I’ve written a long piece, Judge Frank Denton and the Brown’s drug store case, 1938, about a drug store theft that my grandfather tried in July 1938.
It starts with my grandfather’s handwritten notes from his bench books, which were journals where he wrote notes on trials as he presided. They’re in the Archives of Ontario and available to the public, so I had a look. One case in particular caught my eye, so I transcribed the notes and did some research into the case and the neighbourhood where the crime happened.
There is relevant digitized material from the Archives of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto and the Internet Archive all freely available online, and I have access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers so I could look at old issues of the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail. (The Toronto Telegram I looked at on microfilm. It really needs to be digitized, and I know there’s a project starting to try to do that. I hope it succeeds.)
It’s rare I do this kind of research, and I enjoyed it very much.
If you’re interested in a close-up view of a small crime in a Toronto neighbourhood that no longer exists, have a look.