Throwback Thursday: March 1978

Volunteer Eric Morse takes us back to March 1978 to look at the news in and around Cabbagetown.

A critical stage was reached in the redevelopment of “South St James Town” (Bleecker, Wellesley, Ontario, Carlton, now forming part of the Winchester Park Residents’ Association) by Meridian Properties; Council approved sweeping redevelopment to include highrises which would have housed 3,000 people, plus 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Ald. John Sewell swore to carry the fight to the OMB.

Remember the patio at The Isabella? It makes its debut for spring 1978 with a $3.75 brunch.

The debate over the Don Jail continues; George Rust d’Eye delivers a stiff riposte to Bob Innes’s letter of the previous issue and is supported by Stanley Wilson.

Somebody ’s legal department had too much time on their hands. The Dow was down, right on the editors’ heads, as Dow Chemical waxed minatory over the alleged misuse of the word styrofoam in an issue from 1977. It would seem that the corporate legal beagles had never in their lives Xeroxed a Kleenex. The paper shot back hard. Remember napalm, anyone?

The Hon. Donald “Thumper” MacDonald, who had announced his retirement the previous fall, stepped down as MP for Rosedale.  A byelection was called for October 16. U of T President John Evans threw his hat in the ring against Ann Cools and won the Liberal nomination handily as the establishment candidate but the nomination battle was unexpectedly fierce.

The National Film Board made a moving documentary of Cools’s nomination, which is well worth watching: the NFB describes the contest as “one of the most innovative and fascinating in the history of Canadian politics”. The documentary memorably describes the south end of the riding as containing “The fragments discarded from the [urban] mosaic”. Spoiler: Tiny Perfect Mayor David Crombie won the PC nomination handily and flattened Evans in the byelection. MacDonald would have run for the leadership of the Liberals in place of Pierre Trudeau in 1980, had Trudeau not un-resigned. Ann Cools won the Liberal nomination in 1979 and 1980, but lost (narrowly in 1980) to Crombie. She was appointed to the Senate in 1984.

And finally, the eternal note on an eternal theme.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org /SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number20.pdf . The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collectivededicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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