PHOTOGRAPHER RONNY JAQUES’ EARLY TORONTO IMAGES RESIDE IN CANADA’S NATIONAL ARCHIVES

RONNY JAQUES (1910-2008) was a British photographer whose family moved from England to Canada, then on to New York City and TORONTO, where he opened a studio at 24 Grenville Street. He stayed here until 1941 when he closed the studio and moved back to New York. During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s his photographic specialties were fashion, travel, food and lifetstyle. His work is everywhere, but there’s no sign of the man himself.

Mr. Jaques was in TORONTO long enough to record some splendid images of our city between 1939 and 1951. A large number of these are in Canada’s National Library and Archives. You can scan through the Archives’ vast collections at this address – http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca

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<QUEEN STREET AT YONGE>

<THE BELTLINE FERRY DOCK>

THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY, ONE OF TORONTO’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, IS DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO MUSIC

rc6Founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1947 by King George VI with a royal charter, The Royal Conservatory of Music is both an education centre and a concert venue.

rc5<KOERNER HALL, photo by Richard Lautens/Toronto Star>

rc3<PHOTO – Ettore Mazzoleni Hall>

There are two concert halls – Koerner Hall, which opened in September/2009 and seats 1,135, and the Ettore Mazzoleni Concert Hall which opened in 1901 with seats for 237. The Temerty Theatre, a smaller performance space, is also on site, with space for 150. This theatre replicates the acoustic quality and stage size of Koerner Hall and is used to prepare students for live performances.

rc1Rising above the traffic din on Bloor Street West, the Royal Conservatory is quite the complex, devoted entirely to music.

For details on the building, the concert halls, and the Conservatory’s outstanding graduates – including piano virtuoso Glenn Gould – go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royal_Conservatory_of_Music

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MIRVISH VILLAGE WILL HAVE AN AFTERLIFE WHEN THE HONEST ED’S SITE IS REDEVELOPED

mirvishvillage5MIRVISH VILLAGE is behind bars. The row of Victorian houses on Markham Street will become part of a huge development by Vancouver’s Westbank at Bathurst and Bloor. The developers plan to keep 23 of the 27 heritage buildings on site and the Village is very much part of their plan.

mirvishvillage2MIRVISH VILLAGE is made up of Victorian-era houses, rescued when the city had plans to tear them all down.

mirvishvillage3mirvishvillage1Overlooking the Village from an upstairs window – the man himself.

HONESTEDS3ED MIRVISH, who died in 2007, opened his first store at the corner of Bloor and Markham Streets, in 1948.  He and his son, David, went on to build a family empire.  The two of them ran an art bookshop on Markham Street; purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre when it was destined to become a parking lot; built the Princess of Wales Theatre; rescued and renovated London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre; purchased the Pantages (now the Ed Mirvish) theatre on Yonge Street; founded Mirvish Productions, a major live-theatre company; and continued operating Honest Ed’s.

‘VICE & VIRTUE’, BOOZE, BROADS & SUNDAY LAWS – A STELLAR EXHIBIT @ TORONTO’S REFERENCE LIBRARY

vice2From the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana comes a new exhibit that looks at moral reform in a TORONTO facing rapid growth and industrialization at the turn-of-the-century. ‘Vice & Virtue’ explores changing attitudes and regulation of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, homosexuality, delinquency and prostitution in the late 19th and early 20th century. It’s a winner!

vice3ABOVE – a collection of scandal newspapers published in TORONTO, 1950’s and 60’s. Life could be ruined if you appeared in one of these.

vice7vice5ABOVE – ‘Of TORONTO the Good: A Social Study’ by C.S. Clark, 1898’. Clark includes vivid descriptions and addresses of popular brothels. He makes an argument for the legalization of prostitution in the city.

vice6ABOVE – Temperance Lesson 1-12, ca1912. Temperance organizations produced this set of twelve posters featuring some questionable facts and figures about the effects of alcohol on the body. Meanwhile TORONTO’s breweries were doing a healthy business locally and internationally.

vice8ABOVE – police raid on an ‘erotic’ art show in 1965

vice4vice10vice9ABOVE – pamphlet written by social reformer J. J. KELSO, founder of the TORONTO Humane Society & Children’s Aid Society in 1891. “Most of the juvenile offenders come from the ranks of the street hawkers, the vast majority of whom have nothing before them but a vagabond life.”

The Library conducts guided tours every Tuesday at 2pm. And there are numerous other programs connected with the exhibition. For details go to http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/exhibits/vice-and-virtue.jsp

HUSH 1931 - Large Roxy Ad, Thu Aug 22, 2013, 3:13:47 PM, 8C, 5780x4134, (82+3800), 100%, bent 6 stops, 1/60 s, R96.2, G62.0, B71.0

TORONTO Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. ‘Vice & Virtue’ continues until April 30/2017.

#10 TORONTO STREET MAY BE SMALL, BUT IT’S BIG IN HISTORY AND INTRIGUE

10TORONTOST4Built in 1851-1853 for the Province of Canada, the Seventh Post Office was designed by TORONTO architects Frederic Cumberland and Thomas Ridout. The structure, in the Neo-classical style, resembles a Greek temple with the Royal Arms of England on top.

10TORONTOST5#10 Toronto Street served as a post office until 1873, and then housed government offices until 1937. It was sold to the Bank of Canada and later purchased and refurbished by ARGUS CORPORATION, an investment and holding company. Argus was once Canada’s most powerful conglomerate, controlling Canadian Breweries, Dominion Stores, Hollinger Mines, Crown Trust, Malting Company, Orange Crush and British Columbia Forest Products Ltd.

10TORONTOST.1From Argus Corporation the building was passed on to CONRAD BLACK’s Hollinger Inc., media holding company. It was from #10 that Mr. Black himself was taped removing boxes of documents from his office – against court orders. This partly led to Black’s imprisonment in a US jail for a few years.

INTERIOR PHOTOS – Crossley Engineering/Toronto & http://www.carillion.ca

10TORONTOST2In 2006, the building was sold to Morgan Meighen and Associates, a Canadian investment manager, for $14-million ($1800 per square foot), roughly three times the price of a typical building in downtown TORONTO.

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