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11 campaign buttons
1 photograph : black and white glass plate negative
209 photographs : black and white prints
5 photographs : black and white negatives
16 photographs : colour prints
1 album (54 photographs)
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Allan Grossman (1910-1991) was a Member of Provincial Parliament for the Toronto riding of St. Andrew, and its successor St. Andrew-St. Patrick from 1955 to 1975.
He was born on 25 December 1910 in Toronto to Morris Grossman and Sara Pursmaker. His parents immigrated to Canada from Russian occupied Poland in 1907. He was the first of his siblings to be born in Canada. He dropped out of school in grade nine and travelled throughout Canada and the United States before settling into an early career as an insurance agent. At the age of sixteen, Grossman and a handful of other boys formed the "Junior Conservative Association of Toronto."
Grossman entered municipal politics in Toronto in 1951 when he was elected as an Alderman. He was a charter member of the Metro Council from 1952 to 1955. In 1955, he ran for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario against the Labour-Progressive Party incumbent J. B. Salsberg for the downtown Toronto riding of St. Andrew and was elected to the Ontario Legislature for the first time. Grossman held the seat until 1975 at which time, his son, Larry, was elected the member for the riding. Together, father and son represented the downtown Toronto riding for 32 consecutive years.
Grossman served as a cabinet minister under three Premiers. In 1960, he was named minister without portfolio, only the second Jewish Canadian Cabinet Minister in Ontario and the first to be a Tory. He served under Premier John Robarts as Chief Liquor Commissioner and Minister of Reform Institutions (now Correctional Services). In 1971, Grossman was appointed by Robarts' successor, Bill Davis as Minister of Trade and Development, with additional responsibility for Housing. In 1972, he led the first trade mission from the Western world to China. He also became Minister of Revenue that year and continued his responsibility for housing. In 1974, Grossman became the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development with overall policy responsibility for seven ministries.
Following his retirement from politics in 1975, Grossman was named chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in 1976, resigning from that post in 1985. He also served as president of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Canada, president of the Toronto Lodge, B'nai B'rith, and served on the boards of several charities.
In 1985, a biography of Grossman was published, Unlikely Tory: The Life and Politics of Allan Grossman by Peter Oliver.
He died in Toronto on 1 September 1991.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of material created and/or accumulated by Allan Grossman that documents his personal life and political career. It includes pins, buttons and membership cards related to his association with the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, scrapbooks and clippings that document his work as a Member of Provincial Parliament and testimonials from numerous friends and colleagues regarding his public service.
Included are numerous photographs that document his personal life including photographs of travel and vacations with friends and family. There are also numerous photographs of his political career including his trade mission to China in 1972.
Also included are the Province of Ontario Letters Patent incorporating the Junior Conservative Association of Ontario, a poster entitled "General rules and orders to be observed and obeyed by the prisoners in the gaol of the United Counties of York and Peel," 1905, and a panoramic photograph of the group of individuals attending the Conservative Forum held at Trinity College, Port Hope, Ontario, 1942.
For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:
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Associated material can be found in the Allan Grossman fonds housed at the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University.
Related material at the Archives of Ontario:
Moving image records of some of Grossman's accomplishments can be found in RG 9-138 Government events and announcements on film. Similarly, photographs of some of his work can be found in RG 65-35-1 Tourism promotion photographs - black and white negatives and prints.
Records of his work as the General Manager of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario can be found in RG 41; records of his work as a cabinet minister can be found among records series related to the Department of Trade and Development , the Department of Correctional Services and the Department of Reform Institutions, respectively.