Monthly Archives: February 2019

Love scoffs at inheritance

The November 15 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a wealthy heir who had just eloped with a domestic servant in his father’s mansion:


I looked up William W. Willock, Jr. on Google. Apparently, he and his wife stayed together through the years: they remained married until he passed away in 1998. She passed away in 2001.

My search turned up a William W. Willock Jr. who kept a giant museum of trains and other engines (mentioned here and here). I’m assuming it’s the same guy.

By the way, this isn’t the first happy marriage in the 1920s between a rich heir and a domestic servant I’ve seen in old newspapers: also see Quebec woman marries American heir.

480 Oriole Parkway

Fair warning: the next few days will all be about the November 15 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, because I found a whole lot of stuff there!

The first one is this ad for apartments at 480 Oriole Parkway in Toronto, which was clearly tailored for the luxury crowd:


It’s always good to strive for near perfection!

I was curious about Mr. D’Esterre, so I looked him up in the Toronto city directories (which are basically a form of legalized retro stalking).

  • A Reginald H. D’Esterre appears in the 1930 directory as a real estate agent, but didn’t mention where he worked. There’s nobody else with that last name in that line of work, so I assume that this is him. (Other D’Esterres in the directory: the manager of the Gruen Watch Company, a jeweler, and two women – a switchboard operator, and a widow.)
  • He appears to have recently transitioned into this career: in 1929, he was listed as a radio operator for the CNR.
  • He was relatively new in town: he wasn’t in the 1927 and 1928 directories.
  • He seems to have remained in this job: in 1933, he was listed as a salesman for Chartered Trust, the company that posted this ad. This is also what he was doing in 1938. I didn’t trace him after that.

As for 480 Oriole Parkway: it’s still standing. It was converted to condos in 2011.

Imperial and Commerce

The February 21 1956 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included ads from the Imperial Bank of Canada and the Canadian Bank of Commerce, which hadn’t yet merged.

The Imperial Bank featured ants:


And the Bank of Commerce pointed out that ready cash is a good thing:


The two banks merged in 1961 to become the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Mr. Pickel’s opinions

The front page of the April 3 1935 edition of the Toronto Globe contained two articles containing comments from F. H. Pickel, the Conservative member of Parliament for Brome-Missisquoi.

The first was when he was quoted as calling plus fours “knee-high pyjamas”:


In the second, he complained about the lack of discipline of today’s youth:


Follin Horace Pickel (1866-1949) was a doctor and was the mayor of Sweetsburg, Quebec, for more than 40 years. He ran for Parliament in the 1908, 1911, 1925, and 1926 elections, losing all four times, before finally winning in 1930. He only lasted one term in office, losing in 1935.

Not paid by people

An article on the front page of the February 18 1925 edition of the Toronto Globe caught my attention when I first saw it:


Hmm, I wondered. If people weren’t paying for the Duke of York’s trip, who was? Invertebrates? Aliens?

Of course, the writer meant that the cost of the trip was not being subsidized by British taxpayers. Eventually, of course, all of the Duke’s trips were subsidized: he became King George VI in 1936 when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated his throne.

John Tory in 1925

The February 18 1925 edition of the Toronto Globe contained an article in which the director of the Sun Life Assurance Company discussed the evils of gambling on horse racing.



The Sun Life director’s name will be familiar to Toronto readers: his name was John Tory. This John Tory was the great-grandfather of the current mayor of Toronto.


The August 29 1922 edition of the Toronto Globe contained this bit of filler about a boy who was tragically burned to death in a fire:


Sadly, this is not the worst fire that has ever occurred here. Lake Megantic is now better known by its French name, Lac-Mégantic – and this is the location of a 2013 rail disaster that killed at least 42 people and destroyed over 30 buildings.