Etobicoke Hall of Fame

Introduction

Between 1974 and 1998, thirty-five notable Etobicoke citizens were inducted into the Etobicoke Hall of Fame. Upon the amalgamation of Etobicoke into the City of Toronto in 1998, this program was discontinued. In 2015, the Etobicoke Hall of Fame underwent a renovation, to provide a more visually pleasing and informative recognition of these remarkable residents and their contributions. This important part of Etobicoke's history is located in the Council Chambers foyer at the Etobicoke Civic Centre.

More Information on the Etobicoke Hall of Fame

ExpandMembers of the Etobicoke Hall of Fame, by Induction Year

1974
Gordon, W. Earle
Curtin, Ann
Fisher, Thomas
Gamble, William
Given, Robert Harries, Morfudd
Home Smith, Robert
Flt. Llt. Hornell, David E., V.C.
Ryder, Gus
Rev. Canon Tremayne, Francis

1984
Sinclair, Gordon

1986
Dryden, Murray and Margaret
Gardner, F. Edna
Harshman, J. Page
Lumsdon, Cliff

1987
Gosse, Barry, ARCT, B.Mus, M.Mus
Wood, Geoffrey H

1988
Curtis, Marie
Rev. East, Stewart B., D.D., M.B.E, M.C.
Hamilton, John, Q.C.
James, Frederick T.

1989
Lowe, Howard
Scott, Kemp
Strathdee, Donald
Dr. Tsui, Lap-Chee

1990
Coulter, Elizabeth
Rycroft, Alice
Thomson, Sonny

1992
Callwood, June
MacBeth, John P.

1994
Pownall, Nora

1996
Davidson Sr., Stewart

1997
Halhed, Vera Alice

1998
McNabb, James A.

ExpandHistory

Etobicoke Hall of Fame History

The Etobicoke Hall of Fame was initiated in 1974, with the induction of ten notable citizens who shaped the early communities of Etobicoke. The program lapsed for a decade until it was revived in 1984 when Doug Holyday, who was then Alderman of the Etobicoke City Council, nominated broadcasting legend Gordon Sinclair. The Hall of Fame was relocated from the lower level hallway to a dedicated space outside of the Council Chambers in order to properly honour these outstanding individuals.

A Selection Committee, which included interested citizens and a media representative from the Etobicoke Guardian, was formed to evaluate future nominations. The opportunity for members of the public to nominate their fellow citizens was advertised annually in local newspapers and by MacLean Hunter Cable 10. The Selection Committee decided on the recipients of the award based on the following criteria:

  • Persons selected must, through personal sacrifice and/or outstanding citizenship have made a special contribution or brought special honour to Etobicoke while residing here.

  • The award shall be given in recognition of a long-term period of public-spirited activities, rather than a spontaneous act.

  • The award shall not be made solely in recognition of success of achievement in any given profession or occupation which would manifest personal success or private gain.

  • Elected or appointed government officials are not eligible for the award while they still hold office.

Several outstanding Etobicoke residents were inducted into the Hall of Fame following its revival in 1984 but it wasn't until 1987 that the inaugural Civic Awards Ceremony was held at the Old Mill, to fully honour the inductees. The awards ceremony later evolved into an annual gala event, the Awards of Excellence, which combined the presentation of several civic awards. For over a decade, many distinguished citizens were inducted into the Hall of Fame at these annual ceremonies until, upon the amalgamation of Etobicoke into the City of Toronto in 1998, the Etobicoke Hall of Fame and other civic awards were retired.

In 2015, in response to public concern about the faded and outdated display, the Etobicoke York Community Council approved plans to restore the Etobicoke Hall of Fame, in order to honour these thirty-five remarkable Etobicoke citizens once more. Portraits were photographed, restored and reframed and biographical information was provided to tell the stories of how the Hall of Fame members contributed to the history and growth of Etobicoke. The restoration project was made possible through the combined efforts of many City of Toronto staff and volunteers, and the restored Etobicoke Hall of Fame was reopened to the public on October 6, 2015.

ExpandAcknowledgements

The restoration of the Etobicoke Hall of Fame was made possible through the support of many individuals and City of Toronto departments and staff.

Thanks to the Etobicoke York Community Council for their financial support of the project and for their formal recognition of the Hall of Fame restoration at the October 6, 2015 Etobicoke York Community Council meeting.

This project was led by staff of the Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, Arts Services, Economic Development & Culture, however much of the critical work was completed by our volunteers. Diana Sernick completed the lion’s share of the research for the individual members and wrote the inductee biographies. Emma Ward, our Humber College Cultural Management intern, worked on every aspect of the project, including initial research, fact-checking, writing of the Hall of Fame history, and assisting with the reframing of the photographs. Joe DiLecce donated his incredible skills to photograph, digitally correct and reprint all of the original portraits. Thelma Amos provided a guiding hand from the initial design decisions, through to the entire restoration of the portrait installation. Her sharp eye was invaluable in the biography editing process. Our thanks and gratitude to these four volunteers who gave their time and expertise so generously to the project.

