Barbara Frum (née Rosberg) was an important radio and television broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). She was born in 1937 in Niagara Falls, New York and grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the eldest of three children. Frum attended the University of Toronto and received a BA in history in 1959. In 1957, she married Toronto dentist Murray Frum and they had two children, David and Linda, and adopted a third, Matthew, an Indigenous boy. [Read more…]
Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster were a Canadian comedy duo, known as Wayne and Shuster, who were active from the 1940s until the late ’80s. Among their many claims to fame was that they were the most frequent performers on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” They appeared on Sullivan’s Sunday night broadcast 67 times.
Wayne and Shuster met as high school students at Harbord Collegiate Insistitute in Toronto. They both went on to the University of Toronto where they discovered their passion for performing. They made their radio debut on CFRB in Toronto in 1941 with their own show, “The Wife Preservers,” where they offered comedic household tips. The success of this show led to their first national comedy show on CBC radio as “Shuster and Wayne.” [Read more…]
David Croll was a distinguished Canadian politician who was repeatedly re-elected at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. In 1955, Croll became the first Jewish senator appointed to serve in the Canadian Senate.
David Avrum Croll was born in Moscow, Russia on March 20, 1900. His family immigrated to Canada early in the 20th century and Croll grew up to become a lawyer. He entered public life during the Great Depression, serving as mayor of Windsor, Ontario from 1931 to 1934. During this time, Croll pushed for social reform by requring the city to go into a deficit to provide assistance to those who were suffering from unemployment and poverty. [Read more…]
One of Canada’s most important novelists and a sharply opinionated essayist
Born in Montreal on January 27, 1931, Mordecai Richler grew up on St. Urbain Street in what was then the city’s Jewish ghetto and went on to become one of Canada’s most accomplished novelists and essayists. Some of Richler’s best known works, including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, were at least partially set in the neighbourhood milieu in which he grew up.
Richler attended Baron Byng High School on St. Urbain Street (thinly disguised as “Fletcher’s Field High School” in some of his novels, and Sir George Williams College (now part of Concordia University), but did not complete his degree. [Read more…]
‘The Voice of Canada’ who became the second most popular TV father of all time
Born Lyon Himan Green in Ottawa on February 12, 1915, Lorne Greene was a Canadian actor, radio personality and singer who was best known for his role as Ben “Pa” Cartwright, the patriarch on the popular western TV series “Bonanza,” which ran on NBC for 14 seasons and 431 episodes from 1959 until 1973 and which is still seen in syndication today.
Greene’s parents, Dora and Daniel Green, were Russian Jewish immigrants to Canada and called him “Chaim” when he was a small child. [Read more…]
One of Canada’s most influential poets
Born Israel Pincu Lazarovitch in Romania on March 12, 1912, Irving Peter Layton was one of Canada’s most influential and widely recognized poets.
Layton was an infant when his family immigrated to Canada in 1913 and settled on St. Urbain Street in what was then Montreal’s Jewish immigrant neighbourhood. Growing up, his family faced many struggles at a time when anti-Semitism was rampant in Quebec society. [Read more…]
Only Jewish leader of a federal political party
David Lewis was a Jewish-Canadian politician, lawyer, author and university professor.
Born and raised in Russia, David Losz’s childhood was marked by the German invasion of Russia during the First World War and the Russian Revolution. [Read more…]
Jewish coach of the Montreal Canadiens
Cecil Hart was born in Bedford, Quebec, in 1883. He was a direct descendant of Aaron Hart, widely considered to be the first permanent Jewish settler in Canada.
A life-long sports fan, Hart managed amateur baseball and hockey teams for the Star Club of Montreal from 1900 until 1922. He was also the secretary-treasurer of the Montreal City Hockey Lea“judged1910 and established an international amateur hockey tournament between Canada and the U.S. for the Art Ross Cup. [Read more…]