Bruce, Charles Tory

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Bruce, Charles Tory

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Dates of existence

1906 - 1971


Charles Tory Bruce was a highly regarded Canadian journalist, poet and writer born in Port Shoreham, Nova Scotia, on 11 May 1906. His parents, William Henry and Sarah Tory Bruce, both traced their ancestry to late-18th-century settlers.

Bruce graduated in 1927 from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, where he served as editor of the campus newspaper, Argosy. After graduation he privately published his first book of poetry, Wild Apples, and was hired as a journalist for the Halifax Chronicle. Within a year he moved to the Canadian Press news bureau and in 1929 married Agnes King, with whom he had four children; his son, Harry Bruce, also became a successful writer.

Shortly after his second book of poetry was published, Tomorrow’s Tide (1932), Bruