The Society was started in 1985 by a group of people interested in preserving and promoting the history of the former Village of Swansea that was amalgamated by the City of Toronto in 1967. It was incorporated as an affiliate to the Ontario Historical Society and is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The Society can issue donation receipts for income tax purposes.
For more information, check out the Society’s new website SwanseaHistoricalSociety.ca (blue button at right)
MEETINGS & UPCOMING EVENTS:
The Society holds its monthly meetings at 7:15 for a 7:30 p.m. start in the Rousseau Room at Swansea Town Hall on the first Wednesday of October, November, December, February, March, April, and May, with a short business meeting followed by a guest speaker, light refreshments and time to reminisce. Our Annual Walk is always held on the first Saturday in June.
February 7, 2018 Speaker: John Beram – “The Beginnings of the Canadian Auto Industry”. John Beram, a local history enthusiast and story-teller, will return to Swansea to discuss the early days of the automobile industry in Canada, with special reference to the role of West Toronto in the development of the industry.
March 7, 2018 Speaker: Kelly Mathews – “Eaton Hall: Pride of King Township”. Shortly after the 1922 death of department- store heir John Craig Eaton, his widow Lady Flora Eaton had a palatial 72-room country estate built on the family’s King City property. Rediscover an enchanting and bygone age with the life and history of Lady Eaton and her grand Eaton Hall, where she hosted many dignitaries including visiting British royalty.
April 4, 2018 Speaker: Garfield Portch is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada – Canada’s national stamp club since 1887. He will speak to us about the intrigues and politics involved in the establishment and operation of the Post Office in the Town of York, and subsequently the City of Toronto, in the 1800s.
May 2, 2018 Speaker: Gay Gooderham. The Gooderham and Worts families emigrated from England in the early 1830s to the Town of York, shortly before it became the City of Toronto. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, centred on the area we now know as Toronto’s “Distillery District”. Many significant landmarks associated with the Gooderhams survive in Toronto today. Gay Gooderham will share the fascinating story of her family, and also talk about her work in creating a website www.gooderham-worts.ca that includes a family tree with photos, documents, and stories.
October 3, 2018 SHS Annual General Meeting & Elections Speaker: SHS Board Member and author Thelma Wheatley will return to the podium to talk about the subject of her latest book “Brown on White: Mixed-Race Marriage in Toronto in the 1960s”.
November 7, 2018 Speaker: Barbara Dickson – “Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo”. Author and speaker Barbara Dickson has lived in Scarborough for more than 50 years. Imagine her surprise when she learned there were over four km of abandoned tunnels under the city, less than a km from where she lived. Her presentation offers a unique glimpse into the lives and hearts of the courageous and dedicated Canadian women who worked in a top-secret World War Two munitions factory.
December 5, 2018 Speaker: Plum Johnson – “They Left Us Everything”. Plum Johnson is a Canadian writer raised in Oakville, who won the RBC Taylor Prize in 2015 for her memoir They Left Us Everything. In it, she describes discovering history in what parents leave behind, and about the importance of preserving it to make sense of the past.
To the right are a few pictures from our archives … click here for more background explanation of each picture!