Past Speaker List

From Toronto Mayor David Crombie to historian Mike Filey, and many more, the Swansea Historical Society has been proud to host some fascinating speakers at our monthly meetings. Here is the list of all* speakers we’ve hosted at our monthly meetings going back to 1984:

1984
  • Jan. 25, 1984: (Exploratory meeting) Derwyn Shea, Dorothy Duncan, Mike Filey
  • Oct 24, 1984: (Inaugural meeting) Beatrice Thurman Hunter (Author: “Booky” novels) – Childhood Years in Swansea
  • 1985
  • Feb 6, 1985: N. McLeod – A Survey of the Village of Swansea
  • 1986
  • Oct. 1, 1986: AGM, Dr. Donald Brown – The French in Toronto & The Excavation of Fort Rouillé
  • Dec 3, 1986: John Jursa – The 75th Anniversary of the Toronto Harbour Commission
  • 1987
  • Feb. 4, 1987: Rev. Mr. Rose & N. McLeod – St. Olave’s Anglican Church
  • April 1, 1987: York & Weston Historical Societies – The Humber River
  • Oct. 7, 1987: AGM
  • Nov. 4, 1987: West Toronto Junction Revisited
  • Dec. 2, 1987: Village Memories
  • 1988
  • Feb. 2, 1988: Paul Denter – The Loyalists
  • March 2, 1988: Pleasance Crawford – 19th Century Gardens in Toronto & The Rennie Family
  • April 6, 1988: Carole H. Carpenter – How Folklore Can Illuminate History
  • May 4, 1988: Ernest Sykes –Tracing Your Family Tree
  • Oct. 5, 1988: AGM, Mima Kapches –The Toronto Carrying Place
  • Nov. 2, 1988: Sylvie Beaudreau – Jean Baptiste Rousseau
  • Dec. 7, 1988: Memory Night
  • 1989
  • Feb. 1, 1989: Bernice Thurman Hunter (Author: “Booky” novels) – The Tremendous Changes in the Past 60 Years
  • March 1, 1989: Renovation of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
  • April 5, 1989: Bill Small & Joe Kemp – Swansea as it Was
  • May 3, 1989: Mireille Desjarlais-Heynneman – La Société d’histoire de Toronto
  • Oct. 4, 1989: AGM, N. McLeod – History of Swansea & Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church
  • Nov. 1, 1989: Margaret Baily – Working to Save our City’s Past
  • Dec. 6, 1989: Memorabilia Night
  • 1990
  • Feb. 7, 1990: David Crombie – A Son Returns – Memories of Swansea
  • March 7, 1990: Linda Cobon – 100 Years of the Canadian National Exhibition
  • April 4, 1990: Duncan Green, Bill Jacobi, Tom Allen – Life in the Village After 1926
  • May 2, 1990: Bill Daniels – Surveying and Rousseau
  • Jun 27, 1990: Tour of Stelco Plant
  • Oct. 3, 1990: AGM, Bill Small & Joe Kemp – What Happened in Swansea — Episode 2
  • Nov. 7, 1990: Participation or You Are The Program
  • Dec. 5, 1990: Village Photo Memories & Christmas Party
  • 1991
  • Feb. 6, 1991:
  • March 6, 1991: Toronto Historical Board – Colborne Lodge and High Park
  • April 3, 1991: A New Era for 95 Lavinia
  • May 1, 1991: George Joynson – History of the Swansea Legion
  • Oct. 2, 1991: AGM, Elections, Photographs by R. C. Smith
  • Nov. 6, 1991: Windermere United Church
  • Dec. 4, 1991: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 1992
  • Feb. 5, 1992: Farmer Memorial Church
  • March 4, 1992: Bill Small & Joe Kemp – Morningside Presbyterian Church and Swansea
  • April 1, 1992: Mary O’Brien [noted local artist & long-time member of St. Pius X Church]
  • May 6, 1992: St. Olave’s Anglican Chuch
  • Oct. 7, 1992: AGM, Elections, Mike Filey – Area Streetcars
  • Nov. 4, 1992: Keith Spark – Robert Home Smith,The Old Mill, Belt Line, Humber Valley
  • Dec. 2 1992:
  • 1993
  • Feb. 3, 1993: “Your Stories”
  • March 3, 1993: Carl Benn – The History of Fort York & the 200th Anniversary of York
  • April 7, 1993: Capt. John Band & Capt. Fraser McKee – H.M.C.S. Swansea
  • May 5, 1993: Tom Allen – Youth of Swansea
