Home Sweet Homicide

Here’s the movie column from the November 22 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a movie titled “Home Sweet Homicide”:


Home Sweet Homicide (1946) featured Randolph Scott, who appeared in 39 more films, only one of which was not a Western. The AllMovie site rates the movie at only two stars out of five – oh well. A clip from the movie is available here.

Lynn Bari (1913-1989) apparently was “never very convincing as a successful mystery writer” but was “decorative” in this movie. Hmph. According to Wikipedia, she “specialized in playing sultry, statuesque man-killers” in about 150 movies in the 1930s and 1940s. She was quoted as saying, “I go from one set to the other shooting people and stealing husbands!”

Jack Karr was the Toronto Daily Star’s film critic from 1938 to 1959, but has left a surprisingly small footprint on the Internet (partially because there is a well-known actor named Jack Carr). The Toronto Public Library has a collection of his scrapbooks and papers, which were donated by his widow after his death.


Tightrope crossing planned

The November 22 1946 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained this short article about a man who planned to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope:


He doesn’t appear to have done it – this page on Nik Wallenda claims that he was the first to do it in 2012, and this B&B Niagara page lists nine Niagara Falls gorge walkers, none of whom was Mr. Trostl.

A search for “The Great Arturo” and “Arturo Trostl” turned up two links:

  • A page about the Trostl circus family, written by one of his sons.
  • A Google books link here.

David Niven also played “Tony, the Great Arturo” in the 1939 film Eternally Yours, but that appears to be unrelated.

The Trostl family’s lives were marred by two tragedies: daughter Eve perished in a circus accident in 1951, and son Arthur Jr. was seriously wounded by a bomb planted by the Alphabet Bomber in the Los Angeles airport in 1974. The Great Arturo passed away in 1998.


Hardest task

The front page of the Toronto Daily Star for November 22 1946 included this story, which can only be described as sad and tragic:


A Google search turned up this entry from the British National Archives site, which indicates that Mr. Long’s death sentence was commuted. Records on this case are sealed until New Year’s Day 2023.


Be careful

Here’s a tiny ad from the October 23 1946 Toronto Daily Star that I kind of enjoyed:


The Train Brothers had only recently moved to this location and added a brother: the 1945 city directory lists Lyman W. Train as the manager of the Train Motor Co. at 579 Yonge. The second Train brother signed on in 1946, and the 1947 directory is the first to list them at 472 Yonge. The Train Bros. stayed at this location until 1957.

472 Yonge is now the home of a Wine Rack store, in a building that looks like it was built when the used car lot went away.


Music in 1946

The October 23 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained ads for three upcoming appearances by famous musicians.

The first was for violinist Yehudi Menuhin, playing at Massey Hall the next Monday:


Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) started his career early – he was a solo violinist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra when he was seven. He had a recording contract with EMI for seventy years, recording for them in 1929 and 1999.

Next up is another violinist, just billed as Kreisler, scheduled to play at Maple Leaf Gardens in the following month:


Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was born in Vienna, and became an American citizen late in life. His first performance in the U.S. was in 1888. Elgar’s Violin Concerto was composed for him.

Finally, there was a pianist, Claudio Arrau, who was to play at Massey Hall that night:


Claudio Arrau (1903-1991) was from Chile, and was a child prodigy – he was reading Beethoven sonatas when he was four. He developed a repertoire large enough to be able to perform at 76 different recital evenings.


Tragedy averted

One of the back pages of the October 23 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this small article about a tragedy narrowly averted:


I was curious, so I looked up the Toronto city directories. It turns out that the man’s name was Saul or Sol Belz, not “A. Belz” (the directories give both variants of his name). The address was 75 Carlton Street, and the cleaning and pressing shop was B & B Cleaners & Dyers. The listing appears in the 1947 directory and not the 1946 directory, so the business was new. (Before that, he ran Golden Eagle Cleaners at 235 Broadview.)

Despite the initial near-tragedy, Mr. Belz stuck with it; the firm appears in the 1952 city directory, so he remained in business at least a few years. I didn’t track it any further.


Diana Barrymore

Following on from yesterday’s post about Ethel Barrymore, here’s an ad from the October 23 1946 Toronto Daily Star featuring Ethel’s niece, Diana Barrymore:


Diana Barrymore (1921-1960) had a hard life, despite being born into privilege as a member of the famous Barrymore family of actors. Her parents separated bitterly when she was four, and she was raised by nannies and sent to boarding schools. Not surprisingly, she developed substance abuse problems, which affected her career, and married addicted and sometimes abusive men. The autopsy at her death failed to find the cause.


Charlie Spivak

The June 17 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had this ad for an in-store appearance at Eaton’s main store:


Charlie Spivak (1905 or 1907-1982) was a trumpet player and bandleader who was at the peak of his fame in 1946. His nickname was “Cheery, Chubby Charlie”, and he was known as “The Man Who Plays The Sweetest Trumpet In The World”, which would be quite a handle to put on a business card. He was born either in 1905 in New Haven, Connecticut, or in 1907 in the Ukraine; I guess he never told anyone which it was.

YouTube has some examples of his work, including “Stardreams” from 1944.



The June 17 1946 Toronto Daily Star had this stylish-looking ad for the Packard automobile:


Packard Toronto Motors Limited existed at various locations on Yonge Street until at least 1953, but is not listed in the 1955 Toronto city directory. By 1957, Packards were no longer built.


National Clothing Collection

The June 17 1946 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reported that this was the first day of the National Clothing Collection, which was a drive to send used clothing to war-torn Europe. Toronto’s collection day was scheduled for June 19.

Here’s the main article on the National Clothing Collection:


The paper also contained an ad from the National Clothing Collection:


The paper also contained public service ads on the National Clothing Collection. Here’s one from the Chambers & Sons shoe store.


Chambers & Sons were at this location up until at least 1958, but were not in the 1960 Toronto city directory.

Here’s one from the Bank of Toronto.


And Simpson’s had one too:


Finally, the One Minute News About Johns-Manville feature encouraged its readers to give: