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Rawson, Nancy and Richard Tatton.

Erin (Ont.), Boston Mills Press, cl984. 84pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-919783-14-7. CIP

Grades 6 and up
Reviewed by Hugh Cook

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

The "Great Toronto Fire" of 20 April, 1904 is vividly portrayed by the black-and-white photographs included in this book. Over sixty photographs, representing more than half the pages, are used to show Toronto as it was before, during, and after the holocaust. The story of one night has been well documented, and probably all available sources for that disastrous fire are listed in the bibliography. Neither a table of contents nor an index are included, but the work is so well illustrated and concise that neither appear necessary.

What the authors have managed to convey to the readers are the necessity of fireproof buildings and a properly equipped fire department. Both of these were basically absent prior to the fire. Unfortunately, the city council in its haste to have the establishments back in business did not enact proper fire safety building codes at that time. Many of the buildings that were newly constructed were not much safer than before the fire. It took the high cost of insurance to force owners to construct fire safe structures. Any Toronto library should have this resource on its shelves.

Hugh Cook, Calico P.S., North York, Ont.
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