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Photos provided by Frank Burgess

Although Frank Burgess was not interviewed formally, his friend Norman Cook recommended that we ask him to show us his family photograph albums. Frank graciously agreed, and illuminated our viewing with his memories and comments. The selection here ranges from 1915 to 1957, outlining the experiences of three generations who lived on Borden between Ulster and Harbord. The photos show changes in the streetscape, vehicles, and clothes as well as of family members. The set concludes with four class photographs from King Edward School and three postcards of the original buildings for King Edward School and Central Technical School.

NOTE: These images may not be reproduced without permission. Contact to inquire.

To view larger images, move your mouse pointer over the thumbnails. To read or listen to the interview, click on the donor's name.

February 1915. The earliest photo in the HV History collection, showing Frank's mother Millie Yohnicki at 8 years old, during her first winter in Canada after arriving from the Galicia area of Poland. Her father William had been here since 1907, and her mother Sophia brought Millie and her sisters Mary and Ann just before the outbreak of war. Three sons were born in Canada. On this occasion, the family was visiting friends on Borden near Harbord. Thirty years later, Millie and her husband and sons lived at 107 Borden, and Frank remembers his mother telling him, as they walked up the street to the new Loblaws supermarket on Bathurst, about her childhood visits to the family friends who kept a horse and cart. TAGS: immigration, historical events, family life, Polish community, transportation, businesses, streets

Early 1920s. Frank's mother Millie, wearing a traditional Polish costume, in the back yard of 148 Borden, where the family moved around 1922. She often danced at a Polish community hall on Claremont St.

TAGS: Polish community, backyard



1924. Frank's mother Millie at the age of 17 on the front lawn of 148 Borden, holding her niece Wanda, her sister Mary's daughter, in her christening dress. The houses across the street at 111 and 113 Borden show their original Second-Empire style mansard design.

TAGS: family life, christening, housing, streets

1926. Frank's mother as a fashionable young woman on the front lawn of 148 Borden. The houses across the street (111 and 113 Borden) still have their original mansard fronts.

TAGS: housing, streets

1928. Neighbours standing on the front walkway of 148 Borden, father and son in matching double-breasted suits and cloth caps. 111 Borden is again visible across the street, its mansard design now replaced with a flat brick front, which still remains.


TAGS: housing, streets, family life

1926. A dated page from a family photo album: Frank's mother and her sister Ann in the back yard of 148 Borden. Their bobbed hair and loose trousers reflect advanced fashion for the era. Two younger brothers and their father are seen in the background.

TAGS: backyard, family life

1920s. Frank's mother Millie and her friend Ann in the back yard of 148 Borden, wearing fancy clothes and hats. Millie and Ann remained friends throughout their lives.


TAGS: backyard

1920s. Frank's Uncle John, in a short-pants suit and elaborate white shirt, with a white armband ribbon for his first communion at St. Peter's Church. He is in the back yard of 148 Borden, with the backs of 150, 152, and 154 Lippincott seen behind him.


TAGS: first communion, backyards

1926. Frank's Uncle Ed on the sidewalk near 148 Borden, showing the streetscape looking north: there are more trees and fewer cars than now. The three silver maples behind him can be seen in the next two photos, and are still there in 2022.

TAGS: streets, trees, automobiles

Early 1930s. Frank's Aunt Mary, her husband Tony Boyd, and their daughter Wanda, in front of 148 Borden. Note that the walkway is a board construction rather than paved. The three trees in the background may be the very old silver maples still standing in the same location.


TAGS: family life, streets, trees

mid-1930s. Frank's mother and her sister Ann on the sidewalk in front of 148 Borden, showing a contemporary car and maturing trees to the north. The walkway to the house is still a boardwalk. Note also the handsome low-mounted streetlight.

TAGS: automobiles, neighbourhood, housing, streets, trees

1941. Frank's mother Millie on the day of her wedding to Frank Burgess, Sr., with her parents and grown-up siblings in the back yard of 152 Borden, which her parents bought in 1938. Millie's first husband Andrew McCloskey had died very young of Bright's disease.

