Projects Completed in 2020

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George Visits Toronto in 1923

The facts as presented: The photograph showing below was found in a family album from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. On the back of the photo was the caption "Lloyd George's Visit, 1923". The photograph showed a building with bunting and flags abounding, with some lettering obscured. 

Toronto City Hall, David Lloyd George's visit, October 1923 _ao img118

The Challenge: Could anything be discovered about this visit? When did it occur? What was it all about? And so on.

The sources consulted: principally, Daily editions of The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) published between 1 Sep 1923 and 31 Oct 1923, with queries to wikipedia.

The results: David Lloyd George had been both a much revered and a much villified Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during later years of the Great War and the early reconstruction period, serving from 6 Dec 1916 until 19 Oct 1922. Following his Liberal party's defeat in the fall of 1922, Lloyd George arranged to tour North America, and he visited Toronto on 10 October 1923. He sailed from England to New York, early in October, and travelled leisurely to Toronto, and then beyond.

Two newspaper articles published in Toronto provide more details about this particular visit. One item, published in the Globe and Mail, 22 Sep 1923 (5th column, centre of page 1) offered an overview of the planned events for Toronto in October. The second article, also published on page 1 of the Globe and Mail, 10 Oct 1923 (4th column, centre of the page), offers details about Lloyd George's day in Toronto. Here it was noted that "The City Hall [pictured above] is profusely decorated for the [civic] reception" that took place early in the morning of the 10th. There is no clock on the facade of the City Hall, so we can't know for sure, but the shadow angles on the south facing facade suggest that this photo was possibly taken much later in the morning, perhaps even around the noon hour. There are a number of school age children on the front steps of the City Hall in the photograph. But, an article published at the top of Page 1 on the 10th of October refutes the idea that school children might have been given the day off to attend the ceremonies. These children could have been there during a lunch break.

Dozens of additional articles published in The Globe and Mail during the search period provide more detail about the lead-up and planning for Lloyd George's visit, and about other stops he made from the time he left England until he returned home. I suspect that the other Toronto newspapers of the day - The Daily Star and The Telegram, being papers with a different political slant than The Globe and Mail, would offer different insight in to the events of the day, and it's lead-up and aftermath.

It's also probable that surveys of newspapers published in other places - places like Ottawa, Montreal, and New York, for instance, and any other place that Lloyd George visited or passed through, might yield more facts.

The response: "Wonderful! Thank you. Now we just have to work out who in the family took the picture". - - - - Project #200601   (completed 6 Jun 2020)  

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.