Throwback Thursday: Jan. 28, 1978

Volunteer Eric Morse continues his trip down memory lane via Seven News, a community newspaper covering Cabbagetown in the 1970s and 1980s.

The big headline for the end of January 1978 is that Margaret Scrivener, the “acid-tongued Tory MPP” for St. Davids (at the time one of the old “strip” ridings; Sherbourne to the Don, and the Lake to the Belt Line) and Minister of Revenue, was dropped from Cabinet by Premier Bill Davis. She had, as the article notes, begun life as a Telegram reporter, and was viewed as an “inviolate” cabinet appointment in view of the scarcity of female representation in the Davis Cabinet. She had beaten Gordon Cressy, father of current Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy, for the seat in 1977. The piece notes that she was considering athird career, but she remained as a Conservative backbench stalwart, defeated Liberal Ian Scott in 1981, and left politics for a series of appointments in 1985. She passed away in 1997.

Insurance rates rising is surely the classic “Dog Bites Man” story of the past four centuries. What makes this Page One story stand out is the numbers – yes, the doubling and tripling of rates is scandalous and was the reason for the piece, but…read ’em and weep.

Remember the Wellesley Hospital, closed in 1998-2002? They were looking for volunteers.

Recycling was a new thing in downtown Toronto in the day. Here are the somewhat impromptu rules for disposing of old newspapers. Come to think of it, your correspondent still has his nice wooden newspaper receptacle in the living room by the easy chair, still with a place for the spool of twine and a handy snipper.

This edition of Seven News included a four-page spread called Harbourfront News, which was mainly a guide to a cultural life that was thriving even then. Among many other features was a festival of films on Quebec, running through February and culminating with the very controversial documentary about the October Crisis, Les Ordres.

And what would any activity be in Toronto that did not include a streetcar? A classic Peter Witt car was restored by the Canadian Railway Museum, and on display at Harbourfront for the summer of ’78.

For years, until the redevelopment got well under way around 2010-2012, Regent Park had nothing in the way of a neighbourhood grocer. A piece by John Sewell notes the closing of the old A&P  on Parliament Street north of Dundas as the last big grocer in the neighbourhood, except for the Parliament Loblaws (still a neighbourhood fixture as No Frills).

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number16.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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