Long time NYHS member and Gibson House Volunteer. She and her husband, Louis (1924-2012), lived in Willowdale for over 50 years. She worked for many years as a school librarian at Drewry Avenue Public School, helped organize Scholastic Book Fairs, and wrote numerous reviews of children’s books for library journals. In the 1970s, she started a second career as a freelance journalist. Later, she published The Complete House Detective chronicling the history of their Willowdale home, built in 1834 by pioneer Elihu Pease; Dundurn Castle, a National Historic Site, Hamilton, Ontario, and The Time Detectives, an introduction to Canadian archaeology for young people.
In 1972, they purchased and restored a log house near Lakefield, Ontario and started another career as part-time farmers, raising Highland Cattle for over a decade. They also travelled extensively in Peru, Senegal and China, where Louis volunteered for Canadian Executive Services Overseas. Donnie continued her writing career, contributing letters to CBC radio’s Morningside. She was an active volunteer in many organizations: The North York Historical Society, the Ontario Heritage Trust, the Ontario Archaeology Society, the William Morris Society of Canada and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
Originally published in the July-September 2016 North York Historical Society Newsletter