THE WAY WE WERE: Toronto's history never fails to deliver


In last week’s column I indicated one of the ways that I find subjects for my weekly The Way We Were column is to keep an eye on press releases featuring stories that may in some way relate to our city’s past.

A good example appeared in a release that appeared earlier this month proposing the construction of a new express subway under the present Yonge line. That was a good example of something I could feature and relate to other proposed transit ideas, many of which reached the discussion stage only to fizzle out soon thereafter.

Another source of story ideas can be found in suggestions presented by my readers. A good example of one came in a recent email from Keith Rowe who has a large collection of ephemera, that is, items related to the history of Toronto newspapers.

Judging from the items shown in the photos Keith sent me, he has paid particular attention to the late Toronto Telegram — a paper born as the Evening Telegram on April 18, 1876, that folded, quite literally, on Oct. 30, 1971.

Not coincidentally, thLike many who grew up in Toronto, I had an early affiliation with the Tely as one of its many newspaper delivery boys or girls. My route took including streets such as Broadway, Roehampton, Redpath, Erskine and Mt. Pleasant in north Toronto

I recall collecting was a pain; how I looked forward to my customers opting for “office pays.” Took a toll on “tips,” yes, but in the long run made my balancing the books much easier.

Then there was the dreaded “complaint” notice attached to the bundle of papers waiting for me at the corner. It often meant a serious offense had occurred such as leaving the wire that was wrapped around the papers where a pedestrian could (or did!) trip over it. And a “missed” delivery. Yikes!! That resulted in a phone call and meant going back out into the night to make sure customers got their missing paper.

Needless to say I never fell victim to these offenses — ya right.

e Toronto Sun published its first edition a mere two days later, Nov. 1, 1971.