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16 records – page 1 of 1.
Accession Number
2017-2-12
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
2017-2-12
Material Format
multiple media
Physical Description
45 cm of textual records and other material
230 photographs : sepia and b&w ; 23 x 30 cm and smaller
8 sound recordings (50 wav files; 1 microcassette)
1 artifact
Date
1937-2004
Scope and Content
Accession consists of textual records, photographs and audio recordings documenting the lives of Dick Steele, his wife Esther and friend Bill Walsh. The materials are mostly correspondences between Dick and Esther during his internment at the Don Jail and Ontario Reformatory in Guelph, and from Dick and Bill's military service overseas during the Second World War. They also include correspondences between Esther and Bill, Bill and Anne Walsh, "Jack" and Esther, and other family and friends. Some of the letters show evidence of being censored. There are news clippings in English and Yiddish about the family from various newspapers including the Canadian Tribune (a Communist Party paper). There is a letter Esther wrote to campaign for Dick's release from internment, part of women's activism in this period. There is also a photocopy of a memoir written by Moses Kosowatsky and Moses Wolofsky "From the Land of Despair to the Land of Promise" ca. 1930s. The photographs include Dick and Bill in the army during the Second World War, a signed picture of Tim Buck addressed to Esther and the twins and a photo of Dick delivering a speech related to the Steel Workers. Also included is a recording of edited sound clips of Bill and Esther talking about Dick, Esther speaking about the letters, (how she received letters and flowers from Dick after he had already been killed), Bill reading a letter Dick wrote to Esther that he left with friends in England to send her in the case that he was killed (which he was), recordings of "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2 compiled by Leib Wolofsky's (Bill's nephew), and 5 audio recordings by Adrianna Steele-Card with her grandparents Bill and Esther. There is also a microcassette labelled "Joe Levitt." The accession also includes the stripe of a German corporal that Bill captured as a prisoner, peace stamps and an early copy of Cy Gonick's A Very Red Life: The Story of Bill Walsh, edited by Bill.
Administrative History
Richard (Dick) Kennilworth Steele is the name adopted by Moses Kosowatsky. He was born in 1909 in Montreal to Samuel Kosowatsky and Fanny Held. He lived in a laneway off Clark Street below Sherbrooke where his father collected and recycled bottles. He grew up with his siblings Joseph, Mortimer, Matthew, Gertrude and Edward. Bill Walsh (Moishe Wolofsky) was born in 1910, to Sarah and Herschel Wolofsky, the Editor of the Keneder Adler (Montreal's prominent Yiddish newspaper). He attended Baron Byng and then Commercial High School where he met Dick Steele. Bill recalled that Dick denounced militarism in the school when a teacher tried to recruit students to be cadets. Bill moved to New York City in 1927. His brother, who was living there, helped him get a job as a messenger on Wall Street. He also worked in the drug department at Macy's while attending courses at Columbia University in the evening. Dick worked on a ship for a year and then joined Bill in New York City in 1928. Dick worked at a chemical plant called Linde Air Products while also studying in the evenings at Columbia University. In 1931 Dick and Bill boarded a ship together in New York bound for Copenhagen. Together they travelled across Europe, witnessed a Nazi demonstration in Breslau, Germany and found work in Minsk and Moscow, Russia. This trip inspired them to become Communists. In 1933 Bill's father was on a Canadian trade mission to Poland, which he left to "rescue" his son from the Bolsheviks. Bill agreed to return to Canada after being advised to do so by the Comintern. He then changed his name to Bill Walsh to protect his family. In 1934 Bill moved to Toronto. He worked as the Educational Director for the Industrial Union of Needle Trade Workers and the Communist Party where he met Esther Slominsky/Silver, the organization's office manager. Dick joined Bill in Toronto soon after. Bill introduced Dick and Esther who then married. In 1940, Esther gave birth to twin sons Michael and John Steele. Esther was born in Toronto in 1914 to Joseph Slominsky and Fanny (Blackersany?). Her siblings were Bella, Eileen, Morris and step-sister Eva. Her father Joseph was a cloak maker and Esther also worked in the garment industry. Her mother Fanny passed away in 1920 at the age of 26 from tuberculosis. Dick was a metal worker and became a union organizer in the east end of Toronto. He was the head organizer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and the Steel Workers Organizing Committee of Canada (SWOC) until 1940 when he was dismissed for being a Communist. Bill helped organize Kitchener's rubber workers into an industrial union and was also an organizer for the United Auto Workers of Windsor, Ontario. Jack Steele, an alias for Dick's brother Mortimer, fought with the Mackenzie-Papineau Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Jack Steele was recalled to Canada in October 1937 to rally support for the efforts in Spain, returned to the front in June 1938 and was killed in action in August. Some of Dick's letters to his wife Esther are signed "Salud, Jack" and were likely written in 1940 when the Communist Party (CP) was banned by the Canadian Government under the War Measures Act. In November 1941, after Mackenzie King's call for enlistment, Dick wrote to the Department of Justice to ask permission to join the army. He never received a reply. On 1 April 1942 Dick's home was raided and he was interned at the Don Jail until September 1942 when he was moved to the Ontario Reformatory in Guelph. Esther wrote a letter to Louis St. Laurent, Minister of Justice to appeal on his behalf. Major public campaigning by communists and the wartime alliance with the USSR after 1941 shifted public opinion toward the CP and the Canadian Government slowly began releasing internees in January 1942. Dick was released in October 1942 and enlisted at the end of the month. Dick died on August 17, 1944 in Normandy, France. He was a tank driver in the Canadian Army. Bill was similarly arrested in 1941, spending time in jail and then an internment camp with other members of the CP. He joined the Canadian army in 1943 and fought in Holland and Belgium. Bill was first married to Anne Weir who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1943 just before he enlisted. The family believes this may have been due to drinking unpasteurized milk. Encouraged by Dick Steele to take care of his family should he pass in the war, Bill married Esther Steele in 1946. They had a daughter named Sheri and were members of the United Jewish People's Order. For 20 years Walsh worked for the Hamilton region of the United Electrical Workers (UE). Bill remained a member of the CP until 1967 when we was expelled for criticizing another union leader. He died in 2004. Esther passed away in 2010 at age 96.
