Out of the Woods
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The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 12 Apr 1934, p. 541-556
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Bruce, His Honour, Lieut.-Colonel The Honourable Herbert A., Speaker
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Toronto's celebration of its centenary this year. Toronto actually "coming out of the woods," the woods that for centuries bordered the lake. A visit to the past to see how it all happened. A look at Toronto's history, beginning in 1673 with an Indian village named Teieiagon where Baby Point now stands on the east bank of the Humber. Work of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe. The sort of place York was to live in in the early 1800's. Toronto 100 years ago when it was incorporated as a city. Major events, such as getting sidewalks and cabs. The fire of 1849. Modern Toronto with pipes to pump water up from the lake, reservoirs and hydrants. The growth of the Police Force. The Riots of 1855 and 1874. The precursors of our modern shops and hotels. Insight into the manner in which Toronto became an accomplished fact. Toronto today exceeding all expectations. Tackling the problem of slum dwellings. The founding of the University of Toronto. Culture in Toronto. Sports facilities, fairs and exhibitions, including the Canadian National Exhibition and the Royal Winter Fair.
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12 Apr 1934
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Full Text
OUT OF THE WOODS
AN ADDRESS BY THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF ONTARIO, HIS HONOUR, LIEUT.-COLONEL THE HONOURABLE HERBERT A. BRUCE, R.A.M.C., M.D., F.R.C.S.
April 12, 1934

The Annual Meeting of The Empire Club of Canada was held on Thursday, April 12, 1934, with Major W. James Baxter, M.C., President of the Empire Club, in the Chair. The Election of officers was held before the Guest Speaker of the day was introduced by Major Baxter.

It was moved by Mr. J. P. Pratt and seconded by Mr. H. Eayrs, that the Report for the year 1933-34 be adopted. Carried.

It was moved by Lieut.-Colonel Geo. A. Drew, K.C., and seconded by Mr. Stapells, that the following Officers be elected for the ensuing year:

President: Mr. Dana. Porter

First Vice-Pres.: Mr. Min Johnston

Second Vice-Pres.: Colonel G. G. Blackstock Third Vice-Pyes: Major Gordon Balfour

Honorary Treas. and Archivist: Colonel B. O. Hooper Immediate Past President: Major W. James Baxter Past Presidents: Mr. W. Brooks;, Dr. R. N. Burns,

Colonel A. E. Kirkpatrick.

Executive Council: Mr. James Armstrong, Mr. Harry

C. Bourlier, Mr. J. H. Brace, Mr. H. D. Burns,

Mr. R. H. Cardy, Mr. George D. Davis, Mr. F. B.

Fetherstonhaugh, Mr. George C. Gale, Mr. R. M.

Harcourt, Mr. W. M. Hargraft, Mr. Beverley Matthews, Mr. B. K. Sandwell, Mr. J. D. Spence, Mr. J. R. Pratt, Mr. E. J. Thompson, Mr. Malcolm W. Wallace, Mr. Howard Webster.

There were no further nominations from the floor and the motion was declared Carried. (With applause.)

MAJOR W. JAMES BAXTER: This very distinguished audience is gazing upon a most distinguished head table today. The members of the Empire Club extend a hearty welcome to the Honourable W. H. Price and the Honourable Charles McCrae, representing the Province of Ontario, and to His Worship, Mayor Stewart and Controllers McBride and Simpson, representing the City of Toronto. The other gentlemen are the PastPresidents of The Empire Club, it being the usual procedure to have them at the head table on the day of the Annual Meeting.

We are honoured in having as our Guest Speaker today a very highly esteemed personality in the life of -our Province. Colonel Bruce has left in the wake' of his public career a record of attainments that have brought honour to himself and Canada. During his tenure of office .as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario he has turned that post from the status of a sinecure, as it is alleged to be by some political minds into a powerful agent for furthering the cause of humanity. His leadership in welfare movements is too well known for me to do other than pay this passing tribute.

What His Honour is going to speak about today, I haven't the remotest idea. We will soon discover what is meant by Col. Bruce's title, "Out of the Woods." Whatever it is, we can be assured that his address will be along his usual brilliant lines and that the frank and fearless personality we have come to respect will be reflected in his words and thoughts. I have the honour to present His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Colonel the Honourable Herbert A. Bruce.

His HONOUR, COLONEL THE HONOURABLE HERBERT A. BRUCE: Mr. Chairman, Your Worship, Colonel Price, Mr. McCrae, Distinguished Guests at the Head Table, Gentlemen: There is no happier moment in the life of a surgeon than when he can say to his patient, "Now, you're out of the woods." The patient, of course, shares the pleasure. One has only to look at him to see that.

