Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Toronto's Great War Attic

Beginning this weekend at the Fort York National Historic Site's new Visitor Centre, Toronto will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War though a series of initiatives called 

"Toronto's Museums & Heritage Services will pay tribute to the sacrifices made during the war on the battle front and at home in countries around the world. The stories, keepsakes and heirlooms associated with those who made these sacrifices have been passed down to their descendants living in Toronto today." 

Toronto's Great War Attic will create a legacy for Torontonians for generations to come by documenting the stories and keepsakes with events and Pop-up Museums in heritage sites all over Toronto starting September 20/21 through to November 2018. 

The First World War 1914 to 1918, known at the time as the Great War, shocked the world with its catastrophic global reach. Unlike the Toronto of 1914 to 1918 when the city’s population was 85 per cent British descent, at least half of today’s residents come from all over the world. There are more than 230 self-identified ethnic groups in our city.
Therefore, we have an unprecedented opportunity to collect personal stories and images of keepsakes and heirlooms passed down from many countries by those who lived through the war, either in military service or on the home front, to their descendants who are now living in Toronto.
Through such a collection, we can present the war from multiple perspectives - allied nations of Great Britain and Germany; neutral and colonial nations in Europe and Africa, which inadvertently served as battle zones; and life on the home front in lands directly under attack and others, such as Canada, which were never battle zones but whose populations contributed to the war effort.

WW1 #messkit at Gibson House

Great War Attic exhibits around Toronto:
September 20 - 21, 1:30pm, Fort York Visitor Centre
September 25, 6:30pm - Mackenzie House
September 27, 1:00pm -  Zion Schoolhouse
October 5, 1:30pm - Todmorden Mills
October 18, 1:30pm - Colborne Lodge
October 19, 1:30pm - Montgomery's Inn
October 26, 1:30pm - Spadina Museum
November 15, 1:00pm - Gibson House

Additional WW1 Exhibits at the new Fort York Visitor Centre:
September 28, 10am-4pm - Recipe for Victory: Great War Food Symposium 
Fort York National Historic Site, in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Canada, present a special food symposium that explores the fascinating history of domestic and military food and beverages during The Great War. 
September 19, 2014 - September 2015 - The Great War: in Your Cellar, Closet or Storage Locker!
This exhibition in the Fort York Visitor Centre's lobby draws on the City of Toronto's artifact collection to tell the story of typical small objects reflecting Canada's participation in the Great War.
September 19, 2014 - September 2015 - Outfitted for War: Canadian Uniforms and Weapons of the First World War
 The Vault – is the setting for rarely or never seen before objects from the City's artifact collection. Outfitted for War consists of five display cases and associated text and image panels. Each of four vertical cases contains a uniform representing different forms of service by Torontonians during the Great War.

Do you have any artifacts or photos in your family from WW1?

Here are some additional images of Toronto during the Great War...
Parade down University Ave

Toronto army recruiting office

Women in a munitions factory in downtown Toronto
 Training in Exhibition Park

Training in High Park

In formation at U of T

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