As early as 1916 the Ezras Noshem Society (a mutual benefit society for Jewish women) started to raise funds to purchase and renovate what would become The Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner) after its members recognized the need for a home in Toronto where the Jewish elderly could receive kosher meals and communicate with staff in their own language. Property at 31 Cecil Street was purchased in 1917 and sometime between September 1918 and January 1920 the Home officially opened there. The Home was run by a small staff and the women of Ezras Noshem who volunteered their time to make beds, cook kosher meals, do laundry and sponsor fundraising events. By 1938 the Home had expanded into its neighboring houses at 29, 33, and 35 Cecil Street and was caring for 115 residents. It provided residents with synagogue services, a hospital ward and social activities. At this time the Home also became a member of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
In 1946, the need for a larger and more modern building prompted a fundraising campaign, which was headed by Abe Posluns, to purchase and build a new facility. In December 1954, the new building opened at 3650 Bathurst Street and consisted of two new institutions: The Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital. This location continued to expand over the years, including a new building for residents in 1968, an apartment building for seniors called the Baycrest Terrace in 1976, and a community centre known as The Joseph E. and Minnie Wagman Centre in 1977. These additions enabled Baycrest to expand its programs to include a day care program, recreational programs, and a Sheltered Workshop which was run in cooperation with the Jewish Vocational Service and provided residents with employment. In 1986 a new Baycrest Hospital was erected, and in 1989, the Rotman Research Institute, which is also affiliated with the University of Toronto, opened to create a research facility where top researchers could study and find new treatment methods for the elderly.
In recent years, Baycrest’s services and programs have continued to expand. In 2000, the Apotex Centre, the Jewish Home for the Aged and the Louis and Leah Posluns Centre for Stroke and Cognition opened to help residents with progressive dementia caused by vascular disorders. In 2001 a condominium building opened at 2 Neptune Drive for seniors, and in 2003 the Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic was established to provide out-patient services for seniors with memory disorders. Baycrest Centre also provides numerous cultural and religious programs for the inhabitants and the greater community, including a heritage museum, art exhibits and a Holocaust program.
Records were donated to the OJA in a series of accessions from a variety of sources, including the Baycrest Women's Auxiliary and the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the history, governance, and activities of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, photographs, artifacts, constitutions, publications, press releases, financial records, event invitations, programs, a scrapbook, a poster, lists, theatrical scripts, newspaper clippings, brochures and booklets, flyers, a land deed, certificates, schedules, annual calendars, cards, questionnaires, and lists.
Fonds is arranged into eleven series: 1. Board of Directors and Executive Committee; 2. Annual General Meetings and Annual Reports; 3. Committees and meetings; 4. Women's Auxiliary; 5. Men's Service Group; 6. Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home; 7. Programs and services; 8. Religious services; 9. Fundraising; 10. Publications and publicity; and, 11. Events. Records are described to the file level with some item level descriptions.
Associated material note: related material at Library and Archives Canada includes a small Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care fonds, and the Eric Exton fonds. For architectural records see the Irving D. Boigon fonds 243 at the City of Toronto Archives (Boigon was an architect who designed many of Baycrest's buildings between the 1970s and 1990s). Contact Baycrest Centre's Heritage Museum for committee records from the 1930s, and consult Baycrest's website to access electronic copies of current issues of Baycrest's publications.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Ezras Noshem Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Home for the Aged (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ont.)
Old age homes
See Gordon Mendly Fonds 18, series 3-4; Jewish Vocational Services of Toronto fonds 75; United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds 67; accession # 2009-6-2; Dora Till Fonds 52; J. Irving Oelbaum Fonds 24; Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds 61, series 1-1; Gilbert Studios fonds 37; Ben Kayfetz fonds 62, series 3, file 3; JFWB fonds 87, series 6, files 5 and 6; JIAS fonds 9, series 7, file 1; Harold S. Kaplan fonds 27, series 1-4, and Morris Norman fonds 22.
