Volunteer Eric Morse resumes his treasure-hunting through the 7 News, published in the former Ward 7, Toronto, that included Cabbagetown. Let’s travel back to Nov. 5, 1977.
Much of the social infrastructure of downtown Toronto was getting its start in the 1970s, and some institutions that are now solidly established in the community were still on precarious ground. The November 5, 1977 issue of 7 News had some good news about Nellie’s women’s shelter, following the previous issue’s bad news (“End of the Line for Nellie’s”). Nellie’s, which was about to be evicted by the YMCA from rented premises on Broadview Avenue as the land had been sold to a developer, managed a last-minute purchase of the property for the (now almost trifling) sum of $70,000. There were still hurdles to overcome as funding had to be found for a new fire alarm system and furnace, neither of which was covered by the CMHC loan that made the purchase possible. (The funding was clearly found as Nellie’s is happily still with us 40 years later and just had its 44th AGM in August – http://www.nellies.org/ )
The Letters column reproduced in full a letter protesting Nellie’s closure, which had run (somewhat bowdlerized) in the Globe.
Seniors’ activism was getting a start in Toronto. The issue notes the expansion of Toronto chapters of Canadian Pensioners Concerned advocacy group (accompanied by a somewhat unsympathetic cartoon).
In 1977, eight years before the Air India bombing of 1985, the old City of Toronto had a comparatively small South Asian population and they were finding it hard to gain acceptance. A spokesperson for the community noted that the Ontario school system “ignores half the world.”
A quarter-page ad by Premier Bill Davis and Culture and Recreation Minister Robert Welch extolled the virtues of the brand new Metro Public Library (now the Reference Library and a venerated public space) at 789 Yonge.
Contrast, a black community newspaper, noted that an inmate gang at the Don Jail calling itself “The OHIP Gang” (because it gave OHIP so many customers), had been attacking attacking other prisoners of colour. MPP Ed Ziemba called on prison authorities to preserve law and order “inside and outside of prison.”
And finally, with the onset of serious Autumn, Bonnie Sartori (“Bonita’s Eats”) has a soup recipe that “should last longer than most marriages do these days.” And it’s adaptable for vegetarian tastes. Feeds a battalion.