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People and organizations

Jefferies, R.L.

  • Person
  • 1936-2009

Robert “Bob” Lenthall Jefferies (1936-2009) was born on 13 March 1936 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, and grew up in Clevedon, Somerset. He credits his mother Violet, a school teacher with a passion for British natural history, as the inspiration behind what would become his life’s work. He studied at the University of Bristol, graduating with a degree in botany with subspecialties in chemistry and microbiology in 1958, and a doctorate in plant ecology in 1962. He moved to the University of California at Davis from 1962-64 for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with Emanuel Epstein in the soil and plant nutrition department. There he met Susan Locke, who he married in 1964 before moving back to England to take up a position at the University of East Anglia in Norwich to work with Jack Dainty.

In 1973-74, Prof. Jefferies took a year-long sabbatical as visiting professor at the University of Toronto, Canada where Jack Dainty had moved. During this year he was asked to stay on as a full professor in the Botany Department, which he accepted in 1975. He became a Canadian citizen and remained at the University of Toronto until his official retirement in 2001 and beyond.

During his 45-year long career, Prof. Jefferies’ main focus was around the Hudson-James Bay system. He was first invited to join Fred Cooke at his research camp in La Pérouse Bay near Churchill, Manitoba. From 1978-1992, Jefferies spent his summers there with graduate students and international collaborators, studying nesting snow geese and plant-herbivore interactions as part of the La Pérouse Bay Snow Goose Project. Between 1993-2009, he co-led (with Robert Rockwell and Ken Abraham) the Hudson Bay Project, a collaborative research program that studied the impact of migrating birds on northern Canada.

According to his obituary in the Globe and Mail, “Prof. Jefferies was among the first to recognize that the geese had begun multiplying in unprecedented numbers and that their increased population was turning part of the Arctic into a desert. He also realized that the loss of vegetation allowed seawater to seep in and further degrade the environment which, in turn, caused a decline among other animals living there. […] His efforts to document the consequences of climate change and wildlife populations were central to setting North American wildlife management policy. His work also played a role in the establishment of Wapusk National Park on the Hudson Bay.”

He was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on the impacts of climate change.

In addition to his research in the field, Prof. Jefferies served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Ecology and was on the editorial board of Global Change Biology. He was also a dedicated graduate student mentor and teacher. He was instrumental in the creation of BIO150: Organisms in the Environment, the largest class in Canada and required by most science students at the University of Toronto. Teaching it every year since it began in 1990, Prof. Jefferies was scheduled to teach it again in the fall of 2009 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Toronto on 8 July 2009 at the age of 73.

McInnes Family

  • Family
  • Walter John McGill McInnes, student at Toronto School of Medicine, listed as attending 1861-1862 (1862-1863 annual announcement): Born 1843(?), Died 1919.
  • Norman Walter McInnes student in medicine 1893-1897, MB 1897.

Thomas, Theodore

  • VIAF ID: 12302400
  • Person
  • 1935-1905

Thomas, Theodore (1835-1905), formed his own orchestra in 1862 and gave concerts in many American cities, always including some unfamiliar work. He conducted the New York Philharmonic 1877– 91, and was the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony 1891 – 1905.

Lang, Robert

  • Person
  • Floruit 1972-

ROBERT LANG is an internationally recognized, award-winning filmmaker and television producer whose work has covered many documentary topics, from music programs and interactive media to science and social documentaries.

Lang founded the production company Kensington Communications in 1980, and in that role he has been responsible for hundreds of television programs, including: 3 seasons of 72 Hours: True Crime; the acclaimed four-part television series The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki; 5 seasons of the true crime series Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science; the Gemini Award-winning 3-part series Diamond Road; the 5-part series Shameless Idealists; and 3 seasons of the hit documentary program Museum Secrets.

He has worked as a director on many music productions with artists such as Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois, Jackie Richardson, Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure.

Among his many award-winning documentaries and TV specials are the Gemini-winning Separate Lives, One Warm Line: the Legacy of Stan Rogers, Diamond Road, and The Equalizer (Canadian Screen Award).

Lang has produced many interactive digital projects over the years, from River of Sand interactive website (1998), to The Sacred Balance online (2003), Diamond Road interactive documentary (2007), Museum Secrets Interactive (2011), ScopifyROM, a mobile app to enhance the museum experience at the Royal Ontario Museum (2013) and Risk Navigator mobile app (2017).

Kensington Communications Inc.

