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Patterson, Cynthia, Carol McDougall; and George Levin.

Toronto, Toronto Public Library Board, 1986. 36pp, paper, $4.00, ISBN 0-920601 -00-6. Distributed by Toronto Public Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, Ont., M4R 1B9. No CIP

Reviewed by John Harkness

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

I wrote in my review of The Danforth in Pictures "May the Toronto Public Library keep up the good work." they have. Here is the fifth in their series of local history handbooks. This time, the subject is the community in Toronto that is served by the Bloor and Gladstone Branch of the Toronto Public Library. Like the other books in the series, it focuses on the developments in this sector from its earliest days to the present, under chronological headings. In the period 1790-1884 we see how the estates carved out by such families as the Brocks and Dennisons became the villages of Brockton, Seaton and Dovercourt.

Between 1884 and 1900 rapid change brought these villages into the expanding city of Toronto and as the city grew, its rising middle class found the Bloor-Dufferin area a perfect place for suburban living.

During 1900-1945, the "Pink Lemonade Era," as one Bloor-Dufferin area resident named it, saw some of the most well-known developments. Women's College Hospital, Dufferin Race Track (now the Dufferin Mall), Kent School (when it opened in 1908 it was the largest public school in Canada), William Nielson's 2-storey chocolate factory, Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd., the only aviation factory in the country, all became part of the Dufferin-Bloor scene.

From 1945 to the present day the mainly British population of the earlier days was rapidly rep laced-first by a changing number of European peoples, who were followed by Indians, Pakistanis, and West Indians to complete the present multicultural flavour.

During the mid-1960s to mid-1970s the people of this area were embroiled in a struggle with high-rise development policies that ended in victory for the local residents. This booklet does an admirable job of presenting a birds-eye view of this area of the city of Toronto. The text is agreeably interspersed with over thirty fascinating photographs and drawings, my favourite being William Nielson supervising the making of ice cream circa 1910.

John Harkness, Emery C.I., North York, Ont.
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