Throwback Thursday: A busy September 1978

Volunteer Eric Morse summarizes the (very newsy) September of 1978 in Cabbagetown from Seven News, a community newspaper published in what was then Ward 7, Toronto.

As noted in our last Throwback Thursday, the brand-new Riverdale Farm opened on Sept. 9, the very day that Seven News appeared. In the Sept 23 issue, Cabbagetowner and photographer George Rust d’Eye adds a few photos from the great day.

The Great TTC Strike of 1978 had time to come and go between issues of Seven News (it lasted eight days before the employees were legislated back to work). Howard Huggett weighs in with a slightly novel take on labour relations in public transit, arguing from the starting point that, after all, labour unions are players in the capitalist system, and, like private and public corporations, are selling a product (labour) in a market economy. But…

Not the first or last time the argument has been made. The 1978 strike was a flash in the pan compared to the 23-day monster of four years before, when TTC workers demanded a 40 per cent increase over their minimum wage of $5 an hour (that’s $26 in 2016 dollars).

Election season was upon us, then as now, and Ald. Janet Howard’s final column from City Hall contains this tidbit, reminding us of how local all politics really can be. Recalling that Howard’s Ward 7 colleague John Sewell (or at least his pooches) was the focus of a recurring theme in Seven News (dog-do), one wonders whether Howard might not have gotten more than her fair share of animal complaints.

In this issue, the election ads began running. The municipal election was November 13. Howard herself was running again. (Her erstwhile colleague John Sewell was running for mayor.)

Barry Tulip was running for Toronto board of education.

And in the federal by-election over across the river in Broadview, Bob Rae enters the lists.

Still on a political theme, one of the Communist Parties of Canada (there were always several) was trying to fundraise.

Of interest to us over west of Parliament in Upper Lower Middle Cabbagetown, aka Cabbagetown South North, they were changing the direction of the one-ways on Seaton, Ontario and Berkeley. “The idea seems to be to prevent through traffic from going through the neighbourhood.” That may or may not have been code for “John deflector”; at least that was certainly the avowed purpose for the next redirection around 10 years later, when the three streets became one-way-north between Gerrard and Carlton.

Regular photographer Cherry Hassard contributes a photo from the Cabbagetown Cultural Festival, which was a great deal more earnestly cultural than its lineal descendant.

And finally on a note of pop culture, look at these prices! Look at these covers! Remember VINYL, now said to be making a comeback? Woolworth/Woolco was having a grand opening at 772 Queen W. with these lovelies and many more for a mere $3.99. Not to mention that Seven News scored a two-page ad spread, a rare bounty.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume09-Number10.pdf . The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collective dedicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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