  • Corporate body
  • 1980-

Kensington Communications is a production company founded in 1980 in Toronto’s Kensington Market that has produced documentary and factual films, television shows, and multimedia projects for more than 40 years. Kensington has produced documentaries and series for the CBC and NFB, and its productions have been broadcast internationally on Discovery Channel, TLC, BBC, ZDF Arte, and other networks.
Early productions in the 1980s focused on social issues such as blended families (Stepdancing, 1986), youth suicide (Childhood’s End, 1981), and addiction (Out of the Past, 1989).
Many of Kensington’s productions have featured Earth’s natural environment and human activities that threaten it: Fragile Harvest (1986, the Nature of Things), Sacred Rhythm (1990), Sacred Balance with David Suzuki (2002), and Port Hope: A Question of Power (2005, The Nature of Things).
Kensington also has a history of producing iconic music documentaries. One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers (1990), Mariposa: Under a Stormy Sky (1990), My Beat: The Life & Times of Bruce Cockburn (2001), and the City Sonic App (2009) all highlight Canadian music and musicians.
Kensington Communications worked with Bruce Cockburn over decades from the 1980s to the 2010s to produce short documentaries and advertisements for USC (formerly known as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada) about their work in Nepal.
Kensington produced two successful crime series that focused on the role of forensics in solving real crimes – Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science, and 72 Hours: True Crime.
Recent TV productions include The Shadow Of Gold (2019), Risk Factor (2017), The Equalizer (2016), and three seasons of the popular international TV series Museum Secrets, which goes behind the scenes at great museums of the world.
Kensington Communications has also been a leader in using multimedia websites to enhance documentary and television content. River of Sand, Sacred Balance, Diamond Road, Raw Opium, and Museum Secrets all included website content. Museum Secrets included a tie-in app called Scopify to help visitors navigate the Royal Ontario Museum, and the documentary Risk Factor was accompanied by the Risk Navigator app.

Plessner, Jacob

  • Person
  • 1871-1936

Paterson, G. R.

  • Person
  • 1920-

Frye, Herman Northrop

  • Person
  • 1912-1991

Herman Northrop Frye (1912–1991) was an internationally recognized literary scholar and academic. He was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the son of Herman Edward Frye and Catherine Maud Howard. He married Helen Kemp in 1937. Two years after her death in 1986 he married Elizabeth Brown. He died in Toronto, Ontario.

Frye spent his childhood in Quebec and New Brunswick. His primary and secondary education in Moncton, New Brunswick, was followed by a business training-course. In 1929 he entered Victoria College, Victoria University at the University of Toronto. He graduated in 1933 in the Honour Course in Philosophy and English. He then studied theology at Emmanuel College, Victoria University, and was ordained to Ministry of the United Church of Canada in 1936. He attended Merton College, Oxford, England from 1936 to 1937 and from 1938 to 1939. He graduated with first class honours in the English School and received an Oxford M.A. in 1940.

In 1939 Frye joined the Department of English at Victoria College as a Lecturer. He became Assistant Professor in 1942, Associate Professor in 1946, Professor in 1947, Chairman of the Department of English at Victoria College in 1952, and Principal of Victoria College in 1959. In 1967 he retired as Principal and became University Professor at the University of Toronto. He continued to teach as Professor of English at Victoria College. From 1978 until his death he was Chancellor of Victoria University.

Frye lectured at over one hundred universities in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Israel, Australia and the former Soviet Union. He taught a full term or a summer session at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Indiana, Washington, British Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley and Oxford. He gave many special lectures for endowed lecture series. During his career he received numerous awards and honourary degrees, including Companion of the Order of Canada (1972), the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction for Northrop Frye on Shakespeare (1987) and the Mondello Prize (1990) in Italy for his lifetime dedication to literature.

Frye edited fifteen books, contributed essays and chapters to over sixty others and published over one hundred articles and reviews, including: Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake (1947), Anatomy of Criticism (1957), The Well-Tempered Critic (1963), The Educated Imagination (1963), T.S. Eliot (1963), Fables of Identity (1963), A Natural Perspective (1965), The Return of Eden (1965), Fools of Time (1967), The Modern Century (1967), A Study of English Romanticism (1968), The Stubborn Structure (1970), The Bush Garden (1971), The Critical Path (1971), The Secular Scripture (1976), Spiritus Mundi (1976), Northrop Frye on Culture and Literature (1978), Creation and Recreation (1980), The Great Code (1982), Divisions on a ground (1982), The Myth of Deliverance: Reflections on Shakespeare’s Comedies (1983), Northrop Frye on Shakespeare (1986), No Uncertain Sounds (1988), Northrop Frye on Education (1988), Myth and Metaphor: Selected Essays, 1974–1988 (1990), Words with Power (1990), Reading the World-Selected Writings, 1935–1976 (1990), The Double Vision (1991), and A World in Grain and Sand: Twenty-two interviews with Northrop Frye (1991).

