Additional Resources, Background, and Context
Below are some additonal resources relating to 7 News and the east-of-downtown Toronto area, especially relating to the period 1970 – 1985.
EXPLORING 7 NEWS
7 News editions published 1970-1985 – Lists all issues published, with a link to the PDF version.
7 News selected articles – A small selection of articles published in 7 News (in HTML format).
7 News Articles – Complete List – A chronological list of all articles published in 7 News from 1970-1985. Lists more than 6,000 articles. Clicking on an article takes you either to the individual article, or to the issue in which the article appeared.
A History of Seven News – A history of Seven News. By Lisa Horrocks. (1984).
7 News Collages – Collages from Lisa Horrocks' history of Seven News. (1984).
Producing 7 News (Photo gallery) – Photos of the 7 News production process from the period 1976-1981.
7 News in the community – Photos showing 7 News active in the Ward 7 community.
Ward 7 in the 1970s and 1980s – Photos
Seven News: Principles & Purposes – 7 News statement of principles, adopted in 1978.
Subject Index – A list of topics related to 7 News and the communities and issues covered in 7 News. Clicking on a topic takes you to a list of related resources.
Ward 7 – An overview of the area of Toronto that was designated as “Ward 7” of the City in the 1970s and 1980s. It comprised the area east of downtown on both sides of the Don River, including Regent Park, Moss Park, Trefann Court, Cabbagetown, Don Vale, St. James Town, and Riverdale.
Cabbagetown – The name “Cabbagetown” has been applied to different locations in the east-of-downtown area. The debate continues....
Chinatown East – Centred near Broadview and Gerrard Street, Chinatown East became the home to a rapidly expanding Chinese population during the 1960s and 1970s.
Corktown – The neighbourhood just south of Regent Park and north of the Gardiner Expressway, between Berkeley Street to the west and the Don River to the east, Shuter Street to Lake Shore Boulevard.
The Danforth neighbourhood – The neighbourhood surrounding Danforth Avenue, east of the Don Valley which has, since the 1960s, been associated with Toronto’s Greek population.
Distillery District – Site of the Gooderham & Worts distillery from 1837 to 1990. Now converted into retail space and condominiums.
Don Mount (Napier Place) – Located just east of the Don River in Riverdale, the area bordered by Queen, Broadview and Dundas Street as well as the Don Valley Parkway.
Don Vale (“Old Cabbagetown”) – Don Vale, or “Old Cabbagetown” as it now usually called, is a small neighbourhood on the west bank of the Don Valley. Roughly bordered by Parliament and Gerrard Streets as well as St. James Cemetery, the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, and Riverdale Park.
Greektown – The business area on Danforth Avenue roughly between Chester Avenue and Dewhurst Blvd.
Leslieville timeline – Farther east of the Don River lies the area of Toronto now known as Leslieville.
Moss Park – The area known as Moss Park is typically considered to be between Jarvis Street and Parliament Street south of Dundas, an area dominated by public housing projects.
Regent Park – One of the oldest public housing projects in Canada. Approved in the mid-1940s and finally completed by 1960, Regent Park consisted of high- and low-rise, subsidized apartment buildings in the area of Toronto bordered by Gerrard, River, Shuter and Parliament Streets. The area is now being rebuilt with mixed-income housing.
Riverdale – Consisting of a the area east of the Don Valley and bordered by the Danforth, Greenwood Avenue and Lake Ontario, Riverdale was annexed into Toronto in 1884.
St. James Town – Bounded by Wellesley, Howard, Sherbourne and Parliament Streets. Originally comprised of houses, the area was demolished in the 1960s and filled with highrise apartment buildings.
South of St. James Town – The area just to the South of the St. James Town apartments, roughly bordered by Wellesley, Sherbourne, Carlton and Parliament Streets.
Trefann Court – A thin strip of land just south of Regent Park and bounded by Queen, Parliament, Shuter, and River Streets, Trefann Court was slated for “urban renewal” by the City of Toronto in 1966. Residents fought back and eventually managed to stop the redevelopment plan.
Danforth Avenue – Danforth Avenue (also known as The Danforth) is an east-west arterial road. Its western end begins at the Prince Edward Viaduct as a continuation of Bloor Street.
Don Valley Parkway & Gardiner Expressway – The first chair of the Metropolitan Toronto council, established in 1953, was Frederick Gardiner, who quickly drew up plans for a system of expressway and parkway arterials that expanded outward from the city centre. Gardiner’s plan, which was considered progressive and reasonable at the time, included five total arterials including the Gardiner Expressway, the Don Valley Parkway and the Spadina Expressway.
