Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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City of Toronto Archives
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted January, 2012
This 2011 Heritage Toronto plaque attached to the wall beside the main door at the Archives on the east side of Spadina Road, a little way south of Davenport Road, has this to say:
Coordinates: 43.676563 -79.407286
Appointed City Archivist in 1960, Robert Woadden (1922-2010) transformed the attic of Old City Hall into the first municipal archives in English-speaking Canada. Before then, thousands of photographs on glass plates, and boxes of records dating back to 1834, were scattered around the leaky attic. Woadden recognized their historical value and began designing an operation that properly catalogued and preserved them. He introduced centralized records management to City of Toronto department heads, convincing them that records of enduring value should be preserved and transferred to the Archives. When the new City Hall opened in 1965, the Archives moved into the basement and gained much-needed space. Woadden directed the growth of the City of Toronto Archives until he left in 1975 to become the Deputy City Clerk. The Archives went on to win the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of American Archivists in 1981 - the first Canadian recipient and the first municipal archives to be so honoured. The City of Toronto Archives moved to this location when it was merged with the Metropolitan Toronto Archives in 1998.
> Posted July 28, 2012
I last visited the Toronto Archives when it was in the New City Hall. Looking for the earliest photos of Old Fort York and the City to have an idea of what it was like when my paternal grandmother arrived here to live in the Fort with her family in 1856. She was 6 years old. Her father, Sgt. John McGuinn, was powder house caretaker.
Mary Jane (Polly, McGuinn) Byron. [1850-1942].
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