TAGS: family life, housing, backyard, health care

1943. Frank's parents Millie and Frank Burgess Sr., on the sidewalk outside 152 Borden, with Frank in his army uniform. He was also of Polish descent: his first-grade teacher in Alliston took his middle name Bohuslaw and "simplified" it to Burgess, subsequently adopted as the family name.

TAGS: family life, World War II, ethnicity

1943. Frank Burgess Jr. was born in Toronto in 1942. Here his proud grandmother Sophia holds him as a baby, with his mother, his Aunt Mary, his cousin Wanda, and his half-brother Raymond McCloskey in the back yard of 152 Borden.

TAGS: family life, backyards

c. 1945. Frank at 2 or 3 sitting happily on the fender of his Uncle Tony's car in front of 152 Borden, under a healthy tree canopy. Tony was the only family member who owned a car in this period; he needed it for his restaurant business.

TAGS: automobiles, streets, trees, occupations

1946. Frank on the front step of his grandmother's house at 152 Borden, where he and his mother lived while his father was away in the war. Note that the house is built low to the ground; it has no basement at this point, only a coal cellar. The turned wood railings and square post are classics.

TAGS: housing, family life, World War II

c. 1948. Frank and his friend Larry Kolinsky in front of Frank's parents' newly-purchased house at 107 Borden, across the street from his maternal grandmother at 152. The concrete porch and wrought-iron railings are more modern than his grandmother's. Frank is holding a toy bugle from a visit to the CNE.

TAGS: family life, housing, children

c. 1948. Frank and his friend Larry Kolinsky in the back yard of 107 Borden, enjoying their tent.

TAGS: backyard, children

c. 1948. Frank in another well-ironed light-coloured outfit, complete with pocket square and white socks and shoes, riding his tricycle in front of 107 Borden, looking south to Ulster. The walkways are poured concrete rather than boardwalks, but the low-mounted streetlight is still in use.

TAGS: children, streets

c. 1948. In this photo, posed with visiting cousins on the sidewalk in front of his grandmother's house at 152 Borden, Frank is impatient at being asked to stand still while his teenage cousin Carol gets the camera ready to snap the picture -- and is sticking out his tongue. Note the healthy mature trees, the same row of three as in the earliest photos.

TAGS: children, streets, trees

c. 1950. Grandmother Sophia Yohnicki and Frank in the back garden of 152 Borden. His grandmother was noted for her productive garden. She grew both flowers and vegetables, and Frank is leaning against a plum tree.

TAGS: family life, backyard, trees

c. 1950. Frank posing with the holster and cap gun he had received as a birthday present, in the back yard of his parents' house at 107 Borden, with houses on Brunswick behind him.

TAGS: children, backyard

1953. Frank's cousin Diane Schulz (daughter of his father's sister Marian), in fashionable saddle shoes. Across the street is the one-story Gothic-style cottage at 148 Borden, where Frank's mother had grown up. This modest one-story house stood on a wider lot than usual and was replaced around 2000 with a four-story multi-family building. A 1997 photo in a public Flickr album of Gothic cottages shows its pretty front facade: TAGS: housing, streets

1955. Frank on his bicycle in front of his parents' house at 107 Borden, with 150 and 152 Borden across the street. Frank's Uncle Anthony bought 150 as a rental property in 1952, and had the coinjoined houses lifted two feet to create a usable basement out of what had been a coal cellar. The original cedar-shingled mansard front has been covered with brick facing, with bay windows on the second story. (The dark spot is a flaw in the scanning.)

TAGS: housing, streets

1955. From left: Frank's cousin Wanda (b. 1924, and seen in previous photographs as a baby, a young girl, and a teenager), his Aunt Mary, and his mother Millie standing in front of 152 Borden after its renovations. The steps lead up to a higher ground floor; the wooden porch and railings have been replaced with poured concrete and iron railings.

