Throwback Thursday: of narrow houses and political beginnings


A return to The Seven News, 40 years ago, as perused by volunteer Eric Morse.

The Feb. 25 1978 issue of Seven News is full of tidbits for us modern types. Currently, we are concerned at the rise of the Internet-driven ‘gig economy’, but we see its – admittedly more modest – beginnings in the temp agency abuses of 40 years ago. It was the lead story on Page 1; a snippet is reproduced.

The aforesaid gig economy is forcing many of us to accept that Freedom 55 is beginning to look more like Freedom 95. But just a couple of pages in, Seven News reported that there was growing opposition to the concept of mandatory retirement.

Ward resident Bob Innes is in a state of high dudgeon about George Rust d’Eye’s earlier article about the Don Jail. Innis is terrified that if the city keeps it around to long, it will end up getting re-purposed as – gasp – a jail!

A few issues back, Seven News had incorporated Harbourfront News as a centre section. Physically, there wasn’t much to Harbourfront back in the day – redevelopment had been announced by the Trudeau Government in the election of 1972 – but the complex now known as Harbourfront Centre was beginning to develop as a focal point for non-mainstream cultural activity. Here’s a map as it was then – except for the pioneering Harbour Square / Hilton Harbour Castle development on the eastern edge, nary a condo in sight. And of course, no streetcars.

Meanwhile on Page Three, and slightly closer to the Greater Cabbagetown Area, a little photo feature by Seven’s photographer Cherry Hassard on Toronto’s narrowest house at 383 Shuter St.

Forty years later, it seems to have put on no girth, but some height, and considerable value, listing at $788,000 in July 2017 (current photo from BlogTO).

And finally, way down in the corner of Page Three where you might completely miss it, a political star is born in the riding of Broadview-Greenwood.

The full stories introduced above are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number18.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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