Now, this year, Toronto is celebrating its CENTenary, its Cent-EEnary, and its Cent-ENN-ial. There may be other celebrations also in progress of which T haven't yet heard, but, sooner or later, the fact emerges that Toronto is exactly one hundred years old. And since, in a very literal sense, Toronto has actually come out of the woods-the woods that for centuries bordered the lake-I think it will be interesting to pay a hurried visit to the past and see how it all happened.

Where Baby Point now stands on the east bank of the Humber there used to be an Indian village named Teieiagon in the middle of a forest. Somebody called Joliet marked it with a pin point on a map he made in 1673. Fifty years later, French traders came and went. Then they became tired of coming and going, and decided to stay. They built Fort Rouille. It had four guns, one officer, five soldiers, two sergeants and a storekeeper. For five years all went well. Business was good. Then in 1759 the English turned up. The depression, had begun. So the French burnt their fort, scampered off through the forest and left the English to do what they could with the charred ruins.

For thirty years one might say that X marked the spot. Nobody wanted ruins. But in 1787 the British Government's representatives spoke to the Indians about the land stretching northward from the ruins. Lord Dorchester the Governor-General, sent surveyors to look over the land. It was good land. The British and Indians had a pow-wow or palaver about it at Carrying Place on the Bay of Quinte. They talked and talked--but it ended in talk. Then another thirty years or so passed and at last in 1805, on the Credit River, the Indians agreed to sell to the British 250,808 acres--that included York, Etabicoke, Vaughan and King Townships--for £1,700 sterling in, cash and goods. The value of land has gone up since then and the value of money gone down. For all that, I think you will, agree that it was a bargain day in real estate.

Meanwhile many things have been happening. Here and there little townships are springing up. General Simcoe is Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada. Niagara (or Newark) is the first capital of the province. But just by Niagara is Fort Niagara in the U.S.A. and it is about to be garrisoned by American troops. Simcoe wants to move immediately and make London the new capital. But Lord Dorchester says, "No"! There were already some people-a few settlers -in Toronto. Why not make Toronto the capital? So, willynilly, Simcoe carne to Toronto with seven officers and camped in tents when the soldiers had cleared away the trees. A few weeks later Toronto was called York by everybody but the inhabitants. Simcoe renamed it "York," after the Duke of York-and Muddy York was born in the marsh, or, if you will, the woods.

And now things begin to move. The Island was still a peninsula. The soldiers began building military buildings and roads. Castle Frank was built--a combined summer residence and Government House for the Simcoes just beyond the northern boundary of St. James' cemetery--a frame building overlooking the Don Valley. The Simcoes loved it. Mrs. Simcoe cried all day when they sailed away from York on the Onondaga, but after they left it, it wasn't much used. In fact, five years before Toronto became a city, a fisherman lit a fire in it, went away and forgot the fire--and when he came back what was left wasn't worth remembering.

Now, York--no longer Toronto (except to the inhabitants)--was, of course, a military establishment. Two hundred Queen's Rangers did almost all the work. I imagine it was thirsty work. At all events, the Lieutenant Governor, General Simcoe, signed a warrant authorizing the Commissioner of Stores, Mr. McGill, "to supply from time to time from Government stores such quantities of rum as may be required to be given to the men employed on the wharf and canal at York." And to this day the question, "How much rum did they require?" is as unanswerable as Pilate's famous query, "What is truth?"

However, the York Rangers under General Simcoe did a great deal of valuable work. Yonge Street was opened to Lake Simcoe. They began clearing the highway through the bush in 1804, and in two years the work was completed. Before his term of office expired, by the way, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe started a newspaper and an annual agricultural show. And the population of Upper Canada rose from 12,000 to 35,000.

