2018 Historical Writing: Short Publication Nominees

This category recognizes English language non-fiction short publications such as articles, blog posts, booklets, and pamphlets.

The 2018 nominees are:

Author:Daryl Landau
Amazon (Dec. 1st, 2017)
E-Book Link:
The Founder of Roncesvalles and a Pioneer of Parkdale: Transcription of the Diary of Colonel Walter O’Hara

The Founder of Roncesvalles is a rare glimpse into the life of a man who shaped the Roncesvalles neighbourhood.

This short e-book is a transcription of Colonel O’Hara’s original diary that he kept during his initial years in Ontario. It documents the daily life of O’Hara for periods between 1826 and the early 1840s.

Author:Jamie Bradburn
Torontoist (March 11, 2017)
Publication Link:
Historicist: Ted Rogers, Communist?

Ted Rogers, Communist? tells the story of a little-known incident in the life of one of Toronto’s most powerful media moguls. While attempting to return from a Florida vacation, university student Ted Rogers and a friend were detained by American immigration officials on suspicions of being communists.

This article shows how the Red Scare in the United States affected University of Toronto students, and many of the absurdities during this era.

Wayne Reeves
City of Toronto (July 1, 2017)
Maple Leaf Forever

Maple Leaf Forever is a souvenir publication highlighting 39 artifacts appearing at the Market Gallery in 2017.

The artifacts featured were rarely seen pieces from the City of Toronto’s collection and were chosen for their connections to the exhibit’s themes of indigenous life, literature, education, royalty, song, the military and wartime, science, local and provincial governments, art, community organizations and events, souvenirs, goods and services, sport, venues, and national projects.

Michael Barclay with Mary Dickie and Jamie Bradburn
Massey Hall (Oct. 18th, 2017)
Massey Hall – Shine a Light

Shine a Light tells the history of Massey Hall’s first 100 years—from Caruso singing to the overflow line from the fire escapes to the inception of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to the Greatest Jazz Concert Ever.

This pamphlet was intended to be an overview of what was in store for the renovation of Massey Hall. It tells the history of the venue’s technology and architectural evolution from the late 1800s to 2000.

Bob Georgiou
Scenes from a City (June 25th, 2017)
Scenes from Eglinton Avenue West

Scenes from Eglinton Avenue West explores the historical layers of Eglinton Avenue from Yonge Street to the Eglinton Grand Theatre.

Using archival images and maps, as well as contemporary photographs, this blog post strives to compile a one-stop narrative for this stretch of Eglinton, celebrating the apartment buildings, parklands, theatres, and small businesses of the area.

Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail (Feb. & Nov. 2017)
School’s Out: Why a Treasure of a School Building Is Headed for Demolition

School’s Out advocates for the social and aesthetic significance of the Davisville Junior Public School building, which is currently threatened with demolition.

This article explains the value of the building as an example of Festival of Britain modernism architectural style, and the work of the Toronto Board of Education that is worth saving.  The article draws on a number of sources, and encourages Toronto to look at its 500 school buildings as “community assets, and not just obstacles.”

Shawn Micallef
The Toronto Star (April 1st, 2017)
Will We Ever Have Dirty Mansions Again?

Will We Ever Have Dirty Mansions Again? looks at the dwindling amount of single-family homes that were split up into multiple living units decades ago, and how they are now increasingly being converted back to single family use.

Tapping into the term “Dirty Mansions,” which is used to describe single family homes that have been divided into several apartments, this article argues for the preservation of Toronto’s housing stock and laments the loss of this versatile and underappreciated apartment type.