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CHATTER: Treasuring the Gleaner at the Palmerston Library (Jan. 2022)

February 4th, 2022 · No Comments


Anyone interested in an in-depth history of the Annex will find a rich source in 24 bound volumes of the Annex Gleaner available at the Palmerston Library. The series, beginning with the very first issue from May 1995, is available for reference just behind the front desk in the “local history” section, which is one of thirty such sections at libraries across the city.

“You can gain an understanding, even of the political atmosphere of the community,” said Tara Gonzales, Branch Head. “And the local goings on, day to day, month to month, because the Gleaner has all the ads for shows and things that are going on in the churches. It’s really in-depth.”

A spirit of citizen activism in the neighbourhood stands out through the decades. The Gleaner covered the campaign against the Dupont Loblaw’s, which resulted in Weston’s promising to allow visitor and neighbourhood parking after hours. Then came the “Friends of Dooney’s” who protested the threat of a Starbucks replacing the beloved café. Following the Gleaner’s breaking-news coverage of the story, the multinational Seattle-based Starbucks reversed course, allowing Dooney’s to continue their tenancy in situ. Starbucks then placed a full-page ad in the paper apologizing for offending the community.

Locals have been arguing about whether Bloor Street has too many restaurants since 1995. That same year, a task force was set up by local councillors to determine how to improve the area, with many residents saying restaurants keep the strip lively. 

Gleaner contributors of years past, a list that includes such wordsmiths as Evan Solomon and Alfred Holden, can rest assured they have achieved immortality. Once the Palmerston librarians have a year’s worth of the Gleaner in hand, they send the issues to the Special Collections Liaison, who gets them bound, but not before scanning each one to microfiche. These are held in the Toronto Reference Library, in the Local History and Genealogy section.

—Nicole Stoffman/Gleaner News

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