Parliament Street – An impressionistic account of walking up Parliament Street, written by Rick Bébout in 2001.
The Parliament Streetcar – An account of the streetcar that used to run up Parliament Street until 1966.
Queen Street east from Jarvis to the Don River: Blight & the Brave New World – Rick Bébout's 2002 account of Queen Street between Jarvis Street and the Don River.
Winchester Streetcar & Bus route – An account of the streetcar (later bus) route which terminated at the end of Winchester Street at Sumach btween 1881 and 1930.
Don River – The river which runs through the middle of Ward 7.
Don River: Of time & the river – Rick Bébout on the life of a city stream.
Castle Frank Brook – A now-buried creek and south-west flowing tributary of the Don River.
Allan Gardens – A public park bordered by Carlton, Sherbourne, and Gerrard streets. Due to its central location and large size Allan Gardens Park has long been a chosen site for protests and demonstrations in Toronto.
Bain Coop – Built as a low-income housing project in 1913, Bain became a co-operative in 1977.
Brickworks – Beginning in the 1840s brick works operations began to locate near the Don River to take advantage of the large clay deposits and water power, as well as easy access to the growing city.
Cherry Beach – Cherry Beach, originally called Clarke Beach Park, was established as a recreational beach in the 1930s. Established close to the mouth of the Don River, Cherry Beach was very close to what was then a heavily industrial area.
Don Jail – A jail built between 1858 and 1864 just east of the Don River on Gerrard Street.
Gooderham and Worts – Located just east of Parliament Street near the mouth of the Don River, the Gooderham & Worts distillery operated from 1837 to 1990.
Riverdale Farm – A 3-hectare municipally operated farm at the east end of Winchester Street, on the west bank of the Don River. Established in 1978 after the Riverdale Zoo closed.
Riverdale Zoo – A zoo which existed on the west bank of the Don River, at the east end of Winchester Street, from 1899 to 1975.
St. James Cemetery – An Anglican cemetery located just east of Parliament Street, north of Wellesley. Opened in 1844, it is the oldest still-operating cemetery in Toronto.
Todmorden Mills – Todmorden Mills were a series of mills built in the Don Valley, north of Bloor Street.
Toronto’s Historic Cemeteries – The story of Potter’s Field, St. James Cemetery, Holy Blossom Cemetery, and the Toronto Necropolis.
Toronto Necropolis Cemetery – A historic cemetery in Toronto, located on the west side of the Don Valley near Riverdale Farm.
Winchester Hotel – A hotel and drinking spot built in 1880 and 1888, located on the southeast corner of Winchester Street and Parliament.
Thornton and Lucie Blackburn – Former slaves and early Toronto entrepreneurs
Norman G. Browne. – Editor of 7 News 1971-1976.
Pat Cole – Regent Park resident and community activist. 1943-1998.
Gordon Cressy – Ward 7 school trustee (1970-1978) and alderman (1978-1982). b. 1943.
Ulli Diemer – Editor of Seven News 1976-1981.
Karl Jaffary – Ward 7 alderman (1969-1974). b. 1936.
David Reville – Ward 7 alderman 1980 - 1985, MPP for Riverdale 1985 - 1990.
Charles Sauriol – Naturalist and conservationist; resident of the Don Valley. 1904-1995.
John Sewell – Ward 7 alderman (1969-1978); Mayor of Toronto (1978-1980). b. 1940.
The people behind 7 News – May 1980 article profiling current and past staff, board, and volunteers of 7 News.
Cabbagetown People – A website featuring biographies of some prominent people who lived in the area called Cabbagetown.
GROUPS and ORGANIZATIONS
The Body Politic – Rick Bébout writes on the origins and history of The Body Politic, a pioneering gay newspaper published from 1971-1987. The Body Politic’s office was in Ward 7 at 193 Carlton Street from 1974 to 1976.
Cabbagetown Regent Park Community Museum – A collection of historical materials currently without a physical home for its collection. Features a small selection of materials and memories on its website.
Central Neighbourhood House – The Central Neighbourhood House (CNH) was opened as a settlement house in 1911 in Toronto's old Ward. In 1928 the CNH moved east of Jarvis Street into what would later be Ward 7. While there the settlement house continued to run programs for new immigrants, single women, children and the poor.
