Past Event: Researching the History of Your House at the City of Toronto Archives

December 1, 2022, 7PM – WTJHS ZOOM with Jessica Algie

Please Note: This event will be on Zoom, not in person.  It is open to the public but advance signup is required as follows:

  • Click on this link
  • Provide your name and email address on the registration page
  • You will receive a confirmation email from Zoom (on our behalf) with information about joining the meeting on December 1st.  Please do not share this information
  • Zoom login information (including passcodes) will NOT be posted on Facebook or on this website.

Is there something unique about your home or neighbourhood that you’ve always been curious about?  How old is my home?  Who lived there in the past?  Jessica Algie, from the City of Toronto Archives, will show you, step by step, how to research a Toronto property using archival collections including fire insurance maps, city directories, historic photographs and tax assessment rolls.  Join Jessica on a journey to uncover the story of two interesting homes in the West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.  The first example is the one-time home of Dr. GW Clendenan, once located on the north-east corner of Dundas West and Pacific Ave. Dr. Clendenan was Mayor of Toronto Junction in 1896-98 as well as the Town’s Medical Officer of Health for many years.

The second example is 254 Evelyn Avenue, the home for two decades of Richard Gourlay, who was appointed in 1893 as one of the first teachers at the Junction High School, later to become Humberside Collegiate Institute.  He became head of Mathematics and taught at HCI until his death in 1925. It was later the home from 1955 to 2002 of the family of one of our current members. 

Then, apply those research techniques to your own home or other building of special interest!

Jessica Algie has worked in the Toronto history field for 17 years.  She studied art history, classics and English literature at the University of Toronto, and began working for City of Toronto’s Spadina Museum in 2006.  Jessica worked at Spadina Museum for 7 years, first as an arts camp councillor, then interpreter and finally program officer.  Jessica joined the City of Toronto Archives in 2013, where she works to help people access the City’s wonderful archival collections through creative education programs and exhibitions.  Jessica has prepared exhibitions and presentations on a wide range of topics related to Toronto Archives collections.  Some of her favourites include the history of Toronto Public Health, the story of food manufacturing in the City, and the work of Toronto’s first official City Photographer, Arthur Goss.  Since the pandemic, Jessica has been working to make archival collections accessible through online programs.

Looking forward to seeing you on December 1st at 7 PM!

Wait…There’s more!

Proposal to Introduce a Student Membership Category

This proposal has been updated to reflect the wise inputs at the last general meeting: see the latest post below for the current proposal pdf.

It’s Membership Renewal Season!

Don’t miss a single Leader and Recorder in 2023! Your expiry date is on the mailing label on the last page. Membership fees are $35 for individuals, $40 for a family. These fees support our ongoing activities including publication of The Leader and Recorder.

To pay online, go to and follow the instructions for PayPal or to pay by e-transfer, contact If you are writing a cheque, please make it out to WTJHS, c/o Annette Library, 145 Annette St., Toronto M6P 1P3. Do not send cash by mail.

Have you considered a life membership?

WTJHS offers the option of Life Memberships for individuals to make a one-time payment to raise upfront funds for the Society. Life members retain full membership privileges while avoiding the need for future annual renewals. Life Memberships are for individuals only and are valid for the rest of their life. The Life Member may bring one other person to WTJHS activities requiring membership but the additional person is not entitled to vote nor receive their own copy of The Leader and Recorder.

The Life Membership fee is $350.00 (10 times annual membership). Anyone who has already renewed their 2023 membership can have that amount deducted from their Life Membership fee


TALK: They Walked These Streets, We Will Remember Them (November 3) @ 7PM

Please join Bloor West Village residents and high school teachers, Katy Whitfield and Ian DaSilva, creators of “They Walked These Streets, We Will Remember Them” as they present their wonderful initiative at our Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 meeting – on Zoom at 7pm. Katy and Ian honour over sixty Bloor West Village residents who served in the First and Second World Wars and who never returned home.

Come learn more about our courageous and brave young people who served, yet also walked these streets before us. Maybe one of the veterans lived on your street?

Please note: As you may know, our General Meeting on October 6th with Vince Pietropaolo was disrupted by “Zoom Bombers”. In order to prevent this from happening again, we are implementing new Zoom arrangements for future meetings, starting with November 3rd.

  • WTJHS General Meetings will be open to both WTJHS members and to the broader community through an advance signup step.
  • Those who intend to join the Zoom call on November 3rd can sign up by providing their name and email address in advance at this link:
  • After signing up, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • Zoom login information (including passcodes) will not be posted on Facebook or on our website but will be sent by email individually to each person who signs up. Please do not share this login information.
  • Access to Whiteboard (the Zoom feature used by intruders to scribble while Vince was displaying his Stockyard District photos) has been disabled.

We look forward to seeing you on November 3rd and at future Zoom meetings!