Joseph and Gertrude Schwartz were respectively born in the United States and Austria. They had four daughers, Sylvia, Helen, Fanny and Ruth. Joseph was a furier who eventually set up his own business, J. Schwartz & Co. Ltd., a fur manufacturing company on Madison Avenue. He later became a partner in the Park Plaza Hotel on Avenue Road. Helen married Dr. Isaac Shleser, a doctor of internal medicine, and had two daughters, Gillian and Jan. Ruth was a respected book seller in Toronto. In 1976 Sylvia Schwartz set up a special children's book award to honour her late sister Ruth. In 2004, six years after Sylvia's death, her family changed the name of the award to the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.
Jack Schwartz, Joseph's brother and Sylvia's uncle, was also in the fur business and was married to Minnie Schwartz. Their daughter was Jewell owned an art gallery in Yorkville for many years.
Ida Schwartz was Jospeh and Jack Schwartz's sister.
Jewell Schwartz was the daughter of Jack and Minnie Schwartz, and was Sylvia Schwartz's cousin.
In 1955, Jewell opened an upscale craft retail store called Trade Winds at 150 Bloor Street West. In 1963 she relocated the store to 138 Cumberland Street in Yorkville, due to the previous building being torn down. Trade Winds remained at this location until her retirement in 1984. Jewell was known to take courses in the construction of the wares she sold, such as jewelry and pottery to have a better idea of the materials she was selling.
Sylvia Schwartz was born in 1914 in Toronto. Her parents were Joseph and Gertrude, who were respectively born in the United States and Austria. She had three sisters, Helen, Fannie and Rosetta (Ruth). Her family moved to Toronto around 1903. Joseph was a furier who eventually set up his own business, J. Schwartz & Co. Ltd., a fur manufacturing company on Madison Avenue. He later became a partner in the Park Plaza Hotel on Avenue Road. Unlike her siblings, Sylvia was a dwarf, who led a successful life despite her physical limitations. She became a prominent portrait photographer in Toronto and owned a studio on Grenville Road. She began her career during the 1940s, capturing images of families, servicemen during the war as well as brides. She eventually carved out a niche for herself mid-career, specializing in children's portraiture. In addition to her professional activities, she was also recognized for her commitment to Communism. She befriended many famous American artists who were supporters of the cause, such as Paul Robeson, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and Cab Caloway, travelling across the border frequently to attend meetings and work with her American comrades
Dr. Isaac Shleser was a doctor of internal medicine. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1937. He was married to Helen Schwartz (d. 3 August 2007), the sister of Sylvia Schwartz, and had two daughters, Jill and Jan. He had five grandchildren, Dean, Natalie, Samantha, Duncan and Douglas, and one greatgrandson, Henry. He died on the 10 July 2007.
Jan Shleser (now Simonsky) is the daughter of Dr. Isaac Shleser and Helen (Schwartz) Shleser. She is the sister of Jill Shleser and the niece of Sylvia Schwartz. She is married to Rob Simonsky.
Jan was nominated for the 2012/2013 Sisterhood Board of Directors at Holy Blossom Temple
Alex Solway was married to Fanny Schwartz, sister of Sylvia Schwartz, and had two children, Carol and Herbert. He had three grandchildren, Gary, Diane and Michael. He died on 1 July 1988.
Alex was a member of the Board of Govenors of Beth Tzedec during the 1950s.
Fanny (nee Schwartz) Solway was the sister of Sylvia Schwartz. She was married to Alex Solway (d. 1 July 1988) and had two children, Carol and Herbert. She had three grandchildren, Gary, Diane and Michael. She died on 22 April 1971.
Herbert Solway received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1953 and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1955. He was called to the Bar in 1957. Herbert was a founding member of Goodmans LLP, joining the firm in 1955. He has played a significant role in helping build the foundation of the firm, serving as its chair from 1980 to 1992. He served as a Chariman until 1994 and Partner until 1998. He continues to serve as Counsel to Goodmans. He was appointed to the Queen's Counsel in 1968.
Herbert has also been a Director of Gluskin Sheff and Associates Inc. since May 2006. He is a Director of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a Founding director of the Tarragon Theatre Company. He was a Founding director of Sun Media Corporation, as well as a Director of John Labatt Ltd.
Carol Solway is the daughter of Alex and Fanny Solway, brother of Herbert Solway and the niece of Sylvia Schwartz.
Scope and Content
Item is a large group portrait of front row (left to right): Unknown boy, Jan Shleser, Joseph Schwartz, Gertrude Schwartz and Ruth Schwartz. Second row (left to right): Alex Solway, Helen Shleser, Fanny Solway, Carol Solway, Sylvia Schwartz, Ida Schwartz, Minnie Schwartz and Jewell Schwartz. Third row (left to right): Isaac Shleser, unknown man, Bev Ragal, unknown woman, Herbert Solway, unknown man, unknown woman, unknown woman, unknown man, Jack Schwartz, unknown woman and unknown woman.
This item has no proofs.
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
See Fonds 80, series 5 for more portraits of the Schwartz, Shleser and Solway families.