Transcript: Toronto's 100 Year-old Riot | Sep 12, 2018

Gloria is in her sixties, with short wavy red hair and wears black trousers, a black and white paisley top and a long necklace.

She goes through and old photo album and says I HAVE TRIED TO INDICATE
WHO EVERYBODY IS. THERE'S A
LOT OF PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW.
I DON'T KNOW...

Jeyan says WHEN GLORIA BAZOS'
SISTER-IN-LAW DIED SHE ENDED UP
WITH A BOX OF PHOTOS OF AN
EXTENDED FAMILY SHE NEVER MET
AND SHE'S BEEN CONNECTING THE
DOTS EVER SINCE. THESE BLACK AND
WHITE PHOTOS SHOW TORONTO'S
GREEK COMMUNITY IN THE EARLY
1900s. CHRIS BAZOS, GLORIA'S
FATHER-IN-LAW WAS THE OWNER OF
THE COLONIAL RESTAURANT AT 349
YONGE STREET.
THE DINER WAS AMONG A NUMBER OF
GREEK-OWNED RESTAURANTS IN THE
YONGE AND COLLEGE CORRIDOR.

A caption reads "John Burry. Filmaker, Violent August."

John is in his sixties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears glasses, a striped blue and white shirt and a gray tweed blazer.

He says IT WAS A SMALL COMMUNITY AT
THAT TIME.
APPROXIMATELY 3,000 PEOPLE.
BUT THEY ALL HAD HIGH VISIBILITY
PROFESSIONS.
THEY OWNED ABOUT 35 percent OF THE
RESTAURANTS.
MOST OF THE SHOE-SHINE PARLOURS,
MANY OF THE FRUIT STANDS.
SO THEY WERE HIGH VISIBILITY.

Jeyan says GREECE WAS A NEUTRAL
COUNTRY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR.
AND MANY OF THE YOUNG ELIGIBLE
GREEKS WERE NOT VOLUNTEERING.

Pictures of military men appear.

John says VETERANS RETURNED TO A CITY
VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE THEY
LEFT BEHIND.
THEY CAME BACK.
THEIR FAMILIES WERE SUFFERING
BECAUSE THEY WERE THE CHIEF WAGE
EARNERS.
THE CITY HAD NEW WAVES UP OF
IMMIGRATION.
AND SOME OF THE IMMIGRANTS WERE
NOT SERVING IN THE MILITARY.
SO THERE WAS THAT ELEMENT OF
RESENTMENT AGAINST THE I AM GREY
GRANTS.

Jeyan says WHEN THE RESENTMENT
BOILED OVER, THE GREEK COMMUNITY
FOUND ITSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF A
THREE-DAY LONG RACE RIOT.

An old newspaper article appears with the headline "Nearly 40,000 damage done mobs wreck then restaurants."

Jeyan says ONE OF THE LARGEST IN TORONTO'S
HISTORY. ALL BECAUSE OF WHAT
HAPPENED HERE AT TORONTO'S
WHITE CITY CAFE.

The caption changes to "Christopher Grafos. Historian."

Christopher is in his thirties, with short brown hair and a beard. He wears a white shirt and a blue blazer.

He says ONE NIGHT, CLAUDE CLUDEMAY
WHO WAS A RETURNING WAR VETERAN
INJURED IN WORLD WAR I, WENT TO
THE WHITE CITY CAFE ON YONGE
STREET.
HE HAD HAD AN LITTLE TOO MUCH TO
DRINK SO HE BECAME BELLIGERENT
WITH THE WAIT STAFF.

John says THE WAITERS PROMPTLY PICKED HIM
UP AND THREW HIM OUT.
POLICE ARRESTED HIM.
AND KEPT HIM IN THE DRUNK TANK
FOR THE EVENING.

Christopher says AT THIS POINT, RUMOURS WENT TO
THE OTHER VETERANS AND HIS
FRIENDS BEGAN TO CIRCULATE THAT
THE GREEKS HAD BEATEN HIM SO
BADLY...

John says THAT HE HAD BEEN KILLED.
AND SO THINGS ESCALATED.

