Now playing (1 of 2)

The January 12 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two notices of upcoming events at the Eaton Auditorium and two at Massey Hall. I’ll do the Eaton Auditorium ones today and the others tomorrow.

Cellist Zara Nelsova was scheduled to appear on Wednesday of that week:

Zara Nelsova (1918-2002) was born in Winnipeg, and moved to London when she was a child. She appeared as a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra when she was 13. During the war, she performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She moved back to London in 1949 and became an American citizen in 1955. During this time, she kept playing the cello, of course. She taught at the Juilliard School of Music in New York from 1962 until she passed away.

The edition also had an ad for the next performer who was to appear at the Eaton Auditorium:

Ricardo Odnoposoff (1914-2004) was born in Argentina. His family moved to Berlin, where he was a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 17. He performed with the Vienna State Opera from 1933 to 1938, when he was forced to return to Argentina because he was not an Aryan. He moved to the United States in the early 1940s and became an American citizen in 1953; shortly after that, he returned to Vienna, where he taught from 1956 to 1993. Photographs of him apparently show him playing the violin quite joyfully; a Google search didn’t find any particularly joyful pictures of him, but I’m willing to believe it nonetheless.


Proposed civic square

After the Second World War, the city of Toronto initiated plans to create a civic square in the Chinatown neighbourhood north and west of Queen and Yonge, in what was then known as The Ward. The December 26 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an advertisement from the Property Owners Association, which was opposed to the civic square.

Despite this opposition, Toronto voters in the 1947 municipal election approved the creation of a civic square. The land for the square was acquired and expropriated from 1948 to 1958, and construction was started in 1961. Today, the civic square is Nathan Phillips Square.

As for the executive officers of the Property Owners Association listed here:

  • R. M. Willes Chitty wrote a number of law books, including The Digest of All Canadian Case Law in 1928. He passed away in 1970.
  • E. J. Prittie was a member of the Prittie family, which I traced in this blog entry. He remained involved with some property owners association or other for at least another decade.

By the way: this post is a milestone of sorts, as it is my 1000th blog post. In these thousand posts, I’ve learned a lot about obscure celebrities of the 1920s and 1930s and have discovered all sorts of unusual bits of trivia. I’m still enjoying doing this! Thank you for reading or occasionally stopping by.


Demands an answer tonight

Here’s a somewhat cryptic advertisement that appeared in the December 26 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Frank O’Hearn was a candidate for mayor in the upcoming Toronto municipal elections, which were to be held on New Year’s Day, 1947. O’Hearn finished second in the voting, but that was because the incumbent mayor, Robert Hood Saunders, was popular enough that no serious candidates opposed him. Besides Saunders and O’Hearn, only Murray Dowson, a Canadian Trotskyist, ran for the mayor’s chair that year.

O’Hearn went on to form a religious organization in 1961 called The Order of God-Like People. He then formed the New Capitalist Party, which ran three candidates in the 1965 Canadian federal election. The party’s platform included giving Canadians the $1,000 each that the banking system had allegedly stolen from them and lowering the price of bread to five cents a loaf.


Fitz shows Masie how

The Toronto Raptors have been an NBA franchise now for a quarter of a century, but you might not know that the Raptors are not the first professional basketball franchise to play in Toronto. The Toronto Huskies played in the 1946-47 Basketball Association of America (BAA) season, compiling a 22-38 record and then disbanding.

Here’s a photograph from the December 26 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a member of the Huskies with one of their fans:

“Lanky” was a good word to describe forward-centre Bob Fitzgerald, as he was 6’5″ and weighed 190 pounds.

Fitzgerald did not have a long professional career. He played 31 games for the Huskies before being traded to the New York Knicks in mid-season. He played in the National Basketball League in the 1947-48 season and then returned to the BAA with Rochester in 1948-49. He passed away in 1983 at the age of 60.

Fitzgerald’s older brother, Dick Fitzgerald, played in all 60 games for the Huskies in 1946-47. Except for one game with Providence of the BAA the next season, it was his only season as a professional basketball player.

I did a Google search for Masie Hutchison and looked her up in the 1946 Toronto city directory, but did not find her in either location.


Not on your life!

Here’s an ad from the September 28 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a tailor that had been on King Street a long time.

I couldn’t verify whether Score’s had been in business since 1787, but I did find Richard Score, a merchant tailor, in the 1846 Toronto city directory:

Obviously, by 1948, Mr. Score was no longer in charge of the establishment – the 1948 Toronto city directory lists Samuel Kalles as the president and A. G. Weston as the manager.

Score’s didn’t survive much longer – they are in the 1951 directory, but the 1952 directory lists Beauchamp & How Limited, merchant tailors, at 77 King West. I’m surprised that the new tenants didn’t try to attach themselves to the Score name – over a century on King Street is nothing to be sneezed at.


Ethel and Albert

Here’s an ad from the September 28 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that I found amusing.

The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert, also called simply Ethel and Albert, was on network radio between 1944 and 1950, and on television from 1953 to 1956. Its creator and co-star, Peg Lynch, passed away in 2015 at the age of 98.

The Toronto School of Safer Driving changed managers at least once during its existence, as Allan Morgan was running it in 1949 and George Foote in the 1950s. It appears in the 1959 Toronto city directory but not in 1961.


Radio’s most endearing wife

Here’s an ad for a radio show from the September 27 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Claudia, also known as Claudia and David, originally appeared in 1941 with a different cast, and was rebroadcast in 1947 with the cast shown in this ad. According to this log, the show remained on the air until March 1949 after airing for 390 episodes.

CFRB had just moved to 1010 on the dial; from 1941 to 1948, the station had been at 860.


Meet me soon

Here’s a somewhat mysterious ad from the September 27 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I was curious, so I looked in the next day’s paper. It had this:

By now, I was more curious (which is the point of the ads, of course). The September 29 1948 paper resolved the mystery, as it was an ad for Morse Credit Jewellers, opening at that location.

Tracing Morse Credit Jewellers in the Toronto city directories: they had four outlets in 1956, including 282 Yonge. By 1960, they had five outlets, but the 282 Yonge location was gone. They had four outlets in 1965 and five outlets again in 1967, but they are not listed in the 1969 directory.


Newest film light

Here’s a publicity photograph from the September 27 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Valentina Cortese (1923-2019) was involved in what used to be called a May-December romance early in her life: when she was 17, she started a relationship with conductor Victor de Sabata that lasted for eight years. She began her film career in Italy in 1941 and continued it, on multiple continents, until 1993. She passed away at the age of 96; sadly, she outlived her only child.

A search for Carlo Pavone, her leading man, was not that successful: I found an Internet Movie Database entry for somebody with that name, but this might not be the same person.


Show of 1001 wonders

Here’s an ad from the September 16 1946 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail for Blackstone, the magician:

Company of 30 – mostly girls!

Harry Blackstone Sr. (1885-1965) was one of the last of the old-school breed of magicians who performed in white tie and tails. He was arguably at the peak of his career in the 1940s, as a comic book and a radio series were created in that decade that featured him. His son, Harry Jr., also became a magician.

YouTube has footage of him performing in 1956 (though the sound quality is poor), along with this commercial for Post cereals.