Wednesday, April 13, 2016

bonus features: "the dream that is canada's wonderland"

This post offers supplementary material for an article I recently wrote for Torontoist, which you should read before diving into this post.

Grounds of Canada's Wonderland, June 8, 1981. Photo by Harvey R. Naylor. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 98, Item 70. Click on image for larger version.

Once again, Harvey R. Naylor came to the rescue.

His collection of photos (currently held by the City of Toronto Archives) showcasing the city, especially during the late 1970s and early 1980s, is a valuable resource for illustrating how Toronto evolved into its current shape. His images have saved the bacon of many online historians looked for great period colour images.

Here's a brief bio from the Archives' site:
Harvey R. Naylor, film and sound technician, was a lifelong Toronto resident who worked at some of the larger film production houses in Toronto, such as Jack Chisholm Film Productions and Media Communications Services, Ltd. He was also an amateur photographer with a personal interest in Toronto's local history. He practised photography for several years using second-hand cameras and experimenting with various types of film. However, once Naylor purchased a new Leica IIIF camera in 1956, he used it exclusively over the next 28 years to produce over 50,000 35mm Kodachrome colour slides of Toronto buildings, streets, TTC facilities and TTC vehicles. A well-known transit enthusiast, Naylor belonged to the Upper Canada Railway Society (UCRS), and was active with the Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) and Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA).
Over 8,400 slides created by Naylor await your browsing pleasure.

star 1978-03-17 park approved
Toronto Star, March 17, 1978.

ts 80-04-07 maple resigned to progress
Toronto Star, April 7, 1980. Click on image for larger version.


gm 1980-11-07 fight over growth in vaughan
Globe and Mail, November 7, 1980. Click on image for larger version.
A series of articles on the approval of the park, and other issues surrounding the growth of Vaughan as it began its evolution from largely rural community to "the city above Toronto."


ts 80-04-09 construction
Toronto Star, April 9, 1980. Click on image for larger version.

As the debates about Vaughan's future swirled, construction rolled along.

ts 81-04-22 chocolate mountain
Toronto Star, April 22, 1980.
As opening day neared, oddball stories such as this one peppered Toronto's media landscape. In this case, chef/sculptor Michel Cozis received 150 pounds of Jersey Milk chocolate donated by Neilson to build the 4-by-6 foot model of Wonder Mountain. It was scheduled to be displayed at the Toronto-Dominion Centre and the Simpsons Court at Yorkdale (now the court outside Hudson Bay) in early May 1981. Cozis's main concern was getting the sculpture out of his neighbour's basement, though he did leave a three inch clearance for dooors.

"Most men are asked why they scaled a certain mountain," wrote Star food columnist Jim White. "I asked him why scaled-down a certain mountain. His reply was not unlike that which you get from mountain climbers: 'Because it was there.'"


ts 81-05-09 150 costumes
Toronto Star, May 9, 1981. Click on image for larger version.

More details on the creation of the Wonderland's costumes. I imagine the Wilma head would have freaked out my five-year-old self had I visited during opening weekend. 

ts 81-05-21 special section 1
Toronto Star, May 21, 1981.

The front page of the Star's special section commemorating Wonderland's opening. Hands up who thinks Quick Draw McGraw should have been the park's official mascot.


ts 81-05-21 wonderland map
Toronto Star, May 21, 1981. Click on image for larger version.

Among the goodies in the Star's preview was this cartoon map of the park's layout. 

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