185 photographs : b&w and col. and sepia toned ( 10 negatives, 4 slides, 3 contact prints) ; 26 x 20 cm or smaller
Aaron Ladovsky (1888-1960) was born in 1888 in Kielce, Poland. He immigrated to Toronto in 1906 at the age of 18. Soon after arriving, Aaron Ladovsky worked to help form a Jewish bakers’ union to advocate for collective rights among Jewish Bakers. In 1911 he married Sarah Eichler who was from his home town of Kielce, Poland. In 1912 he opened the United Bakers Dairy Restaurant at Dundas and Bay Streets (known then as Agnes and Teraulay Streets respectively) in the heart of the Ward. That same year, the couple had twin sons, Herman and Samuel, who were born on September 23, 1912.
Only a short time later, in 1920, Aaron moved the location of his restaurant to 338 Spadina Avenue, just north of Dundas. He and his family lived in an apartment upstairs. Herman and Samuel attended Hester How Elementary School until 1919, Lord Lansdowne Public School once the family moved to Spadina, and later Central Commerce. The twins worked in the family business in the 1920s delivering fresh breads and buns by horse cart.
Aaron Ladovsky was involved in a number of community organizations. He was instrumental in founding the Kieltzer Society of Toronto in 1913, a community based immigrant-aid association extending aid to Kielcers in Poland and around the world. Ladovsky remained an active member of the organization until his death on April 5, 1960. His restaurant provided a welcome gathering place for the Jewish community, serving traditional dishes and maintaining a friendly open-door policy. Aaron Ladovsky was known for his generosity and claimed that no one, whether they had money or not, left his restaurant hungry. The United Bakers' menu was mainly based on Sarah’s original recipes, and continues to be so to this day.
During the Second World War, Herman served overseas as an electrician in the Canadian army show with comics Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster. After returning from the war, he married Dora Macklin in 1947, a registered nurse from Regina. He also began to take over management of the family business. Later, his son Philip and daughter Ruth would follow in his footsteps, helping to run the restaurant with him and later taking over managment. United Bakers remained on Spadina Avenue for 66 years, until 1986 when it moved to its current location at 506 Lawrence Avenue West, off of Bathurst Street. Herman was an active fixture in restaurant until his death on January 6, 2002. He also supported and was involved in the work of the Ontario Jewish Archives over the years. Today, Philip and Ruth carry on the family tradition of running United Bakers Dairy Restaurant. In May 2012 the restaurant celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The records were donated in multiple small accessions by Herman Ladovsky from 1977 until 2004.
It appears as though previous archivists integrated some materials into a manuscript group relating to Aaron Ladovsky and then later deconstructed a portion of this group into original accessions. Also, a number of periodicals and textual materials from these accessions were integrated into various other manuscript groups and remain there.
One item, a Lord Lansdowne School anniversary booklet which contains a photocopy of Herman's student record, remained in the Aaron Ladovsky manuscript group. This item could not be identified as part of a previous accession, but has been integrated into the fonds as it appears to have been donated by Herman.
Photo #3050 was not associated with an accession number, but documents United Bakers Dairy Restaurant and was likely donated by Herman Ladovsky.
Recent accruals have been donated by Ruth Ladovsky.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records documenting the Ladovsky family in Kielce, Poland and Toronto. It is primarily made up of photographs of Ladovsky family members in Kielce and Toronto, and of various organizations that Aaron and Herman were involved in. There are also a few textual records that document the Ladovsky family and their involvement in the Kieltzer Society.
Newspaper clippings were photocopied and placed in the Aaron Ladovsky vertical file.
Many photographs were originally cited with diifferent numbers. These numbers are mentioned below photo descriptions.
Kieltzer Sick Benefit Society (Toronto, Ont.) (subject)
Ladovsky, Aaron, 1888-1960 (creator)
Ladovsky, Herman, 1912-2002 (creator)
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant (subject)
Se MG 2B-1R
See vertical file on Aaron Ladovsky
Records have been organized by media and chronology due to low volume and disparate subject matter. Textual records have been arranged in 17 files. Photographs have been arranged chronologically and are largely described at the item level.
Thelma Harris Rose was born in 1922 in Toronto. Her parents were Samuel Aaron Harris (1888-1982) and Rose Geldzaeler Harris (1892-1966). Thelma had one sibling, Sydney Harris (1917-2009). Samuel Aaron’s parents, Samuel (1869-1936) and Sarah Ruben Harris (1869-1940) immigrated to North America from Lithuania and Belarus respectively during the 1880s. They met in Michigan and married in 1892 in Detroit. The couple raised Sarah’s son from a prior relationship, Samuel Aaron, and had two more boys, William (1895-1955) and Louis (1906-1986). The Harris family moved to Toronto around 1900 and opened up the first Jewish delicatessen in the city at 233 Queen Street West. They constructed a purpose-built deli across the street from that location and relocated to the new shop at 178 Queen St. West in 1910. A couple of years later, Samuel purchased the tobacco store next door to their business, operating it from around 1913 until his death. Samuel Aaron worked with his parents in the deli for a number of years, and after marrying Rose in 1916, he ventured into the clothing industry and later sales. His brothers William and Louis went on to become successful local doctors and respectively married Tillie Shayne and Helen Gallander.
Rose’s parents, Yetta Shumer Geldzaeler (1870-1952) and Mark Geldzaeler (1862-1932), hailed from Galicia and married in Toronto in 1890. The Geldzaeler’s had 5 children who survived to adulthood: Ben (1891-1974) who married Hortense Cohen; Rose (1892-1966); Rachel (1897-1941) who married Isidore W. Ruskin; Alfred (1901-1918); and Frances (1907-2002) who married Simon Ramm. Tragically, Solomon (1899-1902) passed away as a young child and Alfred perished of the Spanish flu during the great pandemic at the end of the First World War. Mark was a religious instructor who also served as the assistant chazan and the shamus at Holy Blossom Synagogue on Bond Street. During that period, the family lived in accommodations behind the shul. Because of his religious expertise and position, Mark Geldzaeler commanded tremendous respect within the Jewish community.
Rose and Samuel Aaron Harris lived at 107 Yorkville Avenue, across from the early Mount Sinai Hospital. Thelma married Albert Rose (1917-1996) in June, 1942. The couple eventually had two sons and a daughter. Thelma earned an undergraduate degree and an M.Ed. at the University of Toronto. Albert was gold medallist in Political Science and Economics at the University of Toronto and pursued his graduate studies at the University of Illinois, receiving his PhD in macroeconomics and statistics in 1942. He then enlisted in the Canadian Army and served in the Intelligence Corps until he was demobbed at the end of 1945. During most of his career, he was a professor and later Director of the School of Social Work at the University of Toronto, ultimately becoming the first Dean of their Faculty of Social Work. Albert Rose was an expert in and advocate for public housing and social welfare, as well as a prominent community leader who was actively involved in variety of municipal and Jewish organizations.
Thelma’s older brother, Sydney Harris, completed a law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School, and married Enid Perlman in November, 1949. The couple eventually had two sons. Sydney engaged in the general practice of law for three decades before being appointed Judge of the Ontario Provincial Court (Criminal Division) in 1976. He retired in 1992 but went on to serve as a Small Claims Court Judge, referee for the LSUC and lay appointee of Council for the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors. He was also active in Jewish causes and organizations, primarily the Canadian Jewish Congress, of which he was national president from 1974 to 1977, and the Canadian Council of Reform Congregations. He was also a civil liberties activist who promoted legislation aimed at eradicating hate speech and literature, along with capital punishment. Sydney Harris was also an active supporter of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.
For more details about the many families documented within this fonds along with their respective businesses, careers and achievements, please consult the biographical and published reference materials in box 8.
The records in the fonds were assembled by the donor, Jeff Rose, from accumulations created and/or collected by Rose and Samuel Aaron Harris, Thelma Rose, Sydney and Enid Harris, Ruthe Rosenberg, Frances Ramm, Alfreda Henry, Tillie Harris, Marion Harris with permission, and by the donor himself. The donor hired Heritage Professionals to conduct the archival work – appraisal, selection, processing, preservation, arrangement and description – of the records. There was some specialized preservation and digitization work conducted on the photo albums to protect them and enhance their longevity. Finally, two conservators were commissioned to produce around ten high quality archival prints from the negatives and repair one of the artifacts.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records relating to the Rose, Harris, and Geldzaeler families, and some of their connected branches, including the Perlman, Ruskin, Ruben, Shumer, Shayne, Spiegel, and Rothbart families. The fonds is mainly comprised of loose photographs, photo prints, negatives and two photo albums documenting the different branches of the donor’s family. There are also some textual records and thirteen artifacts. One of the artifacts has been housed with the textual records. The remaining twelve artefacts are located in boxes 6 and 7. The two photo albums have been scanned for preservation purposes and are available in digital form.
The photographs mainly document the Harris and Geldzaeler families, and to a lesser extent, other branches of the family. The images capture the families’ lives and activities in Toronto and surrounding areas from the late nineteenth century to the early 2000s. The visuals include individual and family portraits, photobooth strips, and informal images of the family engaged in a variety of activities. Examples of the activities include: family get togethers, children playing outdoors, outings to the park or other Toronto locales, graduations, and military images. There are also many images capturing family vacations to the cottage, Bobcaygeon, Wasaga Beach, Niagara Falls, and Washington D.C. Finally, the fonds includes a photograph of Sydney Harris with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Chicago. Some of the files in the fonds contain negatives that were mostly grouped with and correspond to the photographs.
The fonds is arranged into twelve series: 1. Harris family, 2. Geldzaeler family, 3. Ruben family, 4. Shayne family, 5. Shumer family, 6. Perlman family, 7. Ruskin family, 8. Rose family, 9. Spiegel family, 10. Photo Albums, 11. Artifacts, 12. Reference materials. The first nine series are arranged by family and the last three pertain to special types of materials within the fonds. The sub-series are arranged by individual family member, couple, or family within each branch of the family.
ACCESS RESTRICTION NOTE: The records are open to the public except for series 1-3, file 4; and series 1-4, file 2. Researchers interested in viewing these files require permission from the donor. The photo albums are restricted for preservation purposes. The albums have been digitized and researchers can review the PDF copies of those records. There is also a family portrait of the Geldzaeler children in series 2-1, file 2 that is encased in glass and very fragile. It has been preserved and protected and a corresponding copy print is available and can be viewed by the public.
ATTRIBUTION NOTE: When citing records from this fonds, the full name of the fonds – Thelma Harris Rose Family Fonds – must be used by all parties and for all purposes as part of the reference.
Conditional Access. Researchers must receive permission from the donor prior to accessing the records. Please contact the OJA for more information.
The records are in good condition except for a small number of photographs that have some mirroring and tears. Some of the metal artifacts are also slightly tarnished.
For other fonds and records documenting Sydney Harris, please see accessions 1976-7-1, 2015-4-3, 2008-8-10, 2008-11-14, 2016-3-56 and fonds 17 (CJC) and fonds 75 (JVS). For records relating to Mark Geldzaeler, Yetta Shumer Geldzaeler, Benjamin Geldzaeler and the Shumer family, see accession 1977-2-1 (items 1229, 1228, 1230, 1231, 1232). For additional records documenting Mark Geldzaeler's writing, see accession 2014-6-5. For records relating to the Harris family there are photo albums in accession 1986-7-6 and a photo of the Harris Delicatessen in accession 1982-6-5 (item 3283). For documentation relating to Albert Rose’s activities within the Jewish community one can consult the following fonds: 9 (JIAS), 14 (Baycrest), 61 (JCC), 67 (UJWF) and 75 (JVS). Finally, there is also a portrait of Albert Rose from the 1940s in item 748.
The fonds is arranged in series, sub-series and files. Artifacts are described at the item level.