  • Oct. 6, 1993: AGM, Elections, John Thompson – A Trip on the South Simcoe Railway
  • Nov. 3, 1993: Bernice Thurman Hunter (Author: “Booky” novels) — Memoir
  • Dec. 1, 1993: Pictures of Swansea Night & Christmas Party
  • 1994
  • Feb. 2, 1994: Jeff Therien – The Great Fire of Toronto
  • March 2, 1994: Bill Sherk – The Way They Drove – Toronto’s Love Affair with the Automobile
  • April 6, 1994: Ted Wickson – Development of Transportation in Toronto
  • May 4, 1994: Wm. Tennison – Stories, Anecdotes or Facts You Might Not Know About Swansea
  • Oct. 5, 1994: AGM, Peter Attfield – Hurricane Hazel
  • Nov. 2, 1994: Barbara Myrvold & Dr. Laurie Morgan – Swansea Memorial Library
  • Dec. 7, 1994: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, Fraser McKee – H.M.C.S. Swansea (the book)
  • 1995
  • Feb. 1, 1995: Chris Raible – Wm. Lyon McKenzie: 200 Years Later
  • March 1, 1995: Fred Turner – Harcroft: the Harvey Family Home
  • April 5, 1995: Elizabeth Ingolfsrud – Kingsway Park: Triumph in Design
  • May 3, 1995: Bill Roberts & Gordon Dunn – World War II
  • Oct. 4, 1995: AGM, Slides of Old Swansea, Archives Update, 10th Anniversary
  • Nov. 1, 1995: René Malagon– John George Howard and his Donation of High Park to the City
  • Dec. 6, 1995: Places and Faces; Christmas Party
  • 1996
  • Feb. 7, 1996: Carl Benn – The North American Indians
  • March 6, 1996: Madeleine McDowell – Heritage Humber River; Heritage Lambton Village
  • April 3, 1996: David Crombie – The Waterfront Regeneration
  • May 1, 1996: Mike Filey – The Changing Times of the TTC Etc.
  • Oct. 2, 1996: AGM; Elections; Ron Brown – Ghost Railway Stations in Ontario
  • Nov. 6, 1996: Joan Miles – West Toronto Junction
  • Dec. 4, 1996: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Swansea Swingers
  • 1997
  • Feb. 5, 1997: George Chowns – Humber Bay
  • March 5, 1997: Solomon Boyé and Terry Fahey – High Park Eco-System
  • April 2, 1997: Diana Sythes — Humbervale
  • May 7, 1997: Gordon Sykes – Queen Victoria and a display of pressed glass
  • Oct. 1, 1997: AGM; Elections; Morris Sorensen – Wild Toronto
  • Nov. 5, 1997: Randall Reid – Etobicoke “Then” and “Now”
  • Dec. 3, 1997: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Swansea Swingers
  • 1998
  • Feb. 4, 1998: Iain Craig – Canoe Trip to Georgian Bay by John Graves Simcoe 200 Years Ago
  • March 4, 1998: Peter Coffman – Medieval Toronto
  • April 1, 1998: Dr. Arthur Gryfe – Carved in Stone: A Medical History of Grave Markers
  • May 6, 1998: George Peckover – The Peckover Estate, Ellis Avenue
  • Oct. 7, 1998: AGM; Elections; George Peckover – Historically In and About Swansea
  • Nov. 4, 1998: Madeleine McDowell – The Toronto Carrying Place
  • Dec. 2, 1998: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Eden United Church Handbell Ringers
  • 1999
  • Feb. 3, 1999: Dr. E. Laurie Morgan – The Toronto Belt Line Railway
  • March 3, 1999: Bob Burgar – The Archeological History of the Toronto Region and the Humber Valley
  • April 7, 1999: Fred Addis – Toronto Harbour and Great Lakes Shipping
  • May 5, 1999: George Peckover – Swansea’s Bar and Breakwater
  • Oct. 6, 1999: AGM; Elections; Bernice Thurman Hunter (Author: “Booky” novels) – Growing Up in Swansea
  • Nov. 3, 1999: Keith Spark – Robert Home Smith: “Ulysses” at the Dawning of 20th Century Canada
  • Dec. 1, 1999:
  • 2000
  • Feb. 2, 2000: Grace Irwin – A Century and a Half of Toronto
  • March 1, 2000: Gerry Tooke – Stained Glass Over the Years
  • April 5, 2000: Richard MacFarlane – Doug MacFarlane, Newsman of Many Wars
