Toronto seeks public help with war memorial

Project for remembering First World War seeks input

The City of Toronto Museums and the Archives of Ontario need the public to help identify soldiers from the First World War.

The two organizations are collecting personal stories about T. Eaton Co. Limited employees who fought in the First World War, and are seeking help identifying the soldiers.

They are also hoping the public can provide some personal history about those soldiers for use in a planned exhibit called Eaton’s Goes to War.

“We need to draw attention to these stories so we can express our gratitude and remember those who helped bring us peace and freedom that define our great city and country,” Mayor John Tory said.

During the First World War, every T. Eaton Company employee who enlisted and went overseas had a portrait displayed in the Toronto store.

Over 2,000 portraits survived, and became a part of the T. Eaton Company records at the Archives of Ontario. The archives created an online exhibit of the photographs called “Eaton’s Goes to War” in 2014. Toronto’s Mackenzie House exhibition is seeking to add personal stories to the photographs in the collection.

The public can also see an advanced look at the project this month. Throughout November, there will be an installation on the south side of the College Park building at 444 Yonge St.

“If you know of someone who might be in these photographs, please take some time to look at the online collection and to share their story with us,” Tory urged.

Canadian soldiers from the First World War stand in a line.
Eaton’s Goes to War banner shows a line of Canadian soldiers from the First World War. (Archive of Ontario)