Toronto Police War Veterans Association was formed in 1922 by members of the Force who returned to the job after serving in World War One as well as those who joined from ‘civvy street’ after the war.
We have a poem written by a woman spectator at a Police Church Parade held in 1927 referring to them as marching by in fours.It is quite possible there were members of the Force who had service in the Boer War as well.
More recently, the War Vets during World War Two sponsored the Policeman’s Ball (held at the Royal York Hotel) to raise funds to help with British Children displaced by the War. The Ball continued to be held until 2008 and raised thousands of dollars which were donated to a variety of charities in the city, with the main recipients being the various missions who tend to the homeless and of course the main recipient, Sunnybrook Hospital K Wing. Two of the larger donations went to set up funds at Variety Village and the War Amps Champs program.
The name of the association was changed in 1968 to the METROPOLITAN TORONTO POLICE WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION – at that time, the members of the police services of the Municipalities in the Toronto area were amalgamated into one police service and the War Veterans of all of the Municipalities formed the new Association.
A memorial plaque in the lobby at Police Headquarters acknowledges the service and sacrifice of police officers who took leave from the job to serve in both World Wars and an additional plaque pays tribute to all veterans from the other members of the 12 area municipalities that joined to form the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force.
Our colours are displayed by the plaque and each Remembrance Day a service is held at that locations with wreaths being laid in memory of the fallen.
In 2009 the Charter of the Metropolitan Police War Veterans Association was surrendered and the Toronto Police Military Veterans Association was formed.The new association recognized that while World War Two and Korean War Veterans are passing on, unfortunately, a new group of serving and retired Police Officer are now veterans of armed conflicts either with Past service in Military Units, United Nations Peace Keeping Operations or service in Reserve Units with postings to areas of conflict such as Afghanistan.
Along with the new name, new colours have been designed and it is the intention to retire the original colours in the lobby of museum at police headquarters.
NOTE: This is the sketchy outline of one person’s recollection -- if you are in possession of any memorabilia, pictures, membership lists, etc. pertaining to the War Vets please contact us - a little late in putting together a history - but better late than never.
Dana Gidlow, President