Showing 11 results

People and organizations

Bethune, Charles J.S. (Charles James Stewart)

  • Person
  • 1838-1932

Charles James Stewart Bethune was born in West Flamborough Township, Upper Canada on August 11, 1838. He was a graduate of Toronto’s Upper Canada College and University of Toronto’s Trinity College with a BA in 1859. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1862, after nine years, he was appointed headmaster of Trinity College School in Port Hope.

Between 1906 and 1920, as a professor and head of the entomology department at the Ontario Agricultural College (now a part of the University of Guelph), he pioneered the instruction of the science of insects at the university level.

Bethune cofounded the Entomological Society of Canada with William Saunders in 1863, where he served as its president for 11 years and edited its journal, the Canadian Entomologist for 30 years. At Guelph, he developed the teaching of economic entomology based on sound scientific principles, promoted the collection and careful identification of insects, and published widely on the lives of insects and on their control.

Cameron, Deane

  • Person
  • ca. 1954 - 2019

In 1977 Deane Cameron became a manager for talent acquisition at EMI Music Canada. Ten years later he became president of the company, a position he held until 2012. He was instrumental to the success of many Canadian artists, some of which include Tom Cochrane, Anne Murray, and Stompin' Tom Connors. In 2010 he was appointed to the Order of Canada and in 2011 he received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Juno Awards. Cameron lobbied for anti-piracy and copyright policies on behalf of record labels and artists and participated in the development of the Canadian music education charity MusiCounts. He also served on various music industry executive committees’, such as the Board for Music Canada, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Canadian Country Music Association, among others. He was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, in Toronto, in 2015.

Campbell, Iva

  • Person
  • 19-

Iva Campbell was a Canadian fashion illustrator. In the 1940s, Campbell worked with Madame Martha, Canadian fashion designer and creator of the Fashion Creators of Canada.

Currelly, C. T. (Charles Trick)

  • Person
  • 1876-1957

Charles Trick Currelly (Jan. 11,1876 – Apr. 10, 1957) was the first Director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology and Professor of the History of Industrial Art (later changed to Archaeology) at the University of Toronto from 1914-1946.

Currelly was born in Exeter, Ontario, attended Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto and then Victoria College, graduating with his degree in 1898. He then went to Manitoba to work as a missionary for two years, before returning to Toronto to do an M.A. at Victoria College. In 1902 he travelled to Europe and joined the staff of the Egypt Exploration Fund as an assistant to the famous archaeologist, Flinders Petrie.

Currelly established a reputation as a well-respected archaeologist and collector. In 1906 the University of Toronto appointed him official collector of antiquities, and later, Curator of Oriental Archaeology. Around this time Currelly and Sir Edmund Walker, president of CIBC, joined forces to petition the Ontario Government to provide the money to establish a museum in Toronto. They were guaranteed this support in 1908 and in 1914 the Royal Ontario Museum was opened to the public.

Charles Currelly retired from the ROM as of July 1, 1946 . In 1956, he published his memoirs, I Brought the Ages Home, in which he tells the stories of his travels and his work at the ROM.

Devitt, O. E.

  • Person
  • 1904-1992

Otto Edmund Devitt (1904-1992), best known as “Ott” grew up in the Stayner/Wasaga sector of Simcoe County. He married Mary MacKay (d. 1991) and were residents of Richmond Hill.

A Pharmacist by profession, Devitt worked for many years at the T. Eaton Co., Ltd. Store in downtown Toronto as a dispensing chemist. In the early 1950s, Devitt changed careers and worked at the then Ministry of Natural Resources putting him in charge of the Fish and Wildlife library at the Ministry’s District office in Maple, Ontario; a job he held until his retirement in 1970s.

Devitt’s interests and activities were widespread. They included those of diarist, collector, photographer, speaker, ornithologist, and botanist. He produced more than 70 articles embracing a wide range of topics. One of these was The Birds of Simcoe County, originally published in 1943, with a revised edition sponsored by the Brereton Field Naturalists in 1967. He had a special interest in Michigan's Kirtland's Warbler, and presented a paper on this species to the Toronto Ornithological- Club. He was the first local naturalist to find and photograph the nest of the Yellow Rail. He had found the nest himself in the Holland Marsh, just east of Bradford. He photographed almost every species of fern and orchid in Ontario.

Devitt was a founding member of the Toronto Ornithological Club; other memberships he held were of the Toronto Field Naturalists, the Brodie Club and the Richmond Hill Naturalists. Additional interests of his were in Biology, Archaeology and as a local historian.

Kingsmill, Robert Frazer

  • Person

Robert Frazer Kingsmill was the brother of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill. He immigrated with his mother Mary (Frazer) Kingsmill to Toronto in 1952. He married Mary E. Centrillion and together they had 5 children: James William, Thomas Frazer, Robert, Arthur Henry and Frank J. He operated a dry goods store on Dundas St, a couple of doors away from his brother Thomas Frazer.

