A list of our advertisements

Not surprisingly, the Toronto Daily Star encouraged its readers to place want ads in its listings. Sometimes, the paper would print a testimonial from a satisfied want ad customer. For instance, here’s one from the September 4 1934 edition:

Out of curiosity, I traced H.V. Tracy & Co. in the Toronto city directories. As shown in the ad, the firm was indeed at 2 Toronto Street in the 1934 directory.

The directory also revealed that H.V. Tracy’s given name was Harold, and that his home address was 194 St. Clarens Avenue. Margaret and Mary Tracy were also listed at that address, which suggests that Harold was living with his sisters. (His wife would not have been listed separately, as women were not listed unless they were single or widowed.) Going backwards and forwards in the directories:

  • The 1924 directory listed a Mrs. Catherine Tracy at 194 St. Clarens, along with Edward, Harold, and Mary. This suggests that the younger Tracy family members remained in the house after their parents passed away.
  • 1939 was the same as 1934, and 1944 was the same as 1939: H.V. Tracy and Co. was still a going concern, and Margaret, Mary, and Harold were still living at 194 St. Clarens.
  • In 1947, Harold was working as a realtor at 34 Adelaide West, third floor, but H.V. Tracy and Co. was not listed. Everybody was still living in the same place.
  • By 1949, there was a change: Harold was now living in an apartment at 2928 Yonge, and was working as a realtor in an office at 331 Bay. The other two Tracys were still at 194 St. Clarens. As I would soon figure out, he had moved out because he got married.
  • The 1954 directory still lists Harold as a realtor, but with no work address. He is still at 2928 Yonge. The other two Tracys have moved to 21 Cortland Avenue.
  • In 1955, there was bad news. Mary, the widow of Harold, is now listed at 2928 Yonge, so Harold had passed away. His sisters continued on without him.

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