  • May 3, 2000: Randall Reid – The History and Restoration of Montgomery’s Inn
  • Oct. 4, 2000: AGM; Elections; Alex Adamson’s Swansea Collection
  • Nov. 1, 2000: Joan Dancy – My Grandfather’s Legacy
  • Dec. 6, 2000: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Eden United Church Handbell Ringers, and The Official Opening of the William Small Memorial Community Archives Room
  • 2001
  • Feb. 7, 2001: Hilary Dawson – Out of the Lion’s Paw: Fugitive Slaves in York County
  • March 7, 2001: Michael Harrison – the Mimico Estates
  • April 4, 2001: Douglas Gardner – Concert Halls of Toronto
  • May 2, 2001: Gordon Sykes – The Joys of Collecting
  • Oct. 3, 2001: AGM; Elections; Bob Marchant – When Milk Came in Bottles
  • Nov. 7, 2001: Swansea’s Bread Basket – The Industrial and Commercial Area of South Swansea
  • Dec. 5, 2001: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Swansea Senior Swingers
  • 2002
  • Feb. 6, 2002: Ken Weber – Prime Ministers’ Wives
  • March 6, 2002: Prof. Glen Norcliffe – The Ride to Modernity – the Bicycle in Canada from 1869-1900
  • April 3, 2002: John Sebert – The Nabes – Toronto’s Wonderful Neighbourhood Movie Houses
  • May 1, 2002: Prof. Richard Anderson – Local Lost Environments
  • Oct. 2, 2002: AGM; Elections; Old Postcards from the collections of Gord Sykes & our Archives
  • Nov. 6, 2002: Mike Filey – Toronto Then and Now
  • Dec. 4, 2002: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, The Eden United Church Handbell Ringers
  • 2003
  • Feb. 5, 2003: William Lamb – William Rennie Jr. — “A Hero in Japan”
  • March 5, 2003: Jessie Hassell, Swansea’s Public Nurse – The Way We Were
  • April 2, 2003: Shirley Hartt – When King Was Grand: King Street East in the 19th Century
  • May 7, 2003: Grace Irwin – Compensation: 75 Years in the Making
  • Oct. 1, 2003: AGM; Elections; Ted Wickson – Reflections of Toronto Harbour – 200 Years of History
  • Nov. 5, 2003: Shirley Hartt – Intriguing People from Toronto’s Past
  • Dec. 3 2003: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2004
  • Feb. 4, 2004: David Crombie – Swansea – Fifty Years After Metropolitan Toronto
  • March 3, 2004: Aubrey Martin – Toronto Subway’s 50th Anniversary
  • April 7, 2004: John Wilcox – Stained Glass – An Adventure in Light and Colour
  • May 5, 2004: Doug Carruthers – Memories of Swansea
  • Oct. 6, 2004: AGM; Elections; Madeleine McDowell – The 50th Anniversary of Hurricane Hazel
  • Nov. 3, 2004: Thelma Wheatley – Swansea – A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dec. 1 2004: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, “Structures” presentation on Swansea
  • 2005
  • Feb. 2, 2005: Speaker no show
  • March 2, 2005: Ron Brown – Ontario’s Unusual Main Streets
  • April 6, 2005: Ted Wickson – The 150 Years of Public Transit Since 1850
  • May 4, 2005: Ric Tremaine – Restoration on Once Grand Jarvis Street
  • Oct. 5, 2005: AGM; Elections; Mike Filey – Toronto – Then and Now
  • Nov. 2, 2005: David Garrick – The Ex, The Tower, The Dome
  • Dec. 7 2005: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party, Sarah Walker –Getting Dressed (in the 1800s)
  • 2006
  • Feb. 1, 2006: The Boulevard Club – 100 Years on the Shore
  • March 1, 2006: George Duncan – Conservation Success Stories
  • April 5, 2006: John Robert Colombo – Swansea and the Myth of Canada
  • May 3, 2006: David Crombie – Memories of Swansea
  • Oct. 4, 2006: AGM; Elections; Robert Gutteridge – The Arrival of Moving Pictures in Toronto
  • Nov. 1, 2006: Shirley Hartt – Personal Stories of the Waterfront
  • Dec. 6 2006: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2007
