Accession consists of scanned photographs documenting George Wharton's early life and family. Included are images of George as an infant, George and his family outside their home in Orillia, and George and his family at various Toronto landmarks, such as High Park and the Toronto Island. Also included is a photograph of George's father and grandfather in London, ON [192-?].
The photographs were in the custody of George Wharton. He loaned them to the OJA for scanning and the originals were returned to him.
George Wharton was born in Toronto at the old Mt. Sinai Hospital on October 18, 1940. He is the oldest of the four children of Thomas and Sarah Wharton. George has two brothers, Michael and Arthur, and one sister, Marion.
George’s mother, Sarah Lipovitch (1913-2006) was born in the Jewish shtetl within Ivansk, Poland. Her family arrived in Canada in the summer of 1914 and settled in London Ontario, where her father eventually established a dry-goods store. Sarah was the youngest of five children, some of which later anglicized their family names to Lipton or Leech. Other than the fact that Sarah’s grandfather owned a bakery in Ivansk, little is known about the prior history of her family.
Thomas Wilbur Wharton (1908-1996) was born in London, Ontario. His Wharton ancestors had a very long and colorful history in England and colonial British America. He was the oldest of the four children of Arthur James Wharton and Lulubelle Wharton (nee Doolittle). His sisters were; Clara, May and Constance (Connie). Born in Canada in 1882, Tom’s father Arthur had joined the army in 1899 and fought in the Boer War within the contingent of Canadians that were part of the British Army in South Africa. After returning to Canada he joined the Royal North-West mounted Police, riding circuit in Northern Alberta. After Arthur’s marriage to Lulu, the couple settled in London where Arthur joined the local police force. Tom and his sisters were born here. At the outbreak of World War One, Arthur rejoined the Canadian Army, fighting in France from 1915 to 1918. Wounded at the 1916 Battle of the Somme, he received several medals and rose to the rank of Sergeant. After the war he returned to police work, eventually becoming Chief Constable in London, Ontario.
Tom’s mother, Lulu, had been born to the Doolittle family. Her father’s family was American, but had anglicized its family name from DeLatalle, which had been used by his Métis ancestors. Lulu’s mother, and maternal grandmother, had come to America as refugees from the Irish potato famine of the mid 19th Century. They were originally from the Flanagan and O’Flaherty families, and probably from Cork.
Thomas and Sarah met in London in the late 1930’s. Contrary to the wishes of both families they married in 1938 (1939?). Shunned by both sets of parents, they moved to Toronto where Tom found war work at A.V.Roe in Malton building wings for WW II Lancaster and Mosquito bombers. Also at this time Tom officially converted to Judaism.
As wartime contracts ended in Toronto, the family moved to the town of Orillia, ON. There Tom built a small bungalow at 70 Olive Crescent on the Southern edge of the town. By 1952 there were four children. By 1954, job opportunities became quite scarce in Orillia and, finding work in Toronto, Tom soon moved the entire family here, where they purchased an older house at 248 Wellesley St. East. In 1961 they moved to a nicer home at 60 Lawrence Ave., West, near Yonge St. in North Toronto.
George’s education took place at Jarvis Collegiate and at the University of Toronto, where he met his future wife Phyllis (1945- ). They were married on October 20, 1965, while both were still at school. For several years George and Phyllis lived in rental apartments, but, in 1981, they purchased their own house at 317 Jedburgh Rd. where they lived for the next 25 years.
George’s first permanent job was at the CBC Program (radio) Archives. Here George worked from 1967 to 1975, beginning what was to be a life-long career dealing with historical documentation and specializing in audio-visual records. From 1976 to 1986 he was employed by the National Archives (now L.A.C.) with responsibility for various A/V collections then held at the Toronto Federal Records Centre in Rexdale. During 1987 and 1988 George was employed at the Archives of Ontario on a series of contracts, but in February, 1989 he was hired by the newly-created Metropolitan Toronto Archives, which opened its new facility at 255 Spadina Road in June of 1991. After the 1989 amalgamation of all Toronto municipalities, the facility was renamed City of Toronto Archives. George continued his career here until October, 2005, when he reached the then-mandatory retirement age of 65. In 2006 he was hired as a part-time contract employee of the Ontario Jewish Archives where he designed and implemented several large back-log-reduction projects where much of the processing was accomplished by the OJA’s volunteers.
George and Phyllis had two sons; Charles Jacob was born in 1973, Avrom David was born in 1979. Oldest son Charles married Rixi Abrahamson in December, 2004. Grandchildren from this marriage are: Noah Alexander Wharton (born Dec.7, 2006) and Madelaine Abigail Faye Wharton (born Jan. 15 2012).
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.