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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 01-004


Peter Gzowski fonds. Additions. -- 1986-1999. -- .8 m of textual records and other materials.

Biography / History

Peter Gzowski was born July 13, 1934 in Toronto but grew up in Galt, Ontario. His great-grandfather was engineer Sir Casimir Gzowski. He was educated at Ridley College in St. Catharines and the University of Toronto. During his time at the University of Toronto he edited the University's newspaper "The Varsity". He has worked for town newspapers in Timmins, Moose Jaw and Chatham. He became managing editor of Maclean's Magazine in 1962. In 1971 he worked for CBC's "This Country in the Morning" for three years. After this he hosted a radio show called "Gzowski on FM". Peter entered national late night television by hosting a show called "90 Minutes Live" from 1976 to 1978. In 1982 he started hosting CBC's "Morningside" radio show. He has written three books: "Spring Tonic" in 1979, "The Sacrament" in 1980 and "The Game of Our Lives" in 1981. He is the father of five children. (Taken from: "The Canadian Encyclopedia" Vol. 2. 1988 and "CBC Biographies".) In 1974, 1983 and 1985 Peter won ACTRA awards for best host-interviewer on radio. He has also won three National Magazine Awards one of which was in 1981 for his profile on Wayne Gretzky. In 1986 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Companion in 1999. Trent honoured him with an honorary doctor of laws degree October 31, 1988. He had an honorary doctor of letters from the University of New Brunswick. (Taken from: "Trent Fortnightly." Vol. 18, No. 3, 1987.) Gzowski served as Trent's eighth Chancellor from 1999 until his death in 2002 from chronic pulmonary obstructive disease.

Custodial History

This fonds was created by and in the custody of Peter Gzowski before it was donated to Trent University Archives in June 2001.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of letters written to Peter Gzowski in his role as broadcaster for CBC's "Morningside" show. The hundreds of letters include such subjects as literacy, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and Edith Babb. Also included are contracts, correspondence, notes, and memos relating to Peter Gzowski's career with CBC; records relating to Gzowski's association with the "Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf for Literacy" tournament; Gzowski's association with Ridley College, and Trent University (Margaret Laurence tribute, Timothy Findley conference, chancellorship); and greeting cards, personal calendars, photographs, family genealogical information, and correspondence relating to awards received. The fonds also includes correspondence, partial manuscripts, and notes relating to various books which Gzowski has written.


Title based on the creator of the fonds.

Includes 148 photographs, 11 negatives, 3 drawings, and 7 paintings.

This fonds was donated by Peter Gzowski.

Restrictions: Personal letters may not be quoted without permission of the writer.

Finding aids: Y

Associated material located at the Archives of Ontario and York University Archives.

This fonds along with 95-008, 98-010, and 99-015 is an addition to 92-015.

Artifactual memorabilia has been removed from this fonds.


Box 1


1. "Bulletin Board Stuff", 1986-1987: 8 photographs, drawings, newspaper clippings, cards, envelope of misspellings of "Gzowski", paintings (Note: oversized painting removed to Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 39)

2. "Bulletin Board", 1989-1990: 52 photographs, letters, cards, drawings, newspaper clippings, etc.

3. "Bulletin Board", 1990-1991: 22 photographs (some of Simon Fraser University convocation ceremony), letters, cards, newspaper clippings, etc.

4. "Bulletin Board", 1991-1992: 8 photographs, obituary of Roy M. Gzowski (1890-1910), newspaper clippings, cards, etc.

5. "Peter's Bulletin Board", fall 1992: 1 photograph, newspaper clippings, etc.

6. "Bulletin Board", 1992-1993: notes, cards, etc.

7. "Bulletin Board", 1993-1994: 1 photograph, autographed photograph advertisement by Kurt Browning, etc.

8. "PG Bulletin Board", 1994-1995: 9 photographs, letters from University of Toronto regarding honorary degree, cards, etc.

9. "PG Bulletin Board", 1995-1996: 2 photographs, coloured print of "Lieut-Col. Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski (Peter's forebear)", photocopy of letter from Robertson Davies to Peter Feniak regarding Gzowski (1978), etc.

10. Appointment books, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991

11. Calendars, appointment book, 1991, 1992 (3), 1994, 1995, 1996

12. Greeting cards and letters (mostly "get well" from 1996)

13. as above

14. Photographs: 10 photographs, 11 negatives (includes photographs of Gzowski, George Fox)

15. Biographical material, 1996-1999

16. Awards, 1996-1999 (includes Order of Canada promotion, 1998, honorary degrees, etc.)

17. Gzowski family genealogy (information mostly provided through letters from "Morningside" listeners ; 5 photographs)

18. Personal, miscellaneous: donations, nomination of Robert Munsch to Order of Canada, 1996-1999

19: Gzowski's 61st birthday: surprise book proposal by Susan Musgrave, 1994

20: Trent University: correspondence re Margaret Laurence tribute, 1987; Timothy Findley conference, 1995; chancellorship, 1999, etc.