Use Conditions
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Descriptive Notes
RELATED MATERIAL NOTE: Library and Archives Canada has the William Walsh fonds and MG 28, ser. I 268, USWA, vol.4, SWOC Correspondence, has various letters from Dick Steele ca. 1938. Museum of Jewish Montreal has an oral history with Leila Mustachi (daughter of Max Wolofsky, Bill's brother) where she speaks about Bill, Dick and Esther. USE CONDITION NOTES: For "Bill Walsh Oral history" Vols.1 and 2, some contributors stipulate that recordings are restricted to personal use only and must not be used for any commercial purpose.
Subjects
World War, 1939-1945
Politics and government
Labour and unions
Name Access
Steele, Michael
Steele, Dick
Walsh, Bill
Walsh, Esther Steele
Places
Guelph, Ont.
Toronto, Ont.
Hamilton, Ont.
Oshawa, Ont.
Ottawa, Ont.
Montreal, Que.
Fort William/Thunder Bay, Ont.
Germany
England
Holland
Source
Archival Accessions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5013
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5013
Material Format
graphic material
Date
4 July 1959
Physical Description
1 photograph b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of the interior of Honest Ed's Bargain store. The photograph depicts a line-up of customers waiting to recieve free salamis.
Notes
Original photo by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5014
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5014
Material Format
graphic material
Date
4 July 1959
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of customers outside of Honest Ed's waiting in line for a free salami. There are two costumed police officers pictured.
Notes
Original photo by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Consumers
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5018
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5018
Material Format
graphic material
Date
22 October 1958
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
item is a photograph of a radio broadcaster in a "country" studio set inside Honest Ed's during the opening of the store's expansion.
Notes
Original by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
CKEY Broadcasting
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5019
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5019
Material Format
graphic material
Date
22 October 1958
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of a CKEY broadcaster in a "country" studio set inside Honest Ed's during the opening of the store's expansion. The broadcaster is seated in an outhouse.
Notes
Original photo by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
CKEY Broadcasting
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5020
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5020
Material Format
graphic material
Date
22 October 1958
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of the exterior of Honest Ed's during their expansion opening. The image depicts the checkouts.
Notes
Original photo by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5021
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5021
Material Format
graphic material
Date
22 October 1958
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm
Scope and Content
item is a photograph of a group of men and women inside Honest Ed's during the opening of the store's expansion. There is a banquet table with sweets and a coffee urn.
Notes
Original by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Stores, Retail
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Betty Goldstick Lindgren fonds
Level
Item
ID
Fonds 45; Item 14
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Betty Goldstick Lindgren fonds
Level
Item
Fonds
45
Item
14
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1928]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 11 x 16 cm
Admin History/Bio
Ellen Dworkin, the daughter of Dorothy and Henry, was called Honey by her parents. She was born on 19 June 1912. She married Lewis Raxlan in 1932. They divorced, and she then married Leon Arthurs. They had two children, Harry and Linda. Harry later became the Dean of Osgoode Law School.
Scope and Content
The image is a portrait of Honey Dworkin as a teenager. Her parents had her photograph taken each year. This one was created by Ashley & Crippen Photographs located on Bloor Street West.
Subjects
Portraits
Teenagers
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1978-10-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 5017
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
5017
Material Format
graphic material
Date
22 October 1958
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm
Scope and Content
Item is a photograph of Ann and Ed Mirvish standing inside Honest Ed's at the opening of the store's expansion.
Notes
Photo by Graphic Artists.
