Why I Love Toronto
Lest we forget. World War One and World War Two had a major impact on Canada. From men going off to war, woman working in factories making bombs, food rationing and victory bonds, the war will forever have an impact on Canadian history.
In Toronto many of our historic buildings, from schools to factories, were turned over to the government to help with the war effort. Today as we remember our fallen soldiers, I think it is appropriate for us to also remember the historic buildings that were converted to help in both World Wars and the people who aided our soldiers from Home Front. Also at the bottom I have listed some War Memorials, some that are common to us and others in the most unlikely of places.
1 Spadina Crest.
In World War One the University of Toronto building was converted into a military hospital that Amelia Earhart worked at as a nurse.
The Automotive Building
In World War Two this CNE building was handed over to the Canadian Navy and became a naval facility.
Central Technical School
The school was used for teaching marching drills, wireless operating, aircraft mechanics and tank repair. The school was a 24 hour facility during World War Two as it taught children during the day and the Royal Canadian Air Force, Army, and Navy at night.
The Distillery Historic District
During World War One the distillery became a manufacturing plant for acetone.
Was used as a training facility.
In World War Two the Horse Palace became the barracks and home to Canadian Army recruits.
Horticultural Building/ Muzik Nightclub
This building wasn’t always used for partying, but was a training facility and housed new recruits during both wars.
Old City Hall
This building wasn’t used for manufacturing, but as a place to express patriotism and garner support for the war. Displays and assemblies were held during World War One where Torontonians got to see tanks and experience trench life. At the end of World War One it was a gathering place to celebrate victory.
This building became a training base for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
During World War One the Barracks became an internment camp that housed potentially dangerous enemy aliens and in World War Two it became a training facility.
Toronto Carpet Factory
During the war the Toronto Carpet Factory made army blankets and khaki cloth for uniforms.
The University of Toronto
There are plenty of pictures in front of various University of Toronto buildings that show students participating in military drills. Many of the men who attended the University would have no doubt went off to fight in the war. The grounds were even on loan to the British government as an aviation school.
Toronto War Memorials:
Commerce Court North
You will not be able to get into any bank on Remembrance Day, but in Commerce Court North there is a memorial for those workers who lost their lives during World War One.
Hudson’s Bay Richmond and Yonge Entrance
The men remembered on this wall did not work at Hudson’s Bay, but rather at Simpsons, the department store that originated on this location. This hidden memorial is in honour of those workers who never came back to the department store.
This tower by Henry Sproatt was built to honour those students who lost their lives in World War One. Eventually the names of those students who fought in World War Two were added.
Other War Memorial include: 48th Highlanders Regimental Memorial, Canadian Volunteers war Memorial at Queens Park, Etobicoke Cenotaph, Long Branch Cenotaph, Old City Hall Cenotaph, Fort Rouille Monument at CNE along with many more.