We are grateful to Garry Ross and Rick Lutchman, Etobicoke Civic Centre Facilities Operations, for their support in renovating the space for the renewed Hall of Fame. Thanks also to Barbara Sullivan, Protocol Services, for providing financial support for the portrait restoration. Thanks to Pamela Wachna and Michael Dowbenka, Museum & Heritage Services, for both their expert advice and hands-on assistance with matting and framing. Thanks to Rosemary Mackenzie, City Clerk’s Office and Kim Edgar, Councillor Grimes' office, for their assistance in liaising with the Etobicoke York Community Council. Thanks to Nadira Pattison and Katriina Campitelli, Arts Services, for your project support.

We are very grateful for the research support provided by the City of Toronto Archives.

We also wish to recognize the individuals who provided written or verbal information that helped us to fill in the gaps on the history of the Hall of Fame: Bev Kurmey, Doug Holyday, Molly Sutherland, Denise Harris, Cathie Best, Mike Lipowski and Catherine Campbell.

And finally, a special thanks to the members of the public who created the impetus for this restoration by voicing their concern over the declining state of the Etobicoke Hall of Fame.

We hope that you enjoy the exhibit that you have inspired.

Denise Dickin
Senior Arts Consultant, West District
Arts Services, Arts & Culture, EDC
City of Toronto

ExpandSources

Please Note: Research for the Etobicoke Hall of Fame was conducted with care by our volunteers. If you would like to provide us with any additional information or corrections, please contact the Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery at eccartgallery@toronto.ca.

JUNE CALLWOOD

Inside Toronto (Metroland Media): http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/8060-tribute-to-canada-s-conscience-june-callwood/

The Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/05/29/taking-inspiration-from-june-callwood-porter.html

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Callwood

 

ELIZABETH (BETTY) COULTER

Nomination forms and 1991 Civic Awards Program

DOCTOR ANN CURTIN

Franklin Carmichael Art Group: http://www.fcag.ca/about.html

MARIE CURTIS

The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/villages-spirited-defender-dies/article704936/

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curtis_Park

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Branch,_Toronto

 

STEWART DAVIDSON SR

Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Official Records 19 June, 1996: http://ontla.on.ca/web/house-proceedings/house_detail.do?Date=1996-06-19&Parl=36&Sess=1&locale=en#P22_3757

 

MURRAY & MARGARET DRYDEN

Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW): http://www.scaw.org/about/dryden.html

Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame: http://www.etobicokesports.ca/2000/dryden_david_murray.htm

Canadian Pensioners Concern: http://www.canpension.ca/pages/archives/dec10/values.html

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Dryden

 

REVEREND STEWART B. EAST

Warrior's Day Parade: http://www.thewarriorsdayparade.ca/about%20us-in%20memoriam.htm

Canadian Headstones: http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/view.php?id=41876

 

THOMAS FISHER

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/fisher_thomas_10E.html

Old Mill Toronto: http://www.oldmilltoronto.com/about/history/

 

WILLIAM GAMBLE

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gamble_william_11E.html

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gamble_john_william_10E.html

Old Mill Toronto: http://www.oldmilltoronto.com/services-amenities/services/special-events/centennial-celebration/mill-ruins/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gamble_%28business%29

 

F. EDNA GARDNER

Nomination forms and 1991 Civic Awards Program

 

ROBERT A GIVEN

Etobicoke Historical Society: http://www.etobicokehistorical.com/douglas-m-willoughby.html

Etobicoke Remembered, Toronto Public Library Citation: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM585693&R=585693

Inside Toronto (Metroland Media): http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/16152-book-chronicles-etobicoke-s-history/

 

W EARLE GORDON

Currell, Harvey. The Mimico Story. (Toronto: Chromo Lithography Co. Limited, 1967): http://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/184636.pdf

 

BARRY GOSSE

Inside Toronto (Metroland Media): http://www.insidetoronto.com/community-story/7680-etobicoke-centennial-choir-celebrates-40-years/

 

VERA HALHED

Nomination forms and 1996 Civic Awards of Excellence Program

JOHN B. HAMILTON

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Borden_Hamilton

 

MORFUDD HARRIES

Harries, Morfudd. A Story from Wales: https://escarpmentpress.org/russelljournal/article/viewFile/1382/1409

Elementary Schools G to J: http://torontofamilyhistory.org/kingandcountry/tdsb/elementary-g-

 

J PAGE HARSHMAN

American Journal of Ophthalmology: http://www.ajo.com/article/0002-9394%2848%2991543-8/abstract?cc=y

