

Last but not least, the railway companies provided information on how to get into and out of the city:


These phone numbers were likely very heavily used during the convention – many Shriners would have been travelling by train, as travel by air was not in common use.



The February 22 1930 Toronto Globe contained two references to singers.

The first was for a concert at Massey Hall:


Cyrena van Gordon was the stage name of Cyrena Sue Pocock, a contralto who performed in Chicago and other major American cities from 1913 to at least 1935. She can be found on YouTube.

The second was a photograph of a soprano scheduled to perform on the Canadian National Railways All-Canada Symphony Hour:


A Google search for Marjorie Candee turned up nothing, and I couldn’t find her in the Toronto city directories or on YouTube. (The only Candee I could find in the Toronto city directory was Charles N. Candee, the president of the Gutta Percha and Rubber company, who unfortunately passed away around that time; he is in the 1933 directory, but his widow is listed in 1934.) Ms. Candee appears to be lost to history.


Dictator of women’s fashions

The Eaton’s ad on the last page of the February 22 1930 Toronto Globe contained this offering of white gardenias:


Patou, the “dictator of women’s fashions”, was almost certainly Jean Patou (1880-1936), a French fashion designer and perfume maker. His design career was ended shortly after this ad by the Great Depression, so he retreated into perfumes. When he died in 1936, his sister and her husband continued on as the House of Patou, which (under various designers) designed women’s clothing until 1987.


Solve this puzzle

The February 22 1930 edition of the Toronto Globe included this unusual ad, which gave away a car for solving a puzzle:


Searching the Toronto city directories reveals that the Gallois Laboratory Co. was a relatively new business. There is no entry for it in the 1925 directory, and the 1928 directory lists Walter Gallois-Kriesi as a maker of “toilet preps” at 1078 Danforth.

The 1930 directory lists Gallois Laboratories as being run by Walter and Rachel Gallois-Kriesi. Both Walter and Rachel have directory listings under their own names, which suggests that Rachel was a sibling of Walter, rather than his wife; the city directories tended to only list men (probably because of sexism). The laboratory appears in the 1932 directory, but the 1933 directory just lists Walter, and lists no occupation for him; there is no entry for Rachel. Walter’s last appearance in the city directory is in 1935.


Flood and drought in 1951

In the summer of 1951, rainfall was unevenly distributed in western Canada. Evidence for this can be found in the July 18 1951 edition of the Globe and Mail.

In Calgary, there was flooding:


Vancouver and Victoria had the opposite problem: Vancouver had gone 41 days without rain, and Victoria 38 days. Vancouver tried seeding clouds with dry ice, which didn’t work, so Victoria hired a man with an electrical device:


I looked up Environment Canada’s weather records for 1951, and they show that there was no significant rain in Victoria until August 27, when 19.6 mm of rain fell. September was also unusually dry until two significant rainfalls on September 27 and 29.

But Calgary had gone completely without rain on only three of the first 18 days of July 1951 – there were five days with a trace of rain, and 10 days of measurable rainfall. It got a little better for Calgarians in the rest of the month, but there were two other large rainfall days, on the 24th and the 29th. August 1951 was even worse: it rained heavily (10 mm or more) in six of the last 10 days of the month. By the end of the summer, travel by canoe might have seemed like an attractive option.


Winnie Leuszler

The July 18 1951 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article about a woman who hoped to be the first Canadian to swim the English Channel:


As it turned out, she didn’t have to worry about raising money to make her way home. Mrs. Morris Leuszler (as the Globe and Mail referred to her) made her attempt on August 16, and was successful – she became the first Canadian to swim the channel. Her time was 13 hours, 25 minutes, which beat the women’s record of 13:42. (The current record holder is Trent Grimsey of Australia, who crossed the channel in 6 hours and 55 minutes. The current female record holder is Yvetta Hlaváčová, who made it across in 7:25.)

Wikipedia has an entry on Winnie Leuszler (1926-2004); she had a number of achievements and honours in her life. She was honoured as Canada’s All Round Athlete of the year in 1946, when she won the five-mile World Swimming Championship while three months pregnant. In addition to her achievements in distance swimming, she became Canada’s first female baseball umpire in 1957. She received the Order of Ontario in 1999.


Record snowfall

Seventy-four years ago this week, the city of Toronto was digging itself out from a record snowfall: 21 inches of snow fell between December 11 and 12, 1944.

The December 12 1944 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had this headline:


Other articles on the front page described the effects of the snow in tragic detail:



Public transit vehicles had trouble getting around:


Households were advised to go easy on bread and milk, as deliveries were likely to be affected, and funerals were cancelled until the roads were cleared:


But men and boys of all ages ventured out into the snow:


And one bride, determined not to miss her wedding day, travelled there on skis:


I think that it is awesome that the bride and her bridesmaid left their ski suits on for the wedding ceremony.


The Institute Of Breathing

The February 11 1957 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this advertisement:


You could call them any time – day or night, including holidays!

A search in the Toronto city directories for the Institute Of Breathing turned up nothing: it is not listed in the 1956, 1957, or 1958 city directory, and there is no other business at 2279 Yonge Street with that phone number.

A Google search for Captain W. P. Knowles turned up a couple of articles on his method of “controlled rhythmic breathing”. I have no idea whether it has any medical value, but obviously breathing of some form or other is somewhat useful.