And what about York itself? What sort of place was it to live in? Well, at that time it was quite unhealthy. Mosquitoes were a pest and brought intermittent fevers. At no time at the beginning of the last century did the little struggling town extend more than a few hundred feet north of the shore. King and Yonge was not even a cross road, and Church Street was a long, long way from the business district. In 1800 they had a post office, and even before that, a newspaper. It was called "The Upper Canada Gazette or American Oracle." The name "Oracle," of course, sufficiently indicates that it was the official Government publication. And as for the Post Office, already in 1801 the York Postmaster, Mr. Willcocks, had resigned because "his reasonable charges for the rent of an office, stationery, fire, candles and a servant to attend had been disputed." That was most unreasonable probably, but the troubles of officialdom had already started. And these weren't by any means the only troubles. Listen, for instance, to this description of York by a traveller in 1798: "A dreary dismal place," he says, "not even possessing the characteristics of a village. There is no church, schoolhouse nor, in fact, any of the ordinary signs of civilization There is no inn" he goes on, "and those travellers who have no friends to go to, pitch a tent."-A shameful state of affairs. But true enough. And sitting here in this great hotel you will appreciate the significance of a letter written by Acting Governor Russell from Niagara to an official in York just before the Legislature met: "Please apprise the inhabitants of the town, that twenty-five gentlemen will want board and lodgings."

As a matter of fact, of course, York was still in the wilds. They say that Bay Street was once called Bear Street because Mr. Justice Boulton's horses attacked a bear in a field near by. Yes--the horses attacked the bear! 134 years ago packs of wolves cane into the town. One man lost 17 sheep. And then, 2 bears came to town and ran off with 2 pigs in their arms, sprinting away into the woods on their hind legs, while nine years later, Lt. Fawcett of the 100th Regiment killed a bear in George St., by hitting it on the head with his sword.

Exciting days. But I want to hurry on to the days one hundred years ago when Toronto- came into being and was incorporated as a city. We'll stop just long enough to see how the population grew. In 1803 there were 456 people in York, and they collected £62 in taxes. In 1812 there were 700. That was the year of the American War. In 1813 the Americans occupied the town twice and burned practically all the public buildings. But the population went on growing. In 1817 it was 1,200 and there were actually three brick edifices in the town. And when the population was no less than 1,356 anal everything appeared to be going swimmingly, a Mr. Talbot visited York, looked around him and made these comments: "The situation of the town is very unhealthy, for it stands on a piece of low marshy ground. He who first fixed upon this spot as the site of the capital of Upper Canada, whatever predilection he may have had for the roaring of frogs, or the effluvia arising from stagnating water and putrid vegetables, can certainly have had no great regard for preserving the lives of His Majesty's subjects." The situation of York was, it would seem, not only pernicious but actually somewhat seditious as well--a situation which the shocked gentleman viewed with alarm. But time and tide wait for no man, and even the slow-moving little town of York didn't wait for Mr. Talbot to finish speaking. It was, in fact, just getting into its stride. There were many things to be done. Pioneers are busy people. They wanted at least one Police Constable, a Collector of Taxes, a Postmaster, and all kinds and conditions of public officials. But nobody had the time and few the inclination. Very well then, they would have to make time. So if you had been in York, you might, on any fine morning, have received a letter informing you that you were to be the Town Constable, or the Tax Collector. You would have objected; you had other things to do. But that made no difference. You were given two days to find a substitute. If you couldn't you paid a fine.

In 1816, for example, the Magistrate appointed a gentleman named John Murchison to be town clerk. He said, "No, thank you," and was fined for contempt. Then Jonathan Cawthra was appointed. He gracefully demurred, but paid the fine just the same. Then Jonathan Post was approached, and likewise refused. Likewise, too, he paid the fine. Finally, William Barber accepted, and. turned out to be a lucky fellow, for next month, in addition to his salary, he received the three fines that had been paid by the three shy mere who shunned the fierce light of publicity which even then doubtless beat upon such a public position as that of the Town Clerkship of York.

York, by the way, was undoubtedly unhealthy in its location. It was not for nothing, too, that it was entitled "muddy." We shall have time later to see just how muddy it could be. But we have reached the year 1834. And now I would like you to have a glimpse of this little town set in the wilderness. It is a summer day. Suddenly flocks of wild pigeons come flying over the town. Let the story be told in the words of a contemporary who was actually present: "A stream of wild pigeons," he writes, "took it into their heads to fly over York; and for two or three days the town resounded with one continued roll of firing; as if a skirmish were going on in the streets-every gun, pistol, musket, blunderbuss anal fire-arm of whatever description was put in requisition. The constables and police magistrates were on the alert, and offenders without number were pulled upamong whom were honourable members of the executive and legislative councils, crown lawyers, respectable staid citizens, and last of all, the Sheriff of the county; till at last it was found that pigeons, flying within easy shot, were a temptation too strong for human virtue to withstand; and so the contest was given up and a sporting jubilee proclaimed to all and sundry." The arrival of pigeons had made it necessary" you .see to proclaim a (civic holiday.