University of Guelph: http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2012/11/harshman_lectur.html

Brook and Braddock Opticians: www.brookandbraddock.com/

 

ROBERT HOME SMITH

Baby Point Heritage Foundation: http://www.babypointheritage.ca/bphistorysmith.html

Baby Point Heritage Foundation: http://www.babypointheritage.ca/images/smithobit.jpg

Preserved Stories Blog: http://preservedstories.com/2014/10/13/on-the-day-the-first-world-war-was-declared-robert-home-smith-opened-the-old-mill-tea-room/

The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/architecture/the-stylish-overhaul-of-a-toronto-ravine-home/article4239228/

Toronto Neighbourhoods Guide: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/neighbourhoods/etobicoke/humber-valley-village/history

 

DAVID E. HORNELL, V.C.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ernest_Hornell

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hornell_Junior_School#Schools

 

FREDERICK T. JAMES

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Gardens

Toronto.com: http://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/james-gardens/

365 Things to do in Etobicoke: http://365etobicoke.com/james-garden-park/

 

HOWARD P. LOWE

Nomination forms and 1990 Civic Award Program

 

CLIFF LUMSDON

Cliff Lumsdon Park: http://www.newtorontohistorical.com/Cliff%20Lumsdon%20Park.htm

The Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/lumsdon-cliff/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Lumsdon

 

JOHN P. MACBETH

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Palmer_MacBeth

Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7291848

 

JAMES A. MCNABB

Nomination forms and 1995 Civic Awards of Excellence Programs

 

NORA POWNALL

Nomination forms and 1994 Civic Awards of Excellence Programs

 

ALICE RYCROFT

Nomination forms and 1990 Civic Awards Programs

Durham Region (Metroland Media): http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/3493995-outstanding-ontario-seniors-recognized-by-the-province/

 

GUS RYDER

Humber College: http://www.athletics.humber.ca/etobicoke_hof/1994/gus_ryder.htm

 

KEMP SCOTT

Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame: http://etobicokesports.ca/kemp-scott/

http://www.hvha.org/

 

GORDON SINCLAIR

Canadiana Connection: http://www.canadianaconnection.com/2009/10/gordon-sinclair/

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/journalist-and-tv-personality-gordon-sinclair

Canadian Communications Foundation: http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/index3.html?url=http%3A//www.broadcasting-history.ca/personalities/personalities.php%3Fid%3D75

In Praise of Canadian History: https://interestingcanadianhistory.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/gordon-sinclair-journalist-author-tv-personality-and-curmudgeon-extraordinaire/

North Bay Nugget: http://www.nugget.ca/2015/02/03/graves-of-maple-leafs-titans-conn-smythe-harold-ballard-neglected

Park Lawn: http://www.parklawnlp.ca/memorials/memorials.php?page=AllenSinclair&section=bio

Quarterman Family History Project: http://sinclair.quarterman.org/who/gordon.html

The Arts Guild: http://www.theartsguild.com/2015/02/28/ric-esther-bienstock-honoured-with-gordon-sinclair-award-for-broadcast-journalism/

The Torontoist: http://torontoist.com/2008/08/historicist_the_truth_and_fiction_o/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Sinclair

 

DONALD J. STRATHDEE

Inside Toronto (Metroland Media):  http://www.insidetoronto.com/community-story/2498-etobicoke-actor-earns-accolades-for-portrayal-of-jersey-boy/

MusicFest Canada: http://www.musicfest.ca/about/hall-of-fame/

 

SONNY THOMSON

Brignall, Richard. Fearless: The Story of George Chuvalo, Canada's Greatest Boxer. (James Lorimer & Co., 2011): https://books.google.ca/books?id=rDPhXuBU8FYC&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=%22sonny+thomson%22+boxer&source=bl&ots=BHTV0F24pT&sig=_yU_VBs8olw8QcP1wxbfrfNR5Oc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMIzufP4PTGxwIVBEOSCh3PVQAp#v=onepage&q=%22sonny%20thomson%22%20boxer&f=false

Getty Images: http://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/sonny-thomson-with-wife-joan-behind-all-the-way-has-scored-news-photo/502528741

 

REV CANON FRANCIS TREMAYNE

The Canadian Champion: http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2493525/page/2

Christ Church St. James: http://www.christchurchstjames.ca/history/

Lost Anglican Churches: https://lostanglicanchurches.wordpress.com/page/3/

 

DR. LAP-CHE TSUI

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap-Chee_Tsui

Sick Kids Hospital: http://www.sickkids.ca/AboutSickKids/Newsroom/Past-News/2011/Dr-Lap-Chee-Tsui-inducted-into-Canadian-Medical-Hall-of-Fame.html

 

GEOFFREY H. WOOD

G.H. Wood Foundation: http://www.ghwoodfoundation.ca/