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Toronto high school digs up 100-year-old time capsule
Oct. 18, 2023
Rahim Ladhani

Students at a Toronto high school are getting a lesson in what life was like in the city 100 years ago.

A special ceremony was held on the front lawn of Danforth Collegiate Institute on Tuesday to remove a nearly 100-year-old time capsule.

The time capsule was placed behind a massive exterior stone on June 29, 1922.

Back then the building was known as the Riverdale Branch Technical School, though it didn’t open its doors to students until 1923.

In the end it took bricklayers five hours of jackhammering, followed by intense crowbarring to unearth the 500-pound solid block of cornerstone and slide it over enough to reveal the time capsule underneath.

Principal Bryan Wires was the first to hold capsule and had the honour of opening its contents.

“To finally have it in your hands it’s really exciting and it was really exciting to see how many students showed up,” Wires told CTV News Toronto.

There were more than a dozen items inside the capsule, including daily newspapers, attendance records, and a labour directory.

Another prized treasure that was discovered was Canada’s 50th anniversary coin, which was donated by a school custodian.

“It was kind of emotional but a feeling of happiness too” Ron Passmore, an alumni and member of the school’s tech society, said. “I was really surprised. After all that time I thought there would be mold and who knows what but they (the items) were in super condition.”

Danforth Collegiate Institute is now going to document all of the artifacts before putting them back into the capsule and sealing the cornerstone again.

The school has also scheduled a centennial anniversary event on Oct. 28.

Meanwhile, the students are working on creating another time capsule for students in the next century.

“We’re going to put some stuff that a regular teenager in high school would use on a daily basis whether it be a cellphone or merchandise and yearbooks and stuff like that,” Vice-president of Danforth Collegiate Institute’s student council Farill Arad told CTV News Toronto.

The new student capsule will be stored inside the school for safe keeping and easier access, a century from now.