|A soldier guards a trench at the Battle of Ypres, his bayoneted rifle at the ready. Belligerent nations in the First World War all struggled to produce enough munitions to battle the enemy.|
|Children of "the Ward", Toronto 1908. It's possible that the war improved their economic situation, if their father enlisted in the military, or their mother found factory work.|
|Slums of the Ward, on Terauley Street (now Bay Street). Toronto's City Hall is visible in the background.|
|Sir Sam Hughes led the so-called Shell Committee, which failed to produce an adequate supply of munitions for the war effort. He and his committee were replaced by Joseph Flavelle and the Imperial Munitions Board, late in 1915.|
Read the original 32 page booklet "War Scandals of the Borden Government", published in 1915, here.
|A Curtiss JN4 "Jenny" airplane in a Toronto airfield, 1916.|
With more and more men away on service, women’s work became pivotal. So-called “women’s work” was initially an extension of what women would have done at home, like knitting and sewing clothing for soldiers. Non-traditional canvassing, recruiting, clerical and factory-floor roles followed. By the end of 1916, Toronto employed 2,500 of Canada’s 4,000 female munitions workers.
|Toronto women knit socks for soldiers in 1914.|
|A group of women assembly parts in a Toronto airplane factory in 1916.|
|A woman adjusts a fuse inside the Russell Motor Car Company factory.|
|A "Woman Worker" badge was issued to every woman who worked for the Imperial Munitions Board for at least 30 days. Everyone would want to wear something that could show that they were "doing their bit" for the war effort.|
|Sir John Eaton presented armoured cars to the Imperial Munitions Board. They were manufactured through the Russell Motor Car Company and seen here at Toronto's Exhibition Camp in 1915.|
|Here we see employees posing for a photograph outside the Russell Motor Car Company, on King Street West and Duncan Street (between University Avenue and John Street) in 1917.|
|"Shipbuilding in Ashbridge's Bay", pained in 1918 by Robert Gagen.|
|Shipbuilding, Polson Iron Works, 1918.|
|Toronto's Dominion Shipbuilding Company.|
|Launch of the Floraba at Toronto's Dominion Shipbuilding Company.|
|Toronto's Distillery District in 1917, while it served as British Acetones Toronto, Ltd.|
|A JN4 "Jenny" airplane at the Leaside Aerodrome, in 1917.|
|A JN4 "Jenny" airplane is pushed back into an aerodrome hangar in 1916.|
|A pilot in a JN14 "Jenny" airplane, 1918.|
|A Curtiss "F" flying boat, Toronto Islands, 1915.|
|William James, Sr., can be seen in the back of the airplane, with his rather bulky looking camera. His trip over the skies of Toronto in 1916 resulted in what was said to be amongst the first "movies" filmed from an airplane in Canada.|
As for Sir Joseph Flavelle, the man behind the Imperial Munitions Board, he was granted a baronetcy in 1917, in recognition of his work in supplying for the war effort. He died in 1939, and bequeathed his mansion near Queen's Park to the University of Toronto. It is now part of the University's Law School.