Through the generosity of Mel and Lorne Shields, the OJA has completed digitizing its collection of the Shields family’s home movies. Mel and Lorne’s parents, Harry and Esther Shields, were married in Toronto in 1937. Harry owned a sportswear business called Shields Sportswear Ltd., which was located at 349 Queen Street West. Their family films offer a rare and vibrant glimpse of every day Jewish life in Toronto between 1937 and 1970, including footage of Lorne’s Bar Mitzvah at Beth Tzedec Synagogue, weddings from the 1930s, a family trip to Pontypool (a summer destination for many Toronto Jews), and clips of summer camps that were popular within the Jewish community, such as, Camp Rockwood and Camp Winnebagoe. The OJA is thrilled to make these films accessible to current and future generations and extends its warmest thanks to the Shields family for their generous support with this initiative.
The OJA has over 30 hours of home movie footage from the late 1920s to the 1970s documenting weddings, birthday parties, Bar Mitzvah’s, family vacations in Ontario and around the world, graduations, Toronto recreation and amusement, cottage life, and other every day family outings and activities. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our home movie collection or if you have home movies of your own you'd like to donate.