  • Feb. 7, 2007: Robert Roden – Stately Homes of North America
  • March 7, 2007: George Duncan – Ontario’s Vanishing Barn Heritage
  • April 4, 2007: Fred Turner – Canadian Wild Flowers
  • May 2, 2007: Mary Lou Borg – The Palais Royale Then and Now
  • Oct. 3, 2007: AGM; Elections; Lisette Mallet – Sentier Partagé / Shared Path – A Proposal for a Historical Park Along the Humber
  • Nov. 7, 2007: Randall Reid – Dundas Street, from Lambton Mills to Six Points
  • Dec. 5, 2007: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2008
  • Feb. 6, 2008: Elizabeth Driver – Tried & Tested Recipes – Canadian Home Cooks in Print
  • March 5, 2008: Sally Gibson – Inside Toronto – Urban Interiors 1880s to 1920s
  • April 2, 2008: Ron Fletcher – The Humber: Tales of a Canadian Heritage River
  • May 7, 2008: Roy Carless & Kerry Schooley – Five Decades of Editorial Cartoons
  • Oct. 1, 2008: AGM; Elections; Jason Crowtz – The Revue Cinema
  • Nov. 5, 2008: Bill Tennison – Cornelius Krieghoff
  • Dec. 3, 2008: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2009
  • Feb. 4, 2009: George Duncan – 40 Years of Fossil Collecting in Ontario
  • March 4, 2009: Legends of the Junction – Boom Times Cabaret
  • April 1, 2009: George Jardine – Growing Up in West Toronto in the Mid-Twentieth Century
  • May 6, 2009: Charles Pachter — “Travels with Charlie”
  • Oct. 7, 2009: AGM; Elections; Home Movies from Swansea and Area
  • Nov. 4, 2009: Terry Murray — “Faces on Places”
  • Dec. 2, 2009: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2010
  • Feb. 3, 2010: Mark Osbaldeston – Unbuilt Toronto
  • March 3, 2010: Doug Wrigglesworth – Sherlock Holmes – The First Criminal Profiler
  • April 7, 2010: Linda Granfield – Stories from Canada’s War Brides
  • May 5, 2010: David Crombie — “Swansea”
  • Oct. 6, 2010: AGM; Elections; Speaker no show
  • Nov. 3, 2010: Paul Federico – In Defence of the Realm: Toronto the Warrior City
  • Dec. 1, 2010: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party; Ben Fogel – A Walk Around Swansea
  • 2011
  • Feb. 2, 2011: Ann Birch – Making a Case for Historical Fiction
  • March 2, 2011: Arlene Chan – Toronto’s Chinatown
  • April 6, 2011: Ken Purvis – War of 1812 Musical Instruments
  • May 4, 2011: Norie Jacobs – Life in Toronto in 1834
  • Oct. 5, 2011: AGM; Elections; Darryl Withrow – From Hands Now Striving to be Free
  • Nov. 2, 2011: Bill Tennison – Nicholas Hornyansky’s Views of Toronto and Other Subjects
  • Dec. 7, 2011: Memorabilia Night & Christmas Party
  • 2012
  • Feb. 1, 2012: Gordon Turner – Canadian Pacific Steamships: A Link to Our Past
  • March 7, 2012: John McKenty – The History of CCM
  • April 4, 2012: David Crighton — “His Accomplishments”
  • May 2, 2012: Keith Walden – Late Victorian and Edwardian Society Teas in Toronto
  • Oct. 3, 2012: AGM; Elections; Nancy Mallett – The War of 1812
  • Nov. 7, 2012: Plaque unveiling, plus Gib Goodfellow – Moguls and Monuments of Northern India
  • Dec. 5, 2012: Dorothy Duncan – Feasting and Fasting: Canada’s Heritage Celebrations
  • 2013
  • Feb. 6, 2013: Dave Cook – “Fading History – Stories of Historical Interest”
  • March 6, 2013: Beverley Darville – The Royal Canadian Yacht Club Archives and its Heritage
  • April 3, 2013: Liz Woodburn – “Emmie Returns – A Memoir of 2 Lifetimes”
  • May 1, 2013: Brian Mooney – The Story of William Mellis Christie
  • Oct. 2, 2013: AGM & elections – Speaker: Paul Huntley – City Dairy Toronto
  • Nov. 6, 2013: Sandra Joyce — “The Street Arab – The Story of a British Home Child”
  • Dec. 4, 2013: Alan Skeoch — “Why Teach History?”