And now, it is hardly necessary for me to tell you that on March 6, 1834, the town of York-after a good ideal of family squabbling-became the city of Toronto. We haven't time to stay and listen to the quarrel, but many objected, among other things, to what they called the "wild and terrific" Indian name, "Toronto," instead of the good old British name, "York." Even the inhabitants had by this time become accustomed to the name "York." And I know for a fact that neither Lieutenant Governor Sir John Colborne nor Mr. Jarvis, who was Tory M.P. for York, even guessed who would be elected first Mayor of the City when Mr. Jarvis introduced in the House of Assembly "An Act to extend the limits of the town of York, to erect the said town into a city, and to incorporate it under the name of the City of Toronto." But that is another story and as soon as everything had been settled, more or less, there came a veritable flood of by-laws and regulations to improve the city. Unfortunately, there wasn't much money, but they began laying the first wooden sidewalks instead of footpaths and flagstones, and the main streets were graded and gravelled. A fully incorporated city is not a town. York had been changed in name, said the city fathers, why not change it in appearance? So the new city of Toronto tried its best to forget that it was ever little muddy York. And, when 15 years later the "Great Fire of 1849" began at half-past one in the morning and went on burning building after building along street after street until six or seven o'clock at night-then a whole section of the city had to be rebuilt. New and better buildings sprang up. Muddy York had already changed past recognition.

Just how muddy, by the way, was York? I shall let a gentleman who lived in those days tell it in his own words.

It seems that while walking on the loose planks forming a sidewalk on King St. he espied a good-looking hat in the middle of the street. Curious to see and pick up the hat, he managed to reach it,, and on: lifting it discovered to his surprise the head of a man underneath. This individual at once appealed for help and deliverance, urging as a special plea that if prompt assistance was not rendered, his horse which was underneath, would certainly perish. The usual mode of extrication by the use of shovels and oxen was soon supplied, and man and horse excavated."

So much for Muddy York. Now, what of Toronto? We must go forward by leaps and bounds. To travel a century in half an hour is not easy. We shall stay long enough to observe, however, that it was not until the eighties that cement paving came to Toronto. Thirty-nine years ago Toronto's citizens were proud to announce that "many of Toronto's main streets and private thoroughfares are asphalted." Today there are 542 paved streets and 900 miles of concrete sidewalks. All in a century!

Three years after Muddy York became Toronto, the first "cab" appeared. 'It was called the "City." It was drawn by a horse, accommodated four passengers anal was driven by a negro. It did a wonderful business. In no time there were competitors. Toronto seemed to blossom into cabs. Public street transportation had begun. There were cabs called "Chief Justice Robinson", "Britannia", "Queen", "Niagara", "Princess Royal", and "Transit". The first cabman made so much money that the business was overdone. Servants left their masters to go into the business. There were cabs everywhere. Then came omnibuses and all sorts of horse-drawn contraptions on wheels. And very soon the city had to regulate the duties and charges of all vehicles plying for hire in Toronto. Drivers were told that they must not "wantonly snap or flourish their whips," (I wish we had similar rules concerning motor car horns) and they were not to use "abusive, obscene or impertinent language of any kind whatever."

In 1861 the first horse-cars appeared on Yonge Street, and omnibus proprietors galore went out of business.

With the advent of the new, old things, old customs were disappearing. One hundred years ago a woman in court on a charge of drunkenness threw a muddy boot at the first Mayor of Toronto who was reproaching her' for her sins. She was sentenced to be placed in the stocks. That was the last time stocks were used in Toronto.

You recall that I mentioned the great fire of 1849. The old frame buildings of Toronto were quick to catch fire. How did Toronto's citizens cope with fires? A hundred years ago the fire-fighters were a bucket brigade. Every house had to keep two buckets filled with water, and every man had to help in carrying buckets. Every carter had to be a water-carrier when fire broke out. At the scene of the fire eight men with a; hand pump did some useful physical exercises and prizes were offered to "licensed carters and others" who were first to appear on the scene with barrels of water. Mrs. Jameson, who visited Toronto in 1837, said she was assured by citizens that "a fire was always a public benefit, for a good brick house was sure to arise in the place of a wooden one."

However, Toronto didn't want too many fires. So a Fire and Water Committee was formed in 1847. Pipes were laid and water pumped up from the lake. Reservoirs were built, hydrants were installed, and so, as the century passed, modern Toronto with its splendid firefighting facilities and its hundreds of miles of pipes bearing water to every house, came into being.