Urquhart, Frederick A.

  • VIAF ID: 44698356
  • Person
  • 1911-2002

Fredrick (Fred) Albert Urquhart was a professor of zoology at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Scarborough. Born in Toronto in 1911, Urquhart studied biology at the University of Toronto, completing an MA in 1937 and a PhD in 1940. His first attempt at tagging monarchs, in 1937, met with limited success, but led to the development of the Alar Tagging Method in the 1940s. In 1945, he married Norah Patterson, who would become a partner in his research endeavours. He was appointed assistant director of zoology at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1945, becoming director in 1949; at the same time, he was appointed as an assistant professor in zoology at the University of Toronto. Urquhart took on full professorship in 1963. In 1966, he spearheaded a program in zoology at Scarborough College, a position that he held until his retirement in 1977. In 1975, two member of Urquhart’s extensive network of monarch trackers, Ken and Cathy Brugger, discovered millions of monarch butterflies in the Neovolcanic Plateau in Mexico, many of them tagged, proving that monarchs did indeed travel thousands of kilometres to breed. Urquhart and his wife were able to visit Mexico in 1976 to see the monarchs firsthand. An internationally renowned entomologist, Urquhart published both books and articles on the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies. He died in 2002.

Bata, Thomas J.

  • Person
  • 1914-2008

Thomas J. Bata (1914-2008) was the son of Tomáš Baťa (1876-1932), who founded the Bata Shoe Company in Zlin, Czechsolovakia in 1894. Thomas J. Bata was the Chairman and CEO of the Bata Shoe Organisation from 1944 until 1984, becoming Chairman from 1984 to 1994, and remaining as Honorary Chairman until his death in 2008. In 1939, the company’s Czech holdings were nationalized during the Second World War. Thomas J. Bata immigrated to Canada with his wife Sonja Bata (1926-), where he established Bata Limited, the Canadian offshoot of the Bata enterprise, as well as the company town ‘Batawa’ (located outside of Trenton, Ontario). Batawa employed and housed some 1500 people before closing in 2000. In 1962, the Bata Shoe Organization moved its headquarters from London, UK to Toronto, where it was based until 2003. Since then, the company’s head operations have gradually shifted back to Europe, to Bata Brands SA (based in Lausanne, Switzerland). Thomas J. Bata was involved with almost all of Bata’s international companies (from North America and South America, to Europe, Asia, South Asia and Australia). He also served on numerous external committees, including the Business Industry Advisory Council and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Provincial Marine

  • MS Coll. 00022B
  • Corporate body
  • 1788-1792

Traders and merchants based in Quebec and the Thirteen Colonies had been successfully advancing the fur trade in the Great Lakes region since the mid-1760s, largely through the assistance of privately-owned commercial vessels to ship trade merchandise to western posts and retrieve bales of peltries to be sold for handsome profits. The trade had only recently transitioned from the old French structure to a modified system under British management, and was gaining momentum and efficiency. But all that changed with the onset of the American Revolution in 1775. The British government at Quebec responded to the war threat with plans to prevent American incursions into the Great Lakes region and ensure that weapons, ammunition, and provisions were not smuggled to the American side through the fur trade network. To that end, Governor Guy Carleton (1724-1808) outlawed the use of private vessels on the Great Lakes in the spring of 1777.

According to Governor Carleton’s 1777 announcement, vessels taken into the King’s service would be armed and manned by the Crown, be the exclusive carrier of troops and stores for the war effort, and maintain absolute control over the Great Lakes. The service was also the official conveyor of United Empire Loyalists relocating to British territory in the Province of Quebec. The fleet of King’s Ships of the Provincial Marine would be on constant military patrol between British garrisons at Carleton Island and Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario (employing Snow Seneca, Ship Limnade, and Sloop Caldwell), Fort Little Niagara, Fort Schlosser, Fort Erie, and Detroit on Lake Erie (employing Schooner Faith, Snow Rebecca, Schooner Hope, Brig Gage, Schooner Dunmore, Sloop Felicity, and Sloop Wyandot), and Detroit and Mackinac Island on Lake Huron (employing Sloop Felicity, Sloop Wyandot, Sloop Welcome, and Sloop Angelica).