Christian Resource Centre – Founded in 1964 on the edge of St. James Town at 615 Ontario Street, the Christian Resource Centre was launched by people associated with the Rosedale United Church who felt they needed more community involvement.
Don Vale Association of Homeowners & Residents (& rival associations) – Founded in 1967 as a means to assert resident participation in any renewal plans for their neighbourhood, the Don Vale Residents Association became a powerful political force in the late 1960s. Several of its more outspoken members, Karl Jaffary and James Lorimer being two of the more well-known, would go on to have a major influence on city politics.
Greater Riverdale Organization – The Greater Riverdale Organization expanded on, and replaced, the Riverdale Community Organization (RCO) – a lively and effective organization fighting for issues relevant to Toronto east-side neighbourhoods. In the early 1970s, most of the greater Riverdale community was working class and lower income, and City Hall seemed to be biased against their priorities.
Just Society Movement – Founded in 1968 by two single mothers, Doris Power and Suzanne Polgar, who were fed up with a welfare system that did not serve their needs. Cleverly named to hold Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals accountable to their self-proclaimed commitment to a “Just Society,” the JSM movement relied on grassroots organizing and information campaigns to contest unjust laws and educate welfare recipients about their rights.
Local Initiatives Program – The Local Initiatives Program or LIP was a federal program founded in 1971 to provide grants to local agencies and community groups. LIP grants were intended to create jobs, especially in areas where de-industrialization had left many people unemployed.
Meridien – Meridien was the housing development and property management company that, along with several partners, built the St. James Town high-rise housing complex beginning in 1965.
Movement for Municipal Reform (ReforMetro) – The Movement for Municipal Reform (often called ReforMetro) was created in Toronto in 1975. Its purpose was to establish and institutionalize close linkages among community organizers, left-wing city aldermen (as they were still called at that time), and their constituents (primarily in working-class wards).
Red Morning – Red Morning was a revolutionary group founded in Toronto in the early 1970s. Quasi-Marxist in orientation, Red Morning sought to organize working-class youth into a revolutionary force to contest capitalism.
Regent Park Community Improvement Association – The Regent Park Community Improvement Association (RPCIA) was founded in 1969. In the early days the RPCIA worked hard to pressure their landlord, the Ontario Housing Corporation, to spend money on maintaining their homes.
Riverdale Community Organization – The RCO emerged out of discontent at the city,’s handling of the housing expropriation in the Don Mount renewal zone. In 1969, several religious figures from the area formed the East Don Urban Coalition to represent local interests and hired organizer Don Keating. After six months several smaller organizations that had formed around specific local issues united to form the Riverdale Community Organization.
SOCCA (South of Carlton Community Action Committee) – The South of Carlton Community Action Committee was formed by a group of residents in the South of Carlton neighbourhood in 1970. Initially organized to deal with issues related to the South of Carlton neighbourhood (area between Jarvis, Carlton, Parliament and Queen Streets), the organization eventually gave birth to several different sub-committees related to different issues.
Springboard – Springboard was a volunteer organization run out of the Christian Resource Centre at 297 Carlton Street during the 1970s. The purpose of the program was to facilitate regular contact between incarcerated men and their families during their time in prison. For single men Springboard also connected volunteers with inmates to create sustained contact and support when the prisoner completed their sentence.
Peter Tabuns – City councillor for Ward 8 – Riverdale – of the former City of Toronto from 1990 to 1997. NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth from 2006 on.
Task Force to Bring Back the Don – A citizen advisory committee, established in 1989 to advise0 Toronto city council on issues concerning the Don River and its watershed. Dissolved in 2010.
Toronto Community Union Project (T-CUP) in Trefann Court – The Toronto Community Union Project (T-CUP) was a small group of community organizers who came together in 1966 to help working-class residents in Trefann Court who facing “urban redevelopment”.
Toronto Warrior Society – The Toronto Warrior Society (TWS) was affiliated with the American Indian Movement (AIM), which emerged in the United States in the late 1960s to defend First Nations activists and to promote Native pride. TWS was strongly committed to socialism, and to anti-capitalist endeavours. TWS founder Vern Harper was born in the Cabbagetown area of Toronto (which later became Regent Park).
Trefann Court Residents Associations – Faced with the demolition of their neighbourhood and inspired by earlier resistance by residents in the Don Mount on the other side of the Don River, residents of Trefann Court organized against a redevelopment plan for their area being advanced by the City in the 1960s.