Name Access
Honest Ed's
Mirvish, Ann
Mirvish, Ed, 1914-2007
Subjects
Businesspeople
Stores, Retail
Theatrical producers and directors
Places
Bathurst Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
1990-1-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Accession Number
1976-7-9
Source
Archival Accessions
Accession Number
1976-7-9
Material Format
textual record
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Date
1927-1962
Scope and Content
Accession consists of materials pertaining to the life of Saul Einhorn of Oshawa, Ontario. Included are his Canadian Naturalization Certificate, Ketuba for his first marriage, newspaper obituaries and a letter of condolence to his widow from the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Subjects
Ketubah
Letters
Obituaries
Name Access
Einhorn, Saul
Places
Oshawa, Ont.
St. Catharines, Ont.
Source
Archival Accessions
Part Of
Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds
Jewish Community Centre Archives Committee series
Photograph collection sub-series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 61; Series 2-2; File 107
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds
Jewish Community Centre Archives Committee series
Photograph collection sub-series
Level
File
Fonds
61
Series
2-2
File
107
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1972
Physical Description
20 photographs : b&w ; 9 x 13 cm
Scope and Content
This file consists of photographs taken at a roof-top barbecue held at the Bloor and Spadina Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. The images depict members mingling, eating and conversing with one another.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Spadina Avenue (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 12
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
12
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1934
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil and hand col. pencil crayon on tracing paper ; 44 cm length and 4 cm diam.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of a two storey building that was converted into a hotel, situated at 628-632 Bloor St. West. Floor plans and an elevation drawing are included.
Notes
Formerly listed as Commission XXVI.
Physical Condition
Material is fragile.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 15
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
15
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
1935-1936
Physical Description
4 architectural drawings : pencil on tracing paper ; 46 cm length or smaller and 3 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Mr. Morris Spring was a Jewish real-estate agent and developer. In 1932-33, Mr. Spring purchased and developed several properties in the Hillcrest and Casa Loma areas, as well as the Bloor-Landsdowne area.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of three connected buildings containing stores and dwellings commissioned by Mr. Morris Spring. They were located at 1248-1252 Bloor St. West. The buildings were all two storeys high and had shops on the ground floor and dwellings on the second floor. Floor plans, sections and elevation drawings are included.
Notes
Originally was separated into two projects - Commission no.XXII and XXXII - according to Speisman's finding aid.
Physical Condition
Material is fragile.
Related Material
See File 49-2-3 for the plans of a residence for Mr. Spring at 43 Hillcrest Drive.
See File 49-2-10 for the plans of a residence for Mr. Spring at 19 Austin Crescent.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 49; Series 3; File 17
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Benjamin Brown fonds
Commercial building plans and drawings series
Level
File
Fonds
49
Series
3
File
17
Material Format
architectural drawing
Date
[ca. 1925]
Physical Description
1 architectural drawing : pencil and hand col. pastel on verso of blueprint ; 47 cm length and 3 cm diam.
Admin History/Bio
Mrs. Celia Cherry was the wife of Isadore Cherry, who was the owner of several ladies clothing shops along Dundas and Bloor. Mrs. Cherry died in 1927, aged 39.
Scope and Content
File consists of architectural drawings of Cherry's clothing store at 1014 Bloor St. West. Contained within are a floor plan and a high quality pastel drawing of the front exterior, on the back of a previously used blueprint.
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Source
Archival Descriptions
Address
216 Beverley Street
Source
Landmarks

The Apter Synagogue was formed by a group of people who came to Toronto from the area of Opatow (Apt) in Poland around the turn of the century. They first established a small synagogue on Centre Avenue near Dundas Street in the Ward. In 1918, in anticipation of more Apter immigrants coming to Toronto after the First World War, the synagogue was sold and a larger one purchased on Beverley Street. Both the synagogue members and the Apter Friendly Society met there.
Address
216 Beverley Street
Time Period
1918-unknown
Scope Note
The Apter Synagogue was formed by a group of people who came to Toronto from the area of Opatow (Apt) in Poland around the turn of the century. They first established a small synagogue on Centre Avenue near Dundas Street in the Ward. In 1918, in anticipation of more Apter immigrants coming to Toronto after the First World War, the synagogue was sold and a larger one purchased on Beverley Street. Both the synagogue members and the Apter Friendly Society met there.
History
In later years, a bitter controversy between the synagogue and society erupted and the building was sold.
Category
Political
Religious
Private Clubs
Source
Landmarks
Part Of
Harold S. Kaplan fonds
Architectural projects series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 27; Series 1; File 14
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Harold S. Kaplan fonds
Architectural projects series
Level
File
Fonds
27
Series
1
File
14
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[1939?]
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm
Scope and Content
Exterior shot of theatre marquee.
Notes
Title and creation date based on content of the photograph.
Location of this theatre is uncertain. Judging from the photograph in John Sebert's book, The "nabes", p. 117, it is not the Alhambra Theatre which was located at 568 Bloor St. W., Toronto.
Subjects
Theaters
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Bloor Street West (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
2003-6-1
Source
Archival Descriptions
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