Welcome to the 2023-24 Season
The Yorkminster Park Speakers Series began in January 2018 and has hosted a continuing education lecture approximately monthly, from September to June, ever since. The lectures are in-person events held in Cameron Hall, an event space in mid-town Toronto. You may also watch the lectures online as live webcasts. Video recordings are accessible after the event.
Early in the Second World War, the Canadian government built a top-secret munitions factory in the then rural community of Scarborough just seven miles from Toronto’s downtown. The plant, called GECO—General Engineering Company (Canada) Limited—comprised 346 acres, 172 buildings, and over four kilometers of underground passageways. Barbara Dickson’s book, Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo, is a comprehensive, historical record of Canada’s biggest WWII munitions plant, GECO, which employed over 21,000 citizens, predominantly women, courageously working with high explosives around the clock during the Second World War. In this lecture, Barbara will relate the dramatic story of the incredible contribution made by so many women so long ago. What was it really like to work in a munitions factory? Did anyone die? What were working conditions like? How closely did bomb girls resemble “Rosie the Riveter?” Barbara will draw on twenty years of research to answer these questions.