Mills, David

  • Person
  • 1831 - 1903

David Mills was born 18 March 1831 in Orford Township, Upper Canada, to Nathaniel Mills and Mary Guggerty. David received his early education at the local school in Palmyra Corners. He became a teacher and from April 1856 to April 1865 he served as a school superintendent in Kent. He married Mary Jane Brown on 17 December 1860 in Chatham, Upper Canada, and had three sons and four daughters. During this time spent as superintendent he also farmed on his inherited part of the family farm at Palmyra. By 1864 he seems to have become active politically in the Reform party in Kent.

In 1865 he enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School from which he graduated in March of 1867. Mills attained his degree but made no formal application to the law society until 1878, and he was not called to bar until 1883. He first practiced law in the firm of Ephraim Jones Parke in London, Ontario and later practiced with one of his sons. In 1885 he was on the faculty of the newly opened London Law School as professor of international law and the rise of representative government. Five years later he became a Queen's Council lawyer.

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1867, Mills returned to Canada and secured the Reform nomination for the federal constituency of Bothwell, which covered parts of Kent and Lambton counties. He would hold the seat until 1882 and again from 1884 to 1896. He introduced a motion to do away with the practice of dual representation at the federal level on 20 November 1867 and had it completely abolished in 1873. In 1872 he suggested that senators be properly elected or chosen directly by the provincial legislatures, and remained an advocate for the Senate to be rendered a better guardian of provincial interests. Mills told parliament in June 1869 that if ever it was "a question whether Federal or Local Legislatures should be destroyed," his view was that "the country would suffer far less by the destruction of the Federal power."

In 1872 he asked Oliver Mowat, the Liberal premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896, to prepare a written defense of the province's placement of its disputed western and northern boundaries. The report was published in early 1873 and made Mills a key player in the boundary dispute. Mills was asked in January 1876 to chair the select committee established to investigate the economic depression and was appointed minister of the interior in October.

The defeat of the Mackenzie government in the election of 1878 put an end to Mills' ministerial duties and administrative ambitions. He retained Bothwell, however, making him one of the senior Ontario Liberals in the caucus. He was one of the leaders of the movement in 1880 to oust Mackenzie from the leadership position. Mills became one of Edward Blake's chief lieutenants when he became leader and coordinated the Liberal filibuster in 1885. He considered his speech of 1 April 1885 to be one of the finest speeches of his parliamentary career.

As editor-in-chief of the London Advertiser from 1882 to 1887, Mills built a case against the Macdonald government's administration of national affairs in a series of unsigned, but distinctive, editorials. He seems to have been particularly active as a journalist in 1883, when he was defeated in the election of 20 June 1882 and was forced to sit out a session of parliament while his case was considered by the courts. He won in February 1884 and returned to the commons. In 1886 he followed Blake in condemning the execution of Louis Riel and in 1889 he delivered a strong speech opposing disallowance, arguing that parliament had no business interfering with legislation that was clearly within provincial jurisdiction. In the 1890 debate over the use of French in legislature, Mills delivered an eloquent speech in defense of linguistic rights.

Mills lost Bothwell in the general election of 23 June 1896. Although summoned to the Senate in November 1896, he was not invited to join the cabinet. He consequently devoted more time to his law practice in London, continued his work at the University of Toronto, where he had been appointed in 1888 to teach constitutional and international law, and wrote and lectured on a wide variety of religious and political subjects. Laurier asked Mills to fill the vacancy left by Sir Oliver Mowat in 1897 and on 18 November he was sworn in as minister of justice and became government leader in the Senate.

In 1902 Mills arranged his own appointment as a puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, a move that was widely criticized. On 8 May 1903, Mills died suddenly of an internal haemorrhage, leaving behind his wife and six of his children.

Richardson, George Hubert

  • Person
  • 1912-1998

George Hubert Richardson was born in 1912 to physician Thomas Bedford Richardson and Anna (Butland) Richardson. He lived in Toronto with his parents, his brother and five sisters. Richardson attended Bloor Collegiate Instiute in Toronto.

Richardson was a founding member of the Toronto Ornithological Club in 1934. He was an artist and wrote a column published in newspapers "Nature Notes."

Richardson died in 1998.

Russell, Loris S.

  • Person
  • 1904-1998

Loris Shano Russell was born April 21, 1904 in Brooklyn New York; his mother, Matilda Shano, was from Newfoundland and his father, Milan Winslow Russell was from New York. At the age of four, Russell and his family moved to Calgary, Alberta where he grew up. Russell received a BSc in Geology from the University of Alberta in 1927, and two graduate degrees from Princeton University: an MA (1929) and a PhD (1930).

