Sol Edell (1919-2000) was a prominant member of the Toronto Jewish community who initially pursued a career as a pharmacist and was later founder and president of the property development company, Elmdale Investments. He held positions as board member or chair in a wide variety of religious, educational and social service organizations and institutions both in Canada and Israel. In Toronto, these included: Clanton Park Synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Canadian Jewish Congress and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto (formerly Toronto Jewish Congress, and now the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto).
Edell was born in Toronto on 5 March 1919, the son of Pesach and Molly Edell. He attended Harbord Collegiate and graduated from the Toronto College of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, in 1943 while on leave of absence from the army. He was enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War and served in the signal corps.
After he completed his army service, he opened Edell’s Drug Store at 1978 Queen Street in Etobicoke in 1948, the first shomer Shabbat drug store in the city. He operated a second store at 494 Spadina Avenue in the late 1940s. In 1955 the Queen Street location was expropriated by the City of Toronto. Subsequently, Edell founded Elmdale Investments, the company which built and managed the Elmhurst Plaza in Etobicoke. He reopened the drug store, which was renamed Elmhurst Drugs in the plaza. He also invested in two retail textile stores, Deltex Drapery and Dodd’s Drapery which had been founded by group of businessmen including his cousin Israel Edell.
In 1952 he married Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock. They lived in the newly developed suburb of North York with their four children: Ethel, Simcha, Malka and Joseph. After 10 years of marriage, Dolly died and in 1966, he married Celia Rogen Hoffman.
Sol Edell was a founding member and first president of the Clanton Park Congregation. He was actively involved in the construction of the synagogue and its development. He continued to be affiliated with Shomrai Shabbos where his grandfather Rabbi Yosef Weinreb had been the rabbi. He was also involved with Adas Israel, the synagogue in Hamilton where his wife Celia had been an active member.
He was chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region -- Toronto Jewish Congress Archives Committee, which subsequently became the Ontario Jewish Archives. During his tenure, the archives was responsible for the reconstruction of the Kiever Synagogue which had been built in the early 1900s but had fallen into a state of disrepair by the 1960s.
Sol Edell was also involved in a number of Zionist organizations. He was the founding chair of the Aliyah Support Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, whose mandate was to assist Torontonians who had moved to Israel and ease their transition into Israeli society. He was also an active member of the Mizrachi organization and its affiliated institutions. Another one of Sol Edell’s interests was ensuring the preservation of local cemeteries. He was president of the Jones Avenue Cemetery and on the board of Pardes Shalom and the Bathurst Lawn Cemetery, Clanton Park section.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting Sol Edell's business activities, community involvement and personal life. Included is correspondence, meeting minutes, photographs, financial records, legal records, publications, audio-visual material, invitations, newspaper clippings, artifacts, lists, reports, speeches, and architectural drawings.
The fonds is organized into the following eleven series: Personal; Edell's Drug Store and Elmhurst Pharmacy; Elmdale Investments; Deltex Drapery and Dodd's Drapery; Adas Israel Synagogue; Clanton Park Synagogue; Shomrai Shabbos; Aliyah; Cemetery and funeral home; Historical materials; and, Activities and organizations.
Physical description note: includes 739 photographs, 232 architectural drawings, 11 audio cassettes, 9 audio reels, 13 film reels, 7 videocassettes, 4 slides, 1 plaque, 4 badges, and 1 key.
Edell Solomon, 1919-2000
Clanton Park Synagogue (Toronto, Ont.)
Edell's Drug Store
Jones Avenue Cemetery
Canadian Jewish Congress/ Toronto Jewish Congress Archives
Aliyah Support Committee
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The bulk of the architectural drawings are currently being stored rolled up. They should be flattened and encapsulated in melinex.
Film and sound reels should be digitized.
See fonds #5 for material related to Paul Edell.
See accession #2012-10/9 for material related to the Edell family.
Sol Edell, the son of Paul and Mollie Edell, was one of five siblings. He and Dolly Weinstock, the daughter of Moishe and Sylvia Weinstock, had two daughters and two sons and lived in Toronto. After Dolly died in 1961, he married Celia (nee Rogen) Hoffman, a widow, in 1966. He became the stepfather to the two sons of Max and Celia Hoffman who had been residents of Hamilton. Some members of the family remained in Toronto while others moved to other parts of Canada, the United States and Israel. Sol Edell was actively involved in or provided financial support to many educational, professional and religious organizations.
