Severely hurt in crash

Here’s a report of an accident from the June 24 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Even though I’ve now seen it several times already, I’m still startled to see a photograph of a woman in which her address is provided. This would never happen nowadays because of the risk of encouraging stalkers.

There are more details of this crash in another article in the same paper:


The description of the crash is quite horrific – Ms. Gurney was lucky to be alive after 100 feet of somersaulting, given that it was unlikely that anybody was wearing seat belts. The location of the accident was almost certainly Filman Road; Highway 403 goes through there now.

I was curious (a common theme of this blog), so I traced Ms. Gurney in the Toronto city directories. It turned out that she was one of a number of Gurneys who lived at 33 Oriole Parkway; they were the widow and children of Cromwell Gurney. There were enough of them that I decided to trace the family; the results will be in tomorrow’s post!

Since Ms. Gurney’s name was unusual, I searched for it in the Toronto Daily Star database and using Google, and found some information. She got married in 1936, as reported in the August 7 1936 edition of the Daily Star:


Ms. Gurney, later Mrs. Foster, passed away in 2006 at the age of 92. She is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

By the way, 33 Oriole Parkway, where Ms. Gurney lived, is quite a nice house. It’s usually hidden by foliage.

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