Until the anniversary of Vimy this week and a Facebook post from Heritage Toronto, I had forgotten about an interactive map that shows where 6,160 Torontonians lived before they were killed in WWI, WWII, and the Korean war. A poppy marks the location of each person’s residence, and the mass of poppies on the map can have a sobering effect.
If your ancestor lived in Toronto during one of those wars, type in their address and find out if anyone on their street died. Click on the poppy to learn the name, address, civilian occupation, rank, age, and burial place of the soldier. I looked up Heward Avenue where my grandfather lived to discover that two of his nearby neighbours died during WWI. In fact, death was all around my grandfather’s home. The people on almost every street in his neighbourhood grieved its war dead.
One thing missing on the map is the ability to search by a deceased’s name. According to my great-uncle’s attestation papers, he had been living on Ashdale Avenue with his wife and son before he died. But there is no poppy at his address. Is this an oversight or did he live somewhere else?
Even if you have no ancestors who lived in Toronto, it is worth taking a look at the map if only to see the number of poppies.
Copyright © 2014, Gail Dever.