Cabbagetown resident, Sally Gibson has just published, The Distillery District: History by the Lake
Collections: Newspapers

Guide to the
John Campey "7 News" collection

Prepared by Kelli Babcock
Revised: March 5, 2012
For research inquiries please contact:

The John Campey "7 News" collection

Dates of creation:

ca. 1970-1993.


ca. 370 newspapers.
ca. 550 paper records: advertisements, drawings and other memorabilia.
ca. 550 photographic records: b&w prints, photostats and negatives.

Administrative history:

7 News was established in 1970 by a community group in Toronto’s Ward 7 region. Ward 7 lies within the boundaries of the streets of Sherbourne, Logan, Bloor-Danforth and Lakeshore in Toronto’s East End. The creation of the newspaper was championed by Ward 7 aldermen (councillors), Karl Jaffary and John Sewell, who were elected in 1969. The purpose of the newspaper was to represent and promote the interests, activities and lives of residents of the Ward 7 community. The first issue of 7 News was published on May 29th of 1970. The newspaper was incorporated in 1972 and its constitution was developed in 1973.

The newspaper went through two name changes during its publication run. It was first known as 7 News (1970-1983), then Seven News (1983-1985) and, finally, Cabbagetown-Riverdale News (1985-1995).

A group of board members formed the administrative body of the newspaper. The board consisted of elected individuals from the community as well as an editor and volunteers. Through fundraising and grants, 7 News employed various staff members over the course of its publication run. The 7 News office was originally based at 80 Winchester Street and the paper was usually published on a bi-weekly basis.

Throughout its history, 7 News faced financial difficulties. After only a year in print, the paper halted publication at the end of 1970 due to financial struggles. The community rallied to revive the newspaper and it also received a grant from the Christian Resource Centre (CRC). With renewed funding, Norm Browne was appointed editor and the paper began publication again. In 1976, Browne was let go from the paper as government grants ran out. Browne was replaced by Ulli Diemer, who remained editor until 1982. The paper was supported by a number of volunteer journalists and photographers. It gained revenue from advertisements, fundraisers and lotteries that the newspaper promoted. In 1983 the newspaper found itself with no editor (Ulli Diemer resigned as editor in 1982) and no funding. John Campey stepped in to fill the role of editor. He fought to continue production of 7 News, then known as Seven News, into the 1990s and eventually renamed the newspaper Cabbagetown-Riverdale News.

Other individuals from the Ward 7 community who participated in the production of 7 News included: Carolyn Barber; Dorothy Bushey; Thom Corbett; Ralph Cunningham; Cherry Hassard; Savio Lam; David McLaren; John Piper; David Ruppel; George Rust-D'Eye; Rhonda Sussman; Margaret Watson and many others. A number of community organizations also participated in the publication of the newspaper, such as the Bain Apartments Co-operative and the East Toronto Training Centre.

Copy for 7 News was received from community organizations and groups as well as community centres such as Dixon Hall, 519 Church Street, Ralph Thornton Centre and Woodgreen. Staff and volunteer reporters and photographers also submitted content that would be edited and proofed.

The newspaper ceased publication in the mid-1990s.

Scope and Content:

The collection covers the years of approximately 1970 to 1993 and contains records related to the output, history, design and production of 7 News newspaper as collected by John Campey. Records include newspapers spanning the years 1970 to 1992, as well as other textual and photographic records related to the production of the newspaper. The newspapers themselves offer a richly detailed history of Ward 7 and include sections such as Speaking Out; Letters; Community Calendar; Close Up; City Arts and Classifieds. There are many photographs depicting Ward 7 throughout the years within the newspapers, as well as cartoons that offer insight into the political and social mindset of the paper. Textual and photographic records contained within the collection are primarily from the latter era of the newspaper, after Campey became editor, and include advertisements, drawings, photographs and other memorabilia that were used for the design and production of 7 News.

Custodial History:

During his time as the editor and, eventually, owner of 7 News/Cabbagetown-Riverdale News, John Campey collected items related to the creation and publication of the newspaper. The Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum (CRPM) acquired the John Campey “7 News” collection in December of 2009.

The material was accessioned and processed by Gabriele Cole along with a number of CRPM volunteers in August of 2010. There are a total of 1470 records within the collection and accession numbers run from 2009.07.01a to 2009.07.1470. Composite items have letters at the end of accession numbers to identify pieces (i.e. 2009.07.01a, 2009.07.01b, etc.). Gabriele Cole digitized items 2009.07.01 to 2009.07.1120 and uploaded these to the Artefacts Canada database. In 2011, Kelli Babcock and Jessica Geik continued the digitization process and assessed the organization of the collection. Appraisal, cataloguing and digitizing of the fonds is ongoing as of February 2012.


Source of title proper:
Title based on contents of the collection.

Physical condition:
Items within the collection range from good condition to poor condition. A number of newspapers and photographs are very faded, torn and ripped. Many photographs are overexposed and damaged.


Restrictions on Access:
Access to the collection is open.

Terms governing use and reproduction/publication:
Various copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission to publish any part of the collection.


Ulli Diemer's "Seven News" website

Search the Collection through Artefacts Canada

To view digitized images of the John Campey "7 News" collection:
  1. Go to the Artefacts Canada website.
  2. Click on the "Advanced Search" link, in blue text.
  3. Under the "Where" tab select "Institution" and then select "All Words". Type in "Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum". This will ensure you are only searching through items from the CRPM collection.
  4. Under the "What" tab you can search by Accession Number (such as 2009.01a or 2009.07.1234), Name of Object (such as "7 News" or "Seven News" or "Cabbagetown-Riverdale News"), or Description. Note that the accession numbers for the newspapers within the collection run from 2009.07.1080 through 2009.07.1470. When searching by Description you will be searching the headlines of the newspapers, and can type in subjects such as "boxing", or names of individuals such as "Sewell" to find pertinent research material. Through the Description seach capabilities you can also search the sections of the newspaper, such as "Community Calendar" or "News Round-up".
  5. Unfortunately, Artefacts Canada resizes the images to fit their pages. To read the text of the newspapers you must zoom in on your browser window. To do this, depending on your browser, click "View" and then "Zoom".
  6. Please contact: with any search questions or research requests.