Throwback Thursday: 1977, according to the 7 News archive

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: 1977, according to the 7 News archive

By Eric Morse, CRA communications volunteer.

As Keith Lawrance told us back in April, the old 7 News, named for Ward 7, the online archive of which was unearthed by neighbourhood blogger extraordinaire Doug Fisher, is a gold mine of historical reference and nostalgic tidbits. Owned and managed by the community, it got off to a somewhat tentative four-page start in 1971 (creating a volunteer community paper with X-acto knives and hot wax on a paste-up board in the days before Aldus/Adobe PageMaker was no joke) but was soon well into its stride at a polished eight pages and lasted an astonishing 15 years, until 1985.

Over the next while, we will follow what was happening in the neighbourhood 40 years ago, beginning with the July 30, 1977 issue.

The headliner for the issue: The Old Don Jail is finally slated for closing. 

The conservation groups, it would seem, had the last word, but perhaps not quite in the sense that the article understood. As recounted in an April 13, 2013 news article, operational exigencies kept the east wing of it in service for another 35 years! Today, the restored centre block houses the administrative offices of Bridgepoint Health. 

Then as now, Toronto Centre was a landing point for waves of immigrants, whose lands of origin have changed rapidly over the decades. A year ago, Cabbagetown was sponsoring Syrian refugees; in 1971 a locally produced play, The Primary English Class, starred Jerzy Ambrozewicz in what looks to be an acidulous take on the ones who couldn’t learn English. In the context, “Actor Discusses Immigrant Problems” is a slightly understated headline. 

Over in the ads, pharmacist Terry Gudofsky of the Shoppers’ Drug Mart in St James Town, then at 240 Wellesley At. E., announced an innovative pick-up and delivery service for the neighbourhood between Bloor, Wellesley, Parliament and Sherbourne. COD, no cheques or Chargex. And a charming little ad for charming cheese at charming prices. 

Judy Smith writes that the exact fare system introduced by the TTC is being a real pain to the patrons of the 506 streetcar. Fifty cents, folks. No more, no less. 

Finally, this tiny announcement on Page 7 heralds the very first Cabbagetown Festival.

To view the full issue of 7 News, visit 

The full 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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