Local Initiatives Program (LIP) – A federal program that provided funding (called LIP Grants) to a variety of community and cultural projects from 1971 to 1977. This program was billed as part of the Pierre Trudeau Liberal Party’s effort to create a “Just Society”. In Toronto LIP grants were provided to fund food co-ops, library access projects, and anti-poverty activities.
Master builders meet citizen activists – Rick Bébout writes about Trefann Court & beyond: from “urban renewal” to true civic life.
Regent Park Revitalization Plan – An initiative begun in 2005 by the City of Toronto with fellow development, government and community partners, with the focus of rebuilding the neighbourhood of Regent Park for 12,500 residents over 15-20 years.
Rooming Houses in Toronto – 1960s & 1970s – Rooming houses in Toronto became a big issue in the late 1960s and early 1970s as housing priorities were changing rapidly. These dwellings were usually old houses that had been converted for single-room-occupancy tenants, who typically paid weekly rent and shared the bathroom and kitchen facilities with four or more (unrelated) tenants.
RESOURCES: NEWSPAPERS, BOOKS, FILMS, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES, ETC.
Other Newspapers, Newsletters, and Magazines
Seven News – For a list of all published issues of 7 News, each linked to a PDF of the issue, go here. For a list of all articles published in 7 News, each linked to the issue it appeared in, go here.
Cabbagetown Riverdale News – Successor newspaper to Seven News published 1985 – early 1990s.
Regent Park Community News – A paper by and for Regent Park, published 1972-1978.
Bain Co-op Newsletter – Newsletter of the Bain Housing Co-operative. Available here are issues from 1978-1981.
DACHI Co-op Newsletter – Newsletter of the DACHI Co-op (Don Area Co-operative Homes). Available here are issues from 1978-1979.
Connexions Digest – Founded in 1975 as the Canadian Information Sharing Project and renamed Connexions in 1978, Connexions was housed at 51 Bond Street, just to the west of Ward 7. The project included a strong focus on issues related to skid row, inner city poverty, and homelessness, and featured many publications and reources related to these issues.
Downtown Action – Downtown Action was a project concerned with tenants' issues and the role of the property industry in Toronto. Two issues of the newsletter from 1976 and 1977 are currently available online.
Nexus – Billed as a magazine of land, corporate, and community affairs. Two issues from 1978-1979 are currently available.
Phoenix Rising – Phoenix Rising: The Voice of the Psychiatrized was published from 1980 to 1990. An annotated index of back issues is available on the Psychiatric Survivors Archive website. Don Weitz, a frequent contributor to 7 News, was one of the founders of Phoenix Rising.
This Magazine is About Schools – A magazine about schools and education, This Magazine is About Schools was founded in 1966 and continued under that name until 1973, when the name was changed to “This Magazine”“THIS”). Several of the founders were residents of, and activists in, Ward 7, including community organizer Marjaleena Repo, and George Martel, later a Ward 7 school trustee.
Cabbagetown. Hugh Garner. – Depicts life in the Toronto neighbourhood of Cabbagetown during the Depression. 1950.
Cabbagetown in Pictures. Colleen Kelly. – Photos of Toronto’s historic Cabbagetown, with accompanying text. 1984.
Cabbagetown Remembered. George Rust’D’Eye – Stories and photographs of old Cabbagetown. 1984.
Cabbagetown: The Story of a Victorian Neighbourhood. Penina Coopersmith. – Coopersmith traces Cabbagetown’s origins in the eighteenth century, growth in the Victorian era, decline in the thirties, and changes since then. 1988.
Cabbagetown Store. J.V. McAree. – A memoir. 1953.
A Citizen’s Guide to City Politics. James Lorimer. – A guide to how city politics really work in Canada, focusing on the role of the property industry, which dominates municipal decision-making. 1972.
Fighting Back: Urban Renewal in Trefann Court. John Fraser. – A detailed report on the conflict between city bureaucrats and residents of Trefann Court, a five-block area just east of downtown Toronto. Bent on tearing down the community as a step towards urban renewal, the planners and government officials met organized resistance from homeowners and tenants for over six years. 1972.
How We Changed Toronto: The inside story of twelve creative, tumultuous years in civic life, 1969-1980. John Sewell. – By the mid-1960s Toronto was well on its way to becoming Canada’s largest and most powerful city. One real estate firm aptly labelled it Boomtown. Expressways, subways, shopping centres, high-rise apartments, and skyscraping downtown office towers were transforming the city. City officials were cheerleaders for unrestricted growth. 2015.