I wish I had time to tell you of the work now in progress building a pipeline exteding a mile and a half out from the shore at Scarboro Bluffs. Nor have I time to tell of oil displacing the candle and electricity banishing the gas lamp. Now will we be able to watch the growth of the Police Force. We can't wait to watch the police deal with surging, window-smashing crowds in the streets of Toronto during such disturbances as the "Circus Riots" in 1855, or the "Sunday Riots" in 1874. It is an interesting story--the story of the development of the Police Force-often an exciting story-and it ends with the 969 men who now compose one of the finest and most efficient of police forces.

I should like to have been able to tell you, too, of the shops and of the inns and hostelries in early Torontothe precursors of our modern shops and hotels. The cost of this Royal York Hotel, lay the way, was 35 times the total value of all the property in Toronto 100 years ago. And I would suggest that on leaving this hotel you go up to York St. to Richmond St. There, on the northeast corner of York and Richmond Streets, still stands a frame building which is 100 years old. It used to be Crispin's Tavern, a popular resort generations ago. Richard Crispin, or "Coachman Dick," who was the proprietor, came to Canada with Lieutenant Governor Sir John Colborne in 1828 to drive the official coach. He and his good wife kept that tavern for years. And if in the act of making comparisons with modern hotels you are deluded into believing Toronto's citizens of old had no first class hotels, listen to these few words of appreciation written by a visitor to the Rossin House, which was opened in 1857 at the corner of King and York Streets: "Within its walls," he writes, "is congregated every appliance which affluence can desire, every pleasure which luxury can crave. Here are alluring condiments to tempt the most fastidious taste, vinous acidities to lubricate, and gastronomic ponderosities to titilate the palate! The prandial morceau here ceases from troubling, and the sated stomach is at rest. What magical transformations here wait human deglutition!"

That is probably unlike anything you have ever heard. Eating in those days was evidently one of the fine arts.

I hope I have given you some insight into the manner in which this hundred-year-old city became an accomplished fact. I haven't spoken of the multiplication of churches in this city of churches; of the activities-public and civic-that centred around old St. Lawrence Hall; of the old-time elections which were so often like small wars and not always bloodless, so that a general election was sometimes, also a signal for general uproar. Nor can I do more than mention the libraries and museums which started so humbly and have become centres of enlightenment, entertainment and instruction. The story of all these is an essential part of the story of Toronto.

Life in York was very much like that of an English town in those days. But Toronto began to take on its own characteristics--characteristics which it retains to this day, when to be one of its citizens is to be a citizen of no mean city.

In, sentimental retrospect, the thought of living in the days when Toronto was still in its infancy may have a certain romantic appeal. When I recall, for example that the Hon. Peter Russell, who succeeded Governor Simcoe as Administrator, could make grants of land to himself--"I, Peter Russell, grant to you, Peter Russell"--I am filled with envy. Or when I think of the "Spoon Bill" of the Legislature of Upper Canada, by which a sum of no less than $3000 was voted to purchase a service of plate for Lieutenant-Governor Francis Gore, and when I learn that the Lieutenant-Governor took the money to England with him but never bought the plate--and when I read that a few days later he called the members of the Assembly-those who voted the money for him, "rascals," and dismissed them because, as he said, their longer absence from their respective avocations must be too great a sacrifice-then, well, I must hurry on!

Toronto's progress has been very real and so great as to seem at times and in many of its aspects, incredible. For, however glamorous the early days may appear in retrospect, the fact remains that the city of Toronto today far transcends the most sanguine expectations of those past generations who planned and laboured that their vision might be fulfilled. There is much yet to be done in this city of ours, and the difficulties we are called upon to face are, after all, nothing but growing pains.

Toronto is a city of which we may well be proud, and the surest guarantee of its continued progress is the pride of its citizens. For to be jealous of Toronto's honour, to be eternally watchful that the best interests of all its citizens be safeguarded, to be vigilant in the detection of civic and private shortcomings, and to encourage all that will give beauty to the city and happiness and contentment to its citizens--these are the visible, tangible evidences of true pride of citizenship.

