Learn more about photographs sourced for this video from the OJA’s collection.
YM-YWHA building, 15 Brunswick Avenue, ca. 1960. For almost two decades, the ‘Y” activities occurred at rooms rented in the Brunswick Avenue and College Street area, as well as the basement facilities of the Brunswick Avenue Talmud Torah. However, these spaces became overcrowded due to the growing membership and so this building was constructed in 1937, next door to the Talmud Torah to ease overcrowding.
OJA, fonds 61, series 2-2, file 44, item 3.
The Hebrew Literary and Athletic Club basketball team from 1920. The Hebrew Literary and Athletic Club was one of the earliest Jewish clubs in Toronto. They were formed in 1914 and, although their name would suggest otherwise, they had a purely athletic mandate. The Hebrew Literary and Athletic Club along with a few other Jewish clubs amalgamated to form an organization known as the Hebrew Association of Young Men’s and Young Women’s Clubs, the precursor to the YMHA.
OJA, item 1773.
1949 athletic awards banquet at the YM-YWHA building at 15 Brunswick Avenue. The banquet was held in 1950 to honour the “Y” members for their athletic achievements during 1949.The YM-YWHA building facilities accommodated a wide range of sports. The athletic programs were robust and well organized, and an athletic membership only cost approximately twenty-five dollars per year.
OJA, item 3412.
A group of teenagers at the Brunswick Avenue YM-YWHA at a club meeting. In the early 1930s, the “Y” developed educational and cultural programs to meet the demand from Toronto’s Jewish youth. The club provided Jewish youth with a place to socialize. There were also organized events such as, dances, picnics, and concerts.
OJA, fonds 61, series 6, item 26.
Children of the YM-YWHA on Major Street, ca. 1950. The YM-YWHA used a building on Major Street for their after-school children’s programs. Although the YM-YWHA had its own athletic building at 15 Brunswick Avenue, activities were still scattered across a few other buildings in the area to meet programming needs.
OJA, fonds 61, series 2-2, item 38.
The cornerstone dedication ceremony for the Bloor and Spadina YM-YWHA branch, held on 3 February 1953. By the end of the 1950s, the “Y” provided programming and services for all ages, and after moving to this new building the organization expanded its non-athletic programming.
OJA, fonds 61, series 2-2, file 38.