Ilse Thompson fonds
The Way We Were: Archives Collection and Image of the Month Series

The main role of the City Archives is to manage government records with long-term business value. The City of Vaughan Archives also collects, preserves and makes available for research permanently valuable non-government records from the Vaughan community that document the rich and diverse heritage of the City of Vaughan. Every month we’ll share pieces of Vaughan’s heritage in a regular feature called The Way We Were.

To view more from the City’s archival collections, visit the City of Vaughan’s Facebook page.


Image of the month: The Great Snowstorm of 1944

Archives snow photo

On December 11, 1944, a massive snowstorm hit the City of Toronto and its surrounding areas. A total of 57 cm was recorded after two consecutive days of snowfall, with a staggering 48 cm falling the first day alone. All traffic and businesses were shut down and 21 people died as a result of the storm, 13 of which were from heart attacks caused by the overexertion of shovelling snow. Vaughan Township was also affected by the snowstorm. In this image, Alvin Baker stands on Dufferin Street, north of Langstaff, next to a wall of plowed snow.

Collection of the month: Ilse Thompson Fonds

Ilse Thompson fonds

Ilse Thompson and her husband, Roy, arrived in Maple in 1953 when Roy took the position of principal at Maple School S.S. # 6. Ilse was a music teacher and a conductor of the Maple Orchestra, which she founded in 1985. In 2002, she began writing vignettes for the Vaughan Weekly about her life in Maple and called the column “Maple Leaves”. Ilse’s daughter, Judith, a professor of 18th century literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, also contributed an article as well as many pen-and-ink drawings of scenes in Maple. The fonds spans the years 1961-2005 and consists of newspaper clippings, photoprints and Judith’s pen-and-ink drawings of local buildings and settings from Ilse’s column “Maple Leaves” which appeared in 2002 in the Vaughan Weekly.

Bailey Chui
Archives Record Analyst

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