Scope and Content
Series includes correspondence, invitations, publications, photographs, family films and a sound recording. The series is made up of seven sub-series: Associations, Charities, Community Activities, Education and Extra-Curricular Activities, Life Cycle and Family Events, Religious, and Residence.
Physical description note: includes 12 photographs, 7 film reels, 1 audio reel, 1 plaque, 4 badges, and 47 architectural drawings.
Adas Israel is an orthodox congregation that was founded in the 1920s. The original building was on Cannon Street in downtown Hamilton. After the arrival of Rabbi Morton Green in 1958, a decision was made to move the synagogue to the western suburbs of Hamilton. The new building was built in 1961 and also included the Hamilton Hebrew Academy Day School. Since its move, synagogue membership has increased from 75 families to 350 families. Sol Edell became a member in 1966 after he married Celia Hoffman who was a member of the congregation. He did not attend the synagogue and had no regular involvement but did supervise a number synagogue renovation projects.
The material in this series was originally collected by the Hoffman family who were members of the congregation in the 1960s. Sol Edell became a member of the congregation after his marriage to Celia Hoffman in 1966. After her death in 1973, he inherited the material that she had collected and he continued to receive material from the congregation since he maintained his membership until his death in 2000.
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence, blueprints, photographs, audiotapes and films relating to the establishment and construction of the new synagogue in 1961. It also includes correspondence and anniversary books documenting a variety of synagogue activities such as the dedication of the synagogue and a tribute dinner honouring Rabbi Mordechai Green. Also included are synagogue bulletins from 1958 to 2000. The series is made up of 6 sub series: Building, Clergy, Religious, Programmes, Administration and Finance, and Publications.
Physical description note: includes 27 photographs, 3 audio reels, 1 film reel, 15 architectural drawings, and 1 key.
Clanton Park Synagogue was an orthodox synagogue that began as a shteibel in 1955 in the newly built up area of North York. Originally, services were held in homes or rented quarters. In 1957, land was purchased on Lowesmoor Avenue, and in 1961, the synagogue building was dedicated. The congregation, which initially consisted of 20 families, has grown steadily over the years and now has a membership of over 300 families. Sol Edell was one of the founding members of Clanton Park. He was president of the synagogue and served on the Board. He was involved in the purchase of the property and supervised the construction, the renovation and upkeep of the building. As well, he was active in the programmes sponsored by the synagogue such as the Long Life Club, which provided activities for seniors. He attended services on a daily basis and retained his membership until his death in 2000.
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence, meeting minutes, architectural drawings, and films relating to the establishment, construction and renovation of Clanton Park Synagogue. It also includes correspondence, anniversary books, photographs, films and videotapes of various synagogue activities and events including: religious celebrations, social programs, anniversary dinners and rabbinical installations. Also included are synagogue bulletins and membership lists as well as financial and legal records. Finally, series also consists of architectural drawings and textual records documenting Clanton Park's cemetery and Sisterhood.
Physical description note: includes 648 photographs, 16 architectural drawings, 4 slides, 7 audio cassettes, 5 audio reels, 5 film reels, and 4 videocassettes (VHS).
Sol Edell had always been an active Zionist and in 1979 his son, Simcha, immigrated to Isreal. Following his son's aliyah, he became the founding chairman of the Aliyah Support Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto and an active member of the local chapter of the Parents of North American Israelis. These two organizations respectively provide support for Torontonians and North Americans who have immigrated to Israel. This support includes facilitating the immigration process, providing financial assistance and maintaining contacts between the immigrants and the Toronto Jewish community. He was also involved with a group of Mizrachi members who wanted to build a housing project in Israel. Simcha Edell was an active member of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel which is an Israeli based organization that assists immigrants from North America. Sol Edell served as a liaison between this organization and the Toronto Jewish community. In addition, Simcha Edell, with his father’s assistance, published a directory of former Torontonians living in Israel, the Directory of Toronto Olim.
Scope and Content
The series consists of material relating to the assistance provided by the Toronto Jewish community to Torontonians who had immigrated to Israel. Included are records documenting the Aliyah Support Committee of the Toronto Jewish Congress, the Parents of North American Israelis, and the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel. Records include correspondence, meeting notices, agendas and minutes, reports, publications, newspaper clippings, and Olim directories. Also included are architectural drawings of a housing project in Israel.
