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.
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 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.