Christopher says AND SO THEY MET THE NEXT NIGHT
IN FRONT OF THE WHITE CITY CAFE

John says AND THEY COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED
IT.
THEY WENT INTO THE BACK ROOM AND
JUST DESTROYED EVERYTHING.
AND THAT'S WHERE THE RIOT
STARTED.
BUT IT DIDN'T END THERE.

Jeyan says RIOTERS MARCHED ALONG
YONGE STREET AND AS FAR WEST AS
RONCESVALLES DESTROYING A NUMBER
OF GREEK-OWNED RESTAURANTS
INCLUDING THE COLONIAL.

An animated map of Toronto shows the locations of the restaurants destroyed.

Old newspaper articles appear with headlines like "Returned soldiers raid Greek restaurants" and "Police use batons freely in dealing with crowd."

Jeyan says BETWEEN AUGUST 2nd AND THE
5th, A MOB MADE UP OF VETERANS
AND CIVILIANS LOOTED AND
DESTROYED GREEK BUSINESSES.
DAMAGES WERE ESTIMATED WELL INTO
THE THOUSANDS.
CRITICIZED FOR NOT ACTING ON THE
FIRST NIGHT OF THE RIOTS, POLICE
RESPONDED THE FOLLOWING DAY.
AND VIOLENT CLASHES BROKE OUT.
BUT WHEN THE DUST SETTLED, ONLY
A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WERE
ARRESTED OR FINED.

John says THE TWO CARS CARRYING THE
VETERANS AND BUGLERS TURNED
NORTH AT YONGE AND...

Jeyan says THE RIOT WAS THE FOCUS
OF JOHN BURRY'S 2009 DOCUMENTARY
"VIOLENT AUGUST."
IT IS ONE OF THE FEW HISTORICAL
RETELLINGS OF THIS DARK MOMENT
IN TORONTO'S HISTORY.

John says I THINK THE MOST SURPRISING
THING I DISCOVERED WAS HOW
LITTLE ANYONE REALLY KNEW ABOUT
THE EVENT INCLUDING MANY OF THE
SONS OF THE RESTAURANT OWNERS.

The caption changes to "Gloria Bazos. Daughter in law."

Gloria says THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I
LEARNED ABOUT IT AND MY HUSBAND
MAY HAVE HEARD ABOUT IT.
I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT HE SAID.
IT WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE
GREEK COMMUNITY.
THAT THIS EVEN HAPPENED.

Jeyan says JOHN BURRY EVEN
RECEIVED SOME PUSH BACK FROM
SOME MEMBERS OF HIS OWN
COMMUNITY.

John says WHY DO YOU WANT TO BRING ALL
THIS UP AGAIN? THOSE ARE OLD
THINGS THAT HAPPENED.
AND I ASSUMED THAT THEY WERE
EMBARRASSING.

Jeyan says JUST THIS PAST SUMMER,
A PUBLIC COMMEMORATION WAS HELD
AT TORONTO'S NATHAN PHILLIPS
SQUARE TO MARK THE 100th
ANNIVERSARY OF THE RIOT. AND
JUST SOUTH OF CARLTON STREET
ON YONGE MARKS THE ONLY
MEMORIAL THAT PAYS TRIBUTE TO
THE ANTI-GREEK RIOTS.

Christopher says WE HAVE THE DANFORTH WHERE
FAMILIES FROM ALL OVER THE GTA
COME AND THEY ENJOY A GREEK
MEAL.
THEY ENGAGE IN GREEK CULTURE,
THEY CONSUME GREEK CULTURE. AND
SO I THINK THAT THE 1918 ANTI-
GREEK RIOTS WHEN GREEKS WERE NEW
TO THE CITY, IT SHOWS THAT THIS
ACCEPTANCE INTO MAINSTREAM
TORONTO AND MAINSTREAM CANADA
WAS A LONG JOURNEY AND SO WE
CAN'T TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO.

Editor, David Erwin.

A slate appears with the caption "Ontario Hubs are made possible by: The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Toronto's 100 Year-old Riot