Aliyah Support Committee, Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto
One of Sol Edell’s interests was ensuring the preservation of Jewish cemeteries. He was the president of the Jones Avenue cemetery, a member of the Board of Pardes Shalom and also served as chair of the Cemetery Committee of Clanton Park. He designed the archway at the entrance to Clanton Park's section located in the Roselawn Cemetery. He was also the synagogue’s representative on the Board of Directors of Steeles College Memorial Park.
Scope and Content
Series consists of correspondence relating to the operation of various cemeteries and funeral homes including the Jones Avenue Cemetery, which was established in the late Nineteenth century. Also included is correspondence and financial reports from Steeles College Memorial Park. As well, there is a plot map of the International Workmen's Circle section in the Mount Sinai Cemetery, Bathurst Lawn Cemetery and Jones Avenue Cemetery. Finally, there are photographs of the Pardes Shalom Cemetery and three audio-visual recordings of Jones Avenue Cemetery.
Physical description note: includes 11 photographs, 4 architectural drawings, and 3 videocassettes.
In addition to his ongoing involvement with Clanton Park, the Canadian Jewish Congress Archives, the Aliyah Support Group, Jones Avenue Cemetery, Shomrai Shabbos and Adas Israel, Sol Edell undertook special projects on behalf of a wide array of Jewish organizations. These include cultural (Toronto Cantorial Scholarship Fund), educational (Netivot Hatorah and Yeshivat Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot), religious (Union of Jewish Orthodox Congregations), social welfare (Association of Jewish Seniors and Co-Ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly) and Zionist (Canadian Friends of Yeshivat Hakotel and State of Israel Bonds) organizations.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting Sol Edell's involvement with a wide variety of Jewish educational, social and religious organizations and institutions in Canada, the United States, and Israel. Included are meeting minutes, publications, reports, photographs, correspondence, invitations, programmes, financial records, an architectural drawing, and a sound recording. While many of these organizations such as Eitz Chaim, Or Chaim Ulpanat Orot (educational), Mizrachi Organization of Canada, Emunah Women (Zionist) and Beth Jacob V’Anshe Drildz (synagogue) are orthodox, others such as Associated Hebrew Day Schools (educational), State of Israel Bonds (Zionist) and Co-ordinated Services to the Jewish Elderly (social welfare) have no religious affiliation.
Physical description note: includes 26 photographs, 1 audio cassette, and 1 architectural drawing.
Sol Edell had a large family and a large circle of friends and aquaintenances. Consequently, he was invited to many circumcisions, weddings and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. He also set up several memorial funds in memory of his sister and wives.There are also documents in this sub-series that relate to family members.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of correspondence, receipts, diplomas, photographs and films documenting various family celebrations, vacations and home life. There is a selection of invitations, cards and benchers sent by the Edell, Weinstock and Hoffman families as well as ones that they received from family and friends. In addition, there are newspaper clippings and notices of the deaths of Edell family members and friends as well as correspondence and receipts relating to memorial funds set up in their memory. The sub-series also contains films of family and friends taken at home, on vacation and at family celebrations.
Physical description note: includes 10 photographs, 7 film reels, and 1 audio reel.
College Memorial Chapel was founded in 1927 and was located near the corner of College Street and Spadina Avenue. When it moved to its present location on Steeles Avenue, it was renamed Steeles College Memorial Chapel.
Scope and Content
File consists of notices to member organizations inviting them to attend the annual general meeting and informing them of the election procedures. Also included is an election slate for the officers and board, which was submitted by the nominations committee, and an appointment calendar.
File consists of a plot plan of Jones Avenue Cemetery which was prepared by Paul Edell (1962), and membership correspondence relating to the payment of dues and regulations regarding the arrangements for burial and the erection and dedication of monuments. Also included are financial reports and meeting agendas and minutes for annual general meetings. Finally, file contains moving images of the gravestones, outer wall, and chapel of the Cemetery with commentary likely by Sol Edell.
File consists of records documenting various programs and events of the JF&CS. Included is correspondence, a foster care brochure, newsletters, a booklet outlining information on one-parent families in Canada (1999) and Chaplaincy Services reports and guides.