21. Gzowski promotion programmes relating to speaking engagements; letters of invitation to speak at conferences, or give lectures, 1998-1999

22. Speeches: Ridley College, 1988; Canadian Women's Shelter, 1996; speech schedule

23. Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf for Literacy: brochures, correspondence, etc., 1992-1999

24. PGI, The North, 1992

25. PGI, NWT, 1993-1994

26. PGI, NWT, 1995

27. PGI, golf speeches

Loose in box: plaque re 2003 PGI Golf Tournament (added in Sept. 2005.)

Box 2


1. Huron Carole Benefit Concert Tour (Note: Toronto concert hosted by Gzowski, 1996)

2. Gzowski "misspellings"

3. "Morningside" & CBC: internal correspondence, memos, contracts, notes, etc., 1987-1997

4. "Gzowski in Conversation", schedule, advertisement, 1998

5. McClelland & Stewart Inc.: correspondence, book tour schedules, contracts, etc., 1986-1993 (includes materials relating to Gzowski's "Canadian Living")

6. Letter from Gzowski to Doug Gibson re ideas for a book on Wayne Gretzky, 1988

7. "A Sense of Tradition: A Century of Ridley College Memories, 1889-1989": correspondence, research material, proofs, etc., 1987 (edited by Gzowski; introduction written by Gzowski)

8. "Fifth Morningside Papers", 1994: contract, permission letters, publicity tour schedule, cover art, sections of manuscripts, 1 photograph

9. "The Morningside Years", 1997: promotional material, book tour schedule, correspondence, 5 photographs

Box 3


1. Various partial manuscripts written by Gzowski

2. Stephen Leacock's manuscripts (photocopies of)

(Note: sent to Gzowski from Hedge Road Press, 1988)

Materials added to Box 3, received from the Communications Department, Trent University, March 21, 2002: materials related to the Peter Gzowski Tribute, February 12, 2002: 1 VHS videocassette, 1 audiocassette, 2 mini audiocassettes, 9 compact discs (Please note that these materials are subject to copyright)

Materials added to Box 3 & 3a, received from the Administration Office, Trent University, July 19, 2002: materials related to the Peter Gzowski Tribute, February 12, 2002: condolence messages received on Trent website, video tape called "Peter Gzowski: The Writer on the Radio", final version of fax-out and poster for memorial, copies of pamphlet for memorial tribute, condolence message book read out by actors, stage directions, Trent Magazine and Mcleans issues re Gzowski, newspaper clippings, photographs of Gzowski

Materials added to Box 3a, received from the Alumni Office, Trent University, August 29, 2006: one folder of Peter Gzowski condolence messages sent by email to the Communications Department, Trent University, January - February, 2002

Box 4

Folders 1-13: Letters from "Morningside" listeners & "Gzowski in Conversation" viewers; letters re Gzowski's involvement with literacy in Canada

(Note: the materials in Folders 1-13 were received unsorted; they have been sorted by Archives staff, by year)

1. 1987-1989 (includes 1 photograph)

2. 1990 (includes 1 photograph)

3. 1991

4. 1992 (includes 3 photographs)

5. 1993

6. 1994

7. 1995

8. 1996

9. 1997

10. 1998 (includes 1 photograph)

11. 1998

12. 1999

13. undated (includes 3 photographs)

14. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, 1989 (original folder heading: "Foreign forms sent - possible letter writers 1989")

15. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, 1989-1990 (original folder heading: "Foreign - ROA 1989-90") Note: ROA = read on air

16. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, 1991-1994 (original folder heading: "Foreign - Yes")

17. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, plus Gzowski's replies, 1992-1993 (includes 2 photographs) (original folder heading: "PG reply, done")

18. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, 1992-1993 (includes 2 photographs) (original folder heading: "PG Reply")

19. "Morningside": correspondence from listeners, 1996 (includes 1 photograph) (original folder heading: "Nice Thanks")

20. "Morningside": letters from Mary Grant re her son, Regan's, battle with AIDS, 1991-1992

21. "Morningside": letters & papers from Rev. Christopher White, 1992

22. "Morningside": letters from Dennis Kaye re ALS benefit art auction, 1992

23. "Morningside": letters re Edith Babb, 1995

24. "Morningside": Jean Chretien interview transcript; correspondence from listeners re interview, 1995

25. Gzowski's responses to "Morningside" listeners, n.d.

Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 39: 14 outsized items including drawings, paintings, greeting cards, etc.

Box 4

"Peter Gzowski: 'Mr. Canada's' Year as Varsity Editor," University of Toronto Magazine, Summer 2002

CBC radioONE audiocassette: Re: Peter Gzowski, 18 Oct 04, Shelagh Rogers