Reflecting on the last three years, it occurred to me that the centennial of incorporation as the City of West Toronto in 2008 followed by the Amalgamation centennial in 2009 and our participation in the celebration of the Annette Library receiving a Heritage Toronto plaque in its one hundredth year infused us with energy. Although we could not find a centennial to celebrate in 2010 we have still maintained some of that momentum.
In addition to publishing the quarterly Leader & Recorder (Some have suggested we should drop the “Newsletter” because it is much more.), holding monthly public general meetings with a guest speaker and opening the archives to the public four hours a week, we have continued a number of special events.
We have offered a third Heritage Toronto walking tour of Dundas Street West from Runnymede to Keele, retelling the history of the Junction and pointing out some of the architecturally significant buildings. We had another spring outing last year. We carpooled to Rockton where we had lunch and then visited the Halton County Radial Railway Museum where we rode on streetcars, looked at the streetcars in the museum and had a special tour of the archives led by John Larraway, one of our members and theirs
In June we participated in Humberside’s Hoopla. We set up our tent in the cafeteria and Manni Mifsud, with the assistance of Marion Russell, canvassed Junction retailers for items to include in a silent auction. The auction concluded the following Saturday at Wise Daughters on Quebec Avenue. Some of the art on display (which included comic book prototypes) had an historic theme. Neil Ross directed some drama students in a musical production called the Junction Mash Up, which told the history of the Junction in dance with historic photos flashed on the screen. The music was the Junction Suite, an original symphonic composition by Isaias Garcia, a former student of Bishop Marrocco Catholic High School, now in the music program at York.
We participated in the Junction Arts festival and had the most successful “tent event” ever as measured by new memberships and book sales. In October members (assisted by Cheri DiNovo, M.P.P.) put on costumes and took the roles of the Legends of the Junction in Neil Ross’ Wild Wild Junction II with a new script based on David Wencer’s research of the coroner’s report on the death of Joseph Curley
Last year at this time, I drew attention to the number of people offering their time, effort and skill to make the Society the success it has become. At this time, I would like to thank everyone again and note the special contribution of three relatively new volunteers. Brendan FitzPatrick, in collaboration with Neil Ross, produced the first issue of a five part graphic novel series entitled Justice in the Junction. John Rudge has completed an index of past issues of the Leader and Recorder and Rebekah Bedard has digitized the back issues. In the near future the Society will burn the complete Leader & Recorder onto a DVD and make them available to members at a reasonable price.
Last year we took steps to reduce our operating costs by eliminating a phone in the office (Our historic number now rings in my home as part of a bundle.) and reduced the cost of hosting our website by having that on my home bill as well. Recently we were able to eliminate the cost of Sympatico Highspeed by using the Library’s WiFi. With generous donations we have been able to improve our financial position.
As I step aside, for Neil Ross to take the helm, I am confident the Society is in better shape than when I became president and am confident that it will prosper for the next thirty years.
– Gib Goodfellow, April 7, 2011