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First Miss Canada Winner in 1946 was from North York

Marion Saver received $2,000 worth of merchandise, writes Susan Goldenberg

Drum roll, please. On July 4, 1946, at the inaugural Miss Canada beauty pageant, the winner, defeating 58 other contestants, was lovely North Yorker Marion Saver, 21, who credited her victory largely to the rabbit’s foot lucky charm she had held. Three years earlier, she had been chosen Miss Toronto.

The event, solely a swimsuit contest, was begun as part of Hamilton, Ontario’s centenary celebrations that year and was held in Hamilton’s Scott Park, attracting 7,000 spectators.

Marion lived on Patricia Avenue, running off Yonge Street north of Cummer in Newtonbrook in central North York, and had attended Newtonbrook Public School and Earl Haig Collegiate (now called Earl Haig Secondary). She sold cosmetics at the Robert Simpson Ltd. department store downtown.

The Star wrote: “She has grey-blue eyes, light brown hair, an infectious smile, white matching teeth and plenty of personality.” Marion told reporters, “I wouldn’t have been here except for my mother telling me I should enter.”

Her mother said, “She likes to skate, ski, swim, and play basketball.” She was a student pilot.

She received $2,000 worth of merchandise, including a set of flat silver cutlery, which The Star reported “was later stolen, recovered by police as it was being taken out of the park.” Marion also won a trip to Hollywood and a screen test.

She went on a publicity tour to Ottawa, Montreal, New York, and Washington, leaving an invitation at the White House for President Harry S. Truman to attend the International Air Show (Canada) Aug. 30 to Sept. 7 in Toronto. He didn’t attend. Her mother encouraged her to compete in September’s Miss America Pageant, but she hesitated, concerned that she might not do well in its talent contest. By the time she decided to participate, the pageant had stopped accepting entries.

Shortly afterwards she married. She had three children. The family lived in Richmond Hill.

This article originally appeared in Toronto.com on February 28, 2022