On a recent visit to the Toronto Reference Library to do some research I came across a small bookmark that advertised a virtual exhibit on the library website called “Local Flavour: Eating in Toronto, 1830-1955”
It is a wonderful look at the history of eating in Toronto. The menu consists of an introduction, Cookbooks of the 19th Century, Cookbooks of the 20th Century, Kitchen Appliances, 20th Century Lifestyle, Dining out, Gardening, Toronto in Wartime, Manufacturing/Food Industry, Shopping in Toronto and How to Eat Like a Child in Toronto.
Each section contains digital images and some recipes so you can recreate some of the recipes your ancestors may have cooked. The recipe for Ham Toast includes the reference “a lump of butter the size of half an egg.”
Shopping in Toronto includes photographs and pages from city directories to do with purveyors of fine food within the city. Toronto in Wartime has a ration book among its images. The images of labour saving devices found in the section on Kitchen Appliances is fun to look at. I can not imagine cooking on those appliances today.
The main theme for the advertisement for Shredded Wheat cereal was that it is ready to eat and the children can get their own breakfast. The date of the advertising is 1926.
The Toronto Public Library has many other virtual exhibits. Some that might be of interest to genealogists include:
Toronto like many cities these days are struggling to balance their budget. The Toronto Public Library is in danger of having branches closed and services restricted. If you live in Toronto please take a minute to sign the petition to save the public library system in Toronto.