The Intruders. Hugh Garner. – A novel depicting the gentrification of the Cabbagetown neighbourhood in Toronto. 1976.
The Real World of City Politics. James Lorimer. – A report about what is going on – and what is going wrong – in Canada’s cities. Urban renewal, public housing, downtown schools, citizen participation, highrise development, city politicians. 1970.
Regent Park: The Public Experiment in Housing. David Zapparoli – A history with many photographs. 1999.
Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History. Bryan D. Palmer and Gaetan Heroux. – Toronto’s Poor reveals the long and too often forgotten history of poor people’s resistance. It details how the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute have struggled to survive and secure food and shelter in the wake of the many panics, downturns, recessions, and depressions that punctuate the years from the 1830s to the present. 2016.
The Trouble With Co-ops. Janice Dineen. – The story of a pioneer co-operative housing project in downtown Toronto: Don Area Co-operative Homes, inc. (DACHI). 1974.
Up Against City Hall. John Sewell. – John Sewell describes his early life and explains how he accidentally got involved in politics. He tells of his experiences in Trefann Court, and how this opened his eyes to the realities of civic politics, and gives behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the major battles at City Hall. 1972.
Working People: Life in a Downtown City Neighbourhood. James Lorimer and Myfanwy Phillips. – A description of the Don Vale neighbourhood of downtown Toronto in the 1960s. 1971.
The Universe Ends at Sherbourne & Queen. Ted Plantos & Angeline Kyba. – A literary and photographic look at the area known as Cabbagetown. It describes the myths and legends of the area as well as the lives of the people who live there.
The Canadian City. Kent Gerecke (ed.) – Based on the belief that a healthy city life is possible, this volume collects articles, stories and histories about the city and its people, covering aspects such as human and social relations, art and architecture, urban planning, land development, and the greening of the urban environment. 1991.
The City and Radical Social Change. Dimitrios Roussopoulos – A collection of essays dealing with the dynamics of forces for social change in our urban milieu, discussing how new ideas are contributing to an urban insurgency which could lead to a new city and a new concept of citizenship. 1982.
Highrise and Superprofits. Barker, Penney, Seccombe – An analysis of the development industry in Canada. 1973.
Liberal Dreams and Nature’s Limits. James Lemon. – An exploration of city life through time, focusing on the life (economically, socially, politically, etc.) of five large North American cities, including Toronto, at various times in the past. 1996.
Local Places in the Age of the Global City. – The contributors to Local Places look at the complex social, economic and political contexts of cities in the 1990s and suggest that cities and urbanity, while part of the problem, also need to be considered as part of the solution. 1996.
Remembering the Don: A Rare Record of Earlier Times Within the Don River Valley. Charles Sauriol. – Memories of Toronto's Don River in days gone by. 1981.
The Tiny Perfect Mayor. Jon Caulfield. – An analysis of Toronto city politics in the wake of the election of David Crombie as mayor in 1972. 1974.
Toronto Rocks: The Geological Legacy of the Toronto Region. Nick Eyles & Clinton. – Toronto’s urban geology, including The Don Valley Brick Works. 1998.
Toronto Since 1981. James Lemon. – A history of modern Toronto, 1921-1985. 1985.
The Underside of Toronto. Mann (ed.) – Sociological essays on Toronto. 1970.
Working Class Toronto at the Turn of the Century. Gregory Kealey. – A look at working class life in Toronto at the beginning of the 20th century. 1973.
Bleecker Street – Through the courts, through City Hall, and out into the streets, the residents of Bleecker Street, a poor working class neighbourhood in Toronto, carries the battle to save their homes. 1982.
Free Bleecker – Emil Kolompar. 1974.
These are articles published somewhere other than 7 News. For articles published in 7 News, see this list.
Bain Co-op Meets Wages for Housework – The story of the struggle that gave birth to a housing co-operative. 1977.
Cabbagetown: A Working Class District: Hugh Garner’s novel revisited – An article in Transformation magazine. 1971.
Class Bias in Toronto Schools – A 1971 article in This Magazine is about Schools about a brief by the Park School community council addressing the streaming of poor and working class children into the bottom levels of the school system. Park School was located in Regent Park.
Theses and Journal Articles
Planning As Learning: The Education of Citizen Activists – Phd thesis focusing on the learning undertaken by members of citizens’ groups involved in land use planning. Includes interview material about 7 News and its role in the community. 1994.