27 photographs : b&w and col. (26 tiff) ; 21 x 26 cm
1 document (electronic)
1948-[198-], predominant 1948-1968
Scope and Content
Accession consists predominantly of photographs documenting the athletic career and family life of Maurice Strauss. Included are photos of Maurice performing gymnastic stunts and with his family in Belgium prior to coming to Canada, Maurice with his wife and children in Ontario, and shots of Maurice practicing his weightlifting and competing at various locations across Ontario including, the Brunswick Y, the Bloor YMHA (now known as the Miles Nadal Community Centre), and the Northern Y (now the Prosserman Centre on the Sherman campus). Also included are images of Maurice in Israel at the Maccabiah Games and shots of his son, Joel, competing in various weightlifting competitions. Finally, accession also includes a memoir in which Maurice recounts his memories of living in German occupied Belgium during the Second World War.
Identified in the photographs are: Maurice Strauss, Ruth Strauss, Dave Strauss, Daniel Strauss, Joel Strauss, Ida Strauss, Urin Strauss, Helen Strauss, George Chuvalo, Nate Mudrick (?), and Sherwin Desser.
Records were donated by Daniel Strauss, Maurice's son.
Maurice Strauss, a weightlifting champion, was born in Poland in 1929. At age 2, he moved to Brussels with his parents and older sister. A younger brother was born in Brussels. Like his father, Maurice eventually became a tailor. His father made strategic moves to protect the family--sending of Maurice's sister to work as a maid for a gentile family. Maurice wa able to move around freely by using the papers of a friend who was shot. His youngest brother did not make it out alive--he died of Tuberculosis in the concentration camps. Maurice, his sister, and parents came to Toronto in 1929.
Eventually Maurice opened up Sunny Cleaners at Sunnyside. In 1964, he opened a menswear store at Yonge and Eglinton called Maurice Menswear. He had acumen as a businessman despite his grade 7 education. He owned 3 laundry mat locations
He married Ruth Speigel in 1956. She was from a cultured family. Maurice went on to university as he felt that this was important. He studied business and French and received an Honours degree. He attempted to go to Teachers College but didn't get in. He did, however, received a business degree at age 58. At age 60, he taught at a high school in Etobicoke and also taught at CHAT.
His weightlifting career began in Brussels and when he came to Toronto, he was at an advantage because of his European training which was more advanced than Canada's athletic training. When he arrived in Toronto, he worked out at the YMHA on Brunswick and then at the newly opened YMHA at Bloor. He also coached weightlifting there.
The family was raised in the Bathurst Manor on Baycrest Ave, where Maurice bought a home in 1957. Maureice had 3 sons. While the children grew up, they went to the Bathurst JCC regularly. "It was their religion," according to son Daniel. Son, Joel was also a successful weightlifter and participated in the commonwealth games.
Copyright may not be held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission prior to use.