  • 2014
  • Feb. 5, 2014: Eva Stachniak — “Catherine the Great of Russia”
  • March 5, 2014: Catherine Raven – “The Howards – Threads of Their Lives in the Fabric of Toronto”
  • April 2, 2014: Jean Miso “Our Canadian Military: Past and Present”
  • May 7, 2014: Rev. Dr. Karen Dimock, “125 Years Strong: Journeying into the Future at Morningside-High Park Church”
  • Oct 1, 2014: AGM & elections. Speaker: Thelma Wheatley – “Labelled and Locked Up in Canada’s Oldest Institution, Orillia: A True Story”
  • Nov. 5, 2014: Linda Granfield – “The Unknown Soldier”
  • Dec. 3, 2014: Nate Hendley – “Edwin Alonzo Boyd: The Life and Crimes of Canada’s Master Bank Robber”
  • 2015
  • Feb. 4, 2015: Will O’Hara – Life in West Toronto before European Contact
  • March 4, 2015: Douglas Gibson – Stories About Story-Tellers
  • April 1, 2015: Rona Arato – Josiah Henson & the Underground Railway
  • May 6, 2015: Millie Morton – One-Room Schools & Ontario History
  • Oct. 7, 2015: John Beram – Canada Packers & the Union Stockyards
  • Nov. 4, 2015: Terry Reardon – Winston Churchill & Mackenzie King
  • Dec. 2, 2015: Neil Brochu – The City of Toronto’s Collections & Conservation Centre
  • 2016
  • Feb. 3, 2016: Glenn Turner – “Hiking the Trail: The Toronto Carrying Place”
  • Mar. 2, 2016: Joanne Doucette – “Ashbridge’s Bay: The Natural & Human History of a Wetland”
  • Apr. 6, 2016: Rona Arato – “The Last Train – A Holocaust Story”
  • May 4, 2016: Hugh Barnett – King George’s War and the Lake Ontario Frontier, 1744-1750
  • Oct. 5, 2016: John Beram – “Toronto’s Association with the US Civil War”
  • Nov. 2, 2016: Dave Cook – “Fading History – More Stories of Historical Interest”
  • Dec. 7, 2016: Craig Douglas & Sarah Hall – In Partnership with the Sun: Stained-Glass at St. Olave’s Church”
  • 2017
  • Feb 1, 2017: Daniel Laxer – “Music & Dance in the Canadian Fur Trade Era”
  • Mar 1, 2017: Rona Arato – “The Ship to Nowhere”
  • Apr. 5, 2017: Peter Vronsky – “Fenian Raids & Battle of Ridgeway”
  • May 3, 2017: Anne Dublin – “The Toronto Garment Workers’ Strike”
  • Oct 4, 2017: Jack Gibney – “Sunnyside”
  • Nov. 1, 2017: John Sewell — “How We Changed Toronto in the 1970s, and How it Has Changed Since”
  • Dec. 6, 2017: Bianca Lakoseljac — “Stone Woman” — A novel about Toronto’s 1967 Summer of Love
  • * Completed with the best information we have at this time but there are a few gaps still to be filled-in.

    View a list of our past guided historical walks
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