Russell worked as an assistant palaeontologist with the Geological Survey of Canada from 1930-1936, an assistant geologist in 1937. Russell was then an assistant director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology. During the Second World War, Russell served with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, and was transferred to the Canadian Militia after the war, retiring with the rank of major.

Russell served as the director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology from 1946 to 1950, before working at the National Museums of Canada in multiple roles: Chief, Zoology Section (1950-1956); director, Natural History (1956-1963); and acting director, Human History (1958-1963). Russell once again returned to a newly amalgamated ROM to lead the Life Sciences division in 1963, and a year later was appointed the museum’s chief biologist along with a professorship in geology at the University of Toronto. Russell officially retired in 1971 but continued to work out of his office in the ROM daily. He would also return to Alberta for fieldwork each summer well into his eighties.

Russell's discoveries concerning dinosaurs and early mammals were particularly important. His 1965 paper, “Body Temperature of Dinosaurs and Its Relationship to Their Extinction,” marked the first time someone suggested that dinosaurs might have been warm blooded. An interest in material history also led him to research oil lamps, making original and fundamental contributions to the history of lighting and material culture in 19th-century North America. The books resulting from this research include A Heritage of Light (1968), Handy Things to Have Around the House (1979) and Every Day Life in Colonial Canada (1980).

Russell died in Toronto on July 6, 1998 at the age of 95.

Swinton, W.E. (William Elgin)

  • Person
  • 1900-1994

William Elgin Swinton was born on September 30, 1900, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland to William Wilson Swinton and Rachel Cargill. He had one younger sister, Mary Swinton. He received his early education in Dundee, Scotland and graduated in 1922 from the University of Glasgow with a BSc. Swinton began his career in 1922 as an assistant in the geology department at the British Museum and was later appointed as a paleontologist and curator of fossil amphibians, reptiles and birds. During his career at the British Museum, Swinton gained an international reputation as an authority on dinosaurs and had many publications on the topic, including The Dinosaurs (1934).

In 1961 Swinton left Britain to become Head of the Life Sciences Division at the Royal Ontario Museum, combined with a post of professor of zoology in the Departments of Zoology and Geological Science at the University of Toronto. On July 1, 1963, Swinton was appointed Director of the ROM. After three years, Swinton was required to retire from his post due to a new University regulation that fixed retirement for administrators at the age of 65.

Upon leaving the ROM, Swinton resumed his scholarly activities as a professor at Massey College, University of Toronto. His last appointment was as a professor at Queen’s University in Kingston until 1979.

Swinton died in Toronto, Ontario in 1994, at 93 years old.

Toronto Ornithological Club

  • Corporate body
  • 1934-

The Toronto Ornithological Club (TOC) was established by Toronto area birders in order to facilitate cooperation and communication concerning ornithological studies within the Toronto area and between Toronto and other ornithological centres. The club maintains records of bird sightings each year in Toronto and adjoining areas. Meetings generally include a short paper on an ornithological topic by one of the members or a guest speaker

The formation of the TOC was first proposed in the fall of 1933 by Jim Baillie, Ott Devitt, Stu Downing, Bill Emery, Hubert Richardson, and R. Art Smith, who met to discuss the purpose of such a club, its proposed constitution, and to draw up a list of possible members. The first meeting was held on January 5, 1934; in addition to the founders, the meeting was attended by Albert Allin, Ed Deacon, John Edmonds, J.H. Fleming, Paul Harrington, Cliff Hope, Bob Lindsay, Thomas McIlwraith, Ross Rutter, Terry Shortt, Lester Snyder, Herb Southam, Murray Speirs, and Stuart Thompson. The charter members immediately voted to make J.H. Fleming an honorary member.

The TOC was managed by an Executive Council, with the secretary-treasurer responsible for collecting membership dues, paying bills, attending to correspondence, reading the roll-call at meetings, and appointing a chairman for each meeting. Women were not permitted as members until 1980, when Phyllis E. Mackay joined the Club. The TOC did not have a president until Hugh Currie’s appointment in 1991. It was at this time that Currie rewrote the by-laws creating and defining the post, as well as setting out the roles for the rest of the executive. Currie served until January 2000. He was followed by Marcel Gabhauer (2000-2002), Don Burton (2002-2005), Bob Carswell (2005-September 2007), Margaret Kelch (acting President, 2007-2008), and Kevin Seymour (2008-present)

In 1934, the TOC ran its first ‘Fall Field Day’, during which the members went birding in different areas of York County. By 1944, the Field Day was being held in the Durham region. The Field Day traditionally ended with a social gathering; from 1944-1979, the ‘round-up’ was held at Alf Bunker’s home in Ajax.

In 1958, the TOC took over the management of the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) from the Brodie Club. The purpose of the CBC was to count as many birds as possible within a 30-mile radius of the Royal Ontario Museum. In 1989, the area was reduced to 7.5 miles, centred on the ROM.