TAGS: family life, housing

Mid-1950s. Frank's older friend Alex on his motorcyle in front of 107 Borden, with neighbourhood children looking on in admiration. The houses in the background at 105 and 103 Borden were rental properties once owned by Henrietta Jackson, the widow of Albert Jackson. Their elaborately decorated balconies are still there in 2015.

TAGS: children, motorcycle, housing

Mid-1950s. Frank's half-brother Raymond McCloskey, also in front of 103-7 Borden, looking very happy with his first car, a 1940 Plymouth coupe.

TAGS: automobiles, youth, housing, streets

1950s. Frank's grandmother Sophia Yohnicki with her neighbour Max Kates, who lived at 103 1/2 Borden. Frank also remembers Max Kates happily: Max used to give Frank a nickel whenever he saw him, which Frank would immediately take up the street to Grainer's Drugstore to buy an Eskimo Pie ice cream bar.    TAGS: streets, housing, children

c. 1957. Frank, his mother and his Aunt Ann sitting in the kitchen of 152 Borden, on a family visit to his grandmother Sophia Yohnicki. Ann and her husband moved back to Poland to run an inherited family farm during the 1930s and 1940s, but returned to Canada in the early 1950s. Frank and his parents moved to Etobicoke in 1955, after his father closed his restaurant, the White Eagle Grill on Queen at Dovercourt, and took up a job driving a Wonderbread delivery truck.  

TAGS: family life, Polish community, occupations

1930s. An early photo of Frank's first employer, Lou Grainer, in front of Cate's Drug Store on College St., where Grainer served his apprenticeship as a pharmacist. He later co-owned a pharmacy at the southeast corner of Borden and Harbord (now the Boulevard Cafe), and Frank worked for him as a delivery boy. (See also Ron Kashin's interview, 1:08:30, for memories of Grainer as "a saint.")

TAGS: business, occupations

1949. Miss Stevenson's Grade 1 class at King Edward School. Frank is at the back of the second row from the left, by the corner of the piano. His cousin Frank Yohnicki is at the front of the same row. Others in the class include Jimmy Swordie, Earl Saltzman (son of the first CBC weathercaster), Maxine Ash, Henry Batcher, and Morris Warman. (All names supplied by Frank Burgess 65 years later.) TAGS: education, school photograph

1950. Miss Loreen Lippert's Grade 2 class at King Edward School.

TAGS: education, school photograph

1951. Miss Curtis's Grade 3 class at King Edward School. In the right-hand row (from the front) are Regina Chate, Frank Burgess, David Meo, Joey Belfon, Tommy Butson, and Alan Gerskup. Howard Orfus (of the construction family) is third from the front in the second row.

TAGS: education, school photograph

1953. Mr. Price's Grade 5 class at King Edward School. Frank is second from the left, front. The two black boys, Joe Belfon and Barry Trottman, both lived on Borden. Gloria Green is standing at the left near the poster; she later married the city councillor Howard Moscoe. (See also Norman Cook's photo of Mr. Knight's Grade 6 class in 1954.) TAGS: education, school photograph

[date unknown] Tinted photo postcard of the original building for King Edward School when it fronted on Bathurst. The building was opened in 1901 to provide more space for Bathurst St. School (founded in 1872), and renamed King Edward School in 1902 when Edward VII became king. Trees have just been planted along the east side; those on the west side are well-established. TAGS: streets, education, trees

[date unknown] Artist's drawing of the planned Central Technical School, indicating elaborate stonework decoration, and with imagined landscaping, students, and vehicles. See the next item for a photo of the actual school, with wrought-iron fence and row of trees. TAGS: architecture, education

[date unknown] Tinted photo postcard of Central Technical School when it was first built, fronting on Lippincott. The school opened in this building in 1915, requiring the demolition of houses on the east side of Lippincott and on both sides of Herrick; Herrick was then closed at Bathurst. (See Norman Cook's photos showing houses that remained on the west side of Lippincott until they too were demolished in the 1960s to enlarge the school playing field.) TAGS: architecture, streets, housing, education

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