Harry Sutherland Library hosts ‘Open Saturday’

The Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library (HSPL) at the Toronto-based Vincent Graves Greene (VGG) Philatelic Research Foundation is hosting its monthly “Open Saturday” today, beginning at 10 a.m.

The famed library – known for its top-notch British North America reference collection (arguably the world’s best); a significant collection of early Canadian philatelic journals searchable by optical character recognition; and research collections from notable Canadian philatelists, among much else – is open one Saturday a month. It’s also open Monday through Thursday each week; its hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (excluding the fourth Wednesday of the month, when it’s open until 7 p.m.).

Located at 10 Summerhill Ave. in downtown Toronto, the HSPL is also available for use by appointment. For more information, click here.


In a Saturday full of philately, one could also visit the south St. Lawrence Market (second floor), only a few kilometres south of the HSPL, at 95 Front Street E. Beginning at 11 a.m., the Market Gallery and Toronto’s First Post Office will host “From Town to City in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood,” a walking tour held in conjunction with Jane’s Walk.

HSPL Reference Librarian Kathy Harley said participants in the walking tour will “find it compliments the presentation Garfield [Portch, VGG vice-president and expert committee member] made at North Toronto [Stamp Club meeting] earlier this month.”

The website asks readers to imagine a St. Lawrence neighbourhood in which the tallest building is only three storeys high and Lake Ontario laps against Front Street; “surrounding it is nothing but fields and forest. This was what the neighbourhood looked like in the early 1800s.”

That century saw the then-Town of York, which began as a “colonial outpost with a few hundred residents,” transform into the City of Toronto in 1834, when its population passed 9,000.

“It was faced with several cholera outbreaks, leaving thousands dead, as well as an armed rebellion led by Toronto’s first mayor,” reads the website. “The people of this neighbourhood were just as interesting. Campbell, Jarvis, Mackenzie, Ridout, Strachan and Washburn (to name a few) all contributed to the success, longevity and especially some great stories about the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood.”

For more information about Jane’s Walk, click here.

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