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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Fife and Drum: The day the fort was saved from streetcars

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On 7 October 1905 the Ontario Historical Society, alerted by reports in The Globe , convened a large meeting at Fort York to object to threats to the site by commercial interests and the city administration.

The latest edition of Fife and Drum, the quarterly newsletter produced by the Friends of Fort York, was recently released. As always it’s filled with stories about both Fort York and Toronto history. Note: the Friends have recently updated their listserve to deliver Fife and Drum more efficiently. If you were a subscriber but haven’t received issues of late, go here to resubscribe (or subscribe for the first time). It’s easy and free. This issue includes:

  1. John Bentley Mays recalls the Fort York neighbourhood as it was fifty years ago and reflects on the changes that have taken place
  2. John Carter relates how heritage activists saved Fort York from becoming a streetcar line in 1905
  3. Steve Otto recalls the career of Gustavus Nicolls of the Royal Engineers
  4. The Future of the Quality Meats abattoir site

All free!

You can download a PDF of the current issue hereHere you’ll also find back issues of Fife and Drum to download.

Fife & Drum lists upcoming events and recent goings-on at the fort, but it also has, since the Friends began publishing it in 1996, exhaustively researched essays and stories about the fort, Toronto and related history. I serve as volunteer director on the Friends of Fort York board, the volunteer advocacy organization that has helped look after the interests of City of Toronto’s premier museum site.