The fur trade was at the heart of the young Canadian economy. Prior to Carleton’s 1777 orders, traders and merchants had their merchandise and peltries shipped over the Great Lakes on private vessels, many of which were owned and operated by the traders and merchants themselves. The new regulations dealt a serious blow to the fur trade when all private vessels on the lakes were effectively taken out of service and purchased or leased by the Crown for the exclusive use of the Provincial Marine. Traders, merchants, and agents were assured of services for the transport of their goods on board the King’s Ships, provided there was sufficient room available and military manoeuvres were not impacted.

The Provincial Marine thus became the sole means of transporting commercial goods on the Great Lakes. When merchandise and peltries were consigned for transport aboard the King’s Ships, promissory freight notes were issued to confirm the nature of the cargo and formalise a commitment to pay freight charges at some later date to Provincial Marine officials at Detroit, Carleton Island, or Quebec. Private transport of goods between Montreal and Carleton Island along the Saint Lawrence River was still permitted, but only in canoes and flat-bottomed cargo boats or bateaux.

Under the British system for managing the fur trade, the transport of trade merchandise to western depots was heavily regulated, and required a license from the governor (of which there was only a limited number issued each year). Ownership, origin, and destination of cargo was heavily scrutinized along the way by garrison commandants and ship masters, who had the authority to seize unauthorized shipments and prohibited goods. Strict supervision ensured that American traders were entirely excluded from the trade.

By the summer of 1778, Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) had been installed as the new Governor of Quebec, and wasted no time in refining the organisation of the Provincial Marine. According to his General Orders and Regulations for the Better Government of His Majesty’s Armed Vessels Employed on the Different Lakes, issued on 1 July 1778, the fleet of vessels on the Great Lakes was divided into geographic commands: Lake Ontario constituted its own jurisdiction, and Lake Erie and the three upper Great Lakes (being lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan) constituted another, each with its own senior naval officer. In addition to organisational details for manning and operating the King’s Ships, Haldimand’s directive required that the British Articles of War be read on board each vessel at least once every month, to maintain order and discipline. Unfortunately, the chain of command between land- and lake-based officials was poorly defined, and led to quarrels that impacted the ability of the Provincial Marine to assist with the army’s land operations and properly fulfill commercial shipping obligations to those in the fur trade.

At the height of the war in 1779, during a period of particular difficulty for the fur trade, nine trading partnerships strategically combined their assets and resources to form the first consortium that would become the North West Company. The 16-share syndicate, composed of leading traders and merchants operating out of Montreal and Mackinac Island, eventually developed into the principal fur trade concern in Canada in opposition to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Another similar 16-share agreement was made in 1783, which was expanded to a 20-share agreement in 1787. A few of the traders included in the North West Company agreements are represented on promissory freight notes as the shippers and receivers of merchandise and peltries carried by the Provincial Marine, most notably George McBeath and Normand McLeod who were among the first British traders in the Great Lakes region after the British conquest
Forced to conform with the regulations for shipping their merchandise and peltries only on the King’s Ships, traders, merchants, and agents were at the mercy of the fleet’s management, staff, schedules, and performance, the weather and sailing conditions, and the physical state of the vessels. The lack of suitable storage facilities for goods held at garrisons added to the impact on trade, and other serious problems were numerous and widespread. Trade merchandise and peltries were delayed at transfer points for extended periods of time, damaged through improper storage, sodden by transport aboard leaky vessels, lost and misplaced through incompetence, and ransacked by unscrupulous military staff. Delays were particularly injurious to the trade, owing to the inherently tight trade cycle of shipping goods (which were usually obtained on credit from merchant-outfitters) to the interior and receiving furs the following year for sale at Montreal. Goods sometimes lay for months at Carleton Island, Fort Niagara, and Fort Erie, and were sometimes delayed so long that they could not be sent until the following season. Disruptions in the cycle equated to monetary losses through higher interest payments, damage to credit ratings, and strained relations with outfitters and investors. Petitions and Memorials complaining of unfair treatment and exorbitant freight charges were drawn up by traders, merchants, and agents, and sent to the governor and council at Quebec, but were largely ignored.

In the end, a large proportion of freight notes were not voluntarily settled: traders and merchants were summoned to court and sued for full or partial payment, whereas others were pardoned on the basis that negligence by the Provincial Marine caused financial losses that exceeded freight charges.

Kolnik, Arthur

  • Person
  • 1890-1972


  • Person
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