Toronto the good in photos

Airplane over Toronto skyline in the 1960s

Yesterday as we were cleaning up the basement, I found an old Kodachrome box filled with 50-year old newspaper clippings. They were clippings of my Dad’s articles and photos from the time he was a reporter and photographer for The Globe in the 1950s and 60s.

My Dad never talked about his days with The Globe much. He was more likely to talk to you about the Blue Jays or the weather. But as I gingerly read each faded newspaper clipping, his life work washed over me and I marveled at all the famous people he met and photographed, from prime ministers and celebrities to royalty.

Here were just a few of the stories and photos I found yesterday

A Cosmopolitan View of a Cosmopolitan Centre (shown above). Dad had close ties with the Canadian International Air Show. For this picture, he must have been in the air and snapped this shot of an RCAF Air Transport Command Cosmopolitan airplane flying “past the new Toronto-Dominion Centre” highlighting a very different Toronto skyline from what it is today.

Quakers cross border with medical goods

The Vietnam War monopolized headlines in the late 1960s. This photo was of US quakers who defied US authorities to carry medical supplies across the border into Canada to send to Vietnam.

Go train pre-fabricated tunnels from the 1960s

Go tunnels part of Lakeshore commuter service

I grew up minutes from Port Credit Go station and passed through the tunnel to get to the other side of the tracks almost daily. This is a picture of the prefabricated tunnels they installed in the late 1960s.

In another story called, “Biggest town to get name, council on December 9th”, Dad covered the pending amalgamation of the villages that formed the City of Mississauga. The other name being considered was Sheridan, “a small pioneer community on the township’s western border. Mississauga is favored to win, although a police officer once moaned: ‘Oh, no. We’ll never get it all on the door of the cruisers.”

George Chuvalo newspaper photo

Family wants him to quit, but Chuvalo still has hope

This picture of five-time Canadian heavyweight and two-time world heavyweight boxer champion George Chuvalo with a patch over his right eye was taken after losing a heavyweight fight to Joe Frazier in New York City.

These next four photos showcase some of the fascinating people my father got to meet and photograph. From top to bottom:

Coretta Scott King at Toronto City Hall

Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr speaks to Toronto controller Herbert Orliffe at a reception at Toronto city hall.

Prince Philip in Toronto

Prince Philip chats with RCAF officers on his arrival at Trenton yesterday. The Prince piloted the British built jet (background) on flight from New York lasting an hour.

John Diefenbaker

On his way back to Ottawa after fishing trip to British Columbia, Conservative Leader John Diefenbaker confers with Davie Fulton at Toronto International Aiport.

Bobby Vinton

Crooner Bobby Vinton. In the caption, Vinton is quoted as saying “An entertainer’s job is not to get involved in world problems.” How times have changed.

There was one photo I wish I had to this day. I remember my Dad showing it to me. It was of the Beatles when they landed in Toronto in either 1964 or 1966 when they played at Maple Leaf Gardens. Dad photographed them for The Globe, but gave the photos to some teenage girls who lived up the street from us. Oh, but what I would give for those photos today.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane into Toronto the Good’s past, Dad. Miss you.

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Do something adventurous

Young man in the 1930s standing in front of an airplane
John Gillies, the pilot

My father was a creature of habit. He had five shirts in his closet, one for Monday to Friday. He ordered the same meals when we went out for dinner and always golfed on Sundays in the summer. The neighbours set their clocks by his daily walk with our old dog Bailey.

When my Dad passed away 12 years ago, we held a celebration at a restaurant. There were lots of laughs and drinks raised in his honour, which is exactly how he would have wanted it. When we were putting together a small display for the restaurant, the full richness of my Dad’s life starting forming in the pages, and it struck me that my dad had a hidden adventurer in him.

There were pictures of him fishing in Northern Ontario and playing trombone at the Palais Royale in Toronto. There were photos of him standing nonchalantly in an airplane hanger in front of the plane he flew when he was in his 20s. There were photos of him meeting the Queen of England (as the press coordinator for the Royal tours in Canada in the 70’s, he met most of the royal family several times and dined on the Royal yacht).

I like to think there is a bit of a hidden adventurer in all of us. In many ways I am like my dad, a creature of habit, but with a hidden adventurer waiting to explore the world and the next adventure in my life.

This week’s #HappyAct is to do something adventurous. While often it’s the small moments and gestures in our lives that bring us the most joy and happiness, we all need a bit of adventure. My adventure this week will be tree top trekking in Muskoka next weekend with my girlfriends. And yes, I’ll be bringing my bug zapper!

To all you Dads out there celebrating Father’s Day, I hope it’s one of the best days of your life, and to my own wonderful husband, the “President Choice of Husbands”, thank you for being such a wonderful partner and father all these years.