“The Manor” holds a special place in our community’s memory and the Ontario Jewish Archives (OJA) is excited to ensure this important part of our heritage is preserved for research and future generations. Loosely bounded by Bathurst to the east, Dufferin to the west, Finch to the north and Sheppard to the south, Bathurst Manor has been identified by the OJA as an historic Jewish neighbourhood with a unique cultural community history to be preserved for future generations. The Manor became a lively Jewish enclave with shops, parks, schools, and synagogues that served multiple generations of Canadian-born and recently arrived Holocaust survivor families who sought out this new suburban neighbourhood to raise their families in the 1950s. Through outreach, collection development, and oral history recordings, this project will broadly share the largely unknown stories of this important neighbourhood.
While the OJA has a large amount of research material documenting other Jewish settlement areas in Toronto, their holdings are comparatively small for Bathurst Manor. The aim of this project is to begin to fill in this gap by engaging the community and collecting the histories of the individuals who lived and worked in Bathurst Manor. Donate your records and help the OJA preserve the untold stories of this unique Jewish suburban neighbourhood.
The OJA is looking to collect photographs, personal correspondence, diaries, journals, scrapbooks, speeches, writings, drawings, cookbooks, volunteer records, occupational records, yearbooks, report cards, video and film, team jerseys, house deeds, real estate brochures, building plans, architectural drawings, model home brochures, business cards, stationary, menus and other ephemera such as programs, brochures and flyers, from local clubs, schools, camps and more.
OJA Archivist Faye Blum launched the project earlier this year by conducting a focus group with community stakeholders. This consultation with current, former and rebound residents of the Manor helped to define the boundaries of the Manor and inform OJA’s collection priorities. Judy Kasman, one of the OJA’s focus group participants, donated the real estate brochure to the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is a treasured acquisition because of its rarity, and the unique and unexpected content that shapes our understanding of the development of the neighbourhood. Learn more about this item by listening to the OJA’s podcast about the “community designed for tomorrow.”
In response to the OJA’s call for Bathurst Manor stories, Allan Rosenfeld contacted the OJA eager to share his memories of growing up in the Manor. He had a story to share—in fact, he had several. Rosenfeld’s short story The Box, is set at Cedar Grove Public School. The drama unfolds as a young Allan is challenged to a game of Leaners where he risks losing his entire bubble gum trading card collection, including his prized Gordie Howe all-star card. Read his story here.