Saturday, July 4, 2020

In The Year 1905

My grandmother, Myra,
on the right with her
siblings, Sadie and Bert.
My grandmother, Myra Middleton, was born on August 21, 1905 in Thistletown (now Etobicoke, part of the amalgamated City of Toronto), Ontario. She was the third child of David Middleton and his wife, Sebbie Rowntree. She had two older siblings, Robert (called Bert) born in 1902 and Sarah (called Sadie) born in 1903.

Canada looked much different than it does now. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec were much smaller, and Newfoundland & Labrador were other countries. Alberta joined Confederation along with Saskatchewan in 1905, when the two new provinces were created out of a section of the Northwest Territories. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was Prime Minister, the 8th Prime Minister of Canada and first French Canadian to have that office (1896-1911) He was elected for a  third time elected in 1904.

The first Toronto Santa Claus Parade took place on December 2, 1905, sponsored by the Eaton's chain of department stores. It was a publicity stunt to encourage people to shop at their store. The first parade wasn’t really a parade at all though. It consisted only of Santa arriving at Union Station and walking with the Eaton family to their main store on Yonge Street. As we all know, as the years passed, the parade grew into a major extravaganza much anticipated by children all year long.

I always wondered why my grandmother’s siblings had middle names (Robert Edwin and Sarah Hazel) but she did not. Apparently, Great-Grandma Sebbie had chosen a middle name for her but Great-Grandpa David did not like it. So, when he went to the city to register her birth in November, he ‘conveniently’ forgot what it was and simply registered her as Myra. Unfortunately, there is no one left who knows what her middle name was supposed to be but a cousin once recalled the her father had told her it began with the letter ‘M’. That is one family mystery that will never be solved.

Have you ever researched what was happening the year you were born? 

*The type of doll shown above was used as the Eaton Beauty in 1905-1906 and was made by Armand Marseille in Germany. She had a bisque head, model #390, with a fully jointed composition body.*


  1. Wow a lot happened in 1905! I'll have to research what was happening when I was born. I'm now curious :)

  2. I enjoyed reading about some of your family history Bonnie! I also learned that Etobicke, which I lived in for have of my life had a different a different name!