A few weeks ago I was very much impressed by the ready enthusiastic reception accorded a few words of mine concerning slum conditions within this city. The response was immediate and active. Today a committee, representing all classes of citizens, is at work on this most difficult problem. The investigations that have already been made show the existence of undesirable dwellings within the boundaries of this great city. And I know that the energy with which this problem has been tackled is but further proof, if any were needed, that the pride of the citizens of Toronto will not tolerate the presence in their midst of any dwellings or districts comparable to those slums which, as long as they continue, will be dark stains on the escutcheons of older and larger cities in the Old and New Worlds. In a press dispatch only a few days ago I noticed that the Government of the United States is combining with officials of many states in a vigorous campaign to rid their cities of slums. Federal millions are being placed behind scores of projects having but one object-the clearing away, the rooting out of those tenement and slum districts which, like a malignant growth, despoil a city of its beauty and rob it of its health. How necessary it is that the very first indication of the insidious growth in Toronto, or in any city of this great Dominion, of any such areas we should act-and that immediately, so that slums may never grow to be centres of filth and misery for those of our less fortunate citizens, and a terrible handicap to generations yet unborn.

And now, against the background of a few frame houses in a wilderness, set the Toronto of today. No longer a pioneer community but a centre of culture. No longer two score wooden shacks huddled together where lake and forest meet, but a city of homes. No longer a place of darkness where sturdy toil-worn men and women trudge doggedly along muddy paths toward the dim candle-light of oil lamp that marks their homes, but a city of clean boulevards and broad highways lit .by electricity, and where one may walk safe by night as by day; a city of schools; a city, too, of churches, and a city which has as its centre the second largest University in the British Empire.

I am glad and proud to recall that it was one of my predecessors in office-General John Graves Simcoe, who first proposed the founding of a University. His dream was realized, for the Legislature in 1798 set aside no less than 500,000 acres for purposes of education. Half of that 250,000 acres was for the establishment of a Universtiy. When in 1827 King's College was founded--chiefly at the instance of Dr. John Strachan--there was bequeathed to succeeding generations., as the University grew and in 1850 became the University of Toronto, all those tangible and intangible benefits which are the fruits of higher education.

What am I to say, too, of those cultural influences in our midst which give to the name of Toronto prestige, character, and an enviable reputation-a reputation such as can never be based alone on material possessions, on the acquisition of wealth or on commercial prosperity. I refer to such forces as are typified in the realm of Music by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Little Symphony, the Bach Choir, the Mendelsson Choir and the Conservatory of Music, over which our own Dr. Ernest MacMillan is, ins every sense of the word, the presiding genius. What am I to say, too, of Hart House and the development of Canadian Drama fostered by those enthusiasts who recently sponsored and took part in the Dominion Drama Festival Competition when no less than 14 plays were produced in the final play-offs.

In the world of entertainment, Toronto has facilities as few cities can rival. In the world of sport the Maple Leaf Hockey Club and the great Arena, not to mention all those other sports and games-baseball and cricket, skating and football-which give health and joy and not a little excitement to both young participants arid to more elderly spectators.

From the little fairs of old has grown the great Canadian National Exhibition-unrivalled anywhere in the world, and the Royal Winter Fair, second only to that of Chicago.

Out of the woods came Toronto. Out of the wild tangle of tree and shrub that for untold centuries was known only to the Indians, the bear, the wolf, and the birds that arrive with the summer--came the little town of York--defiantly planting itself in the heart of a wilderness. By the strength of purpose of the men and women of old, and by ways too devious to trace in so short a time, the city of Toronto came into being.

If at times we are inclined to think that there is yet another wood out of which Toronto has not emerged--the wood in which the countries of the world are painfully groping their way as they seek the open boundless plains of peace and prosperity--there seems now to be every indication that soon the economic undergrowths and the thorny shrubs of international difficulties that delay the feet of progress will have passed away, even as the woods and mud of York have passed out of the sight of men. (Hearty Applause.)

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Out of the Woods


Toronto's celebration of its centenary this year. Toronto actually "coming out of the woods," the woods that for centuries bordered the lake. A visit to the past to see how it all happened. A look at Toronto's history, beginning in 1673 with an Indian village named Teieiagon where Baby Point now stands on the east bank of the Humber. Work of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe. The sort of place York was to live in in the early 1800's. Toronto 100 years ago when it was incorporated as a city. Major events, such as getting sidewalks and cabs. The fire of 1849. Modern Toronto with pipes to pump water up from the lake, reservoirs and hydrants. The growth of the Police Force. The Riots of 1855 and 1874. The precursors of our modern shops and hotels. Insight into the manner in which Toronto became an accomplished fact. Toronto today exceeding all expectations. Tackling the problem of slum dwellings. The founding of the University of Toronto. Culture in Toronto. Sports facilities, fairs and exhibitions, including the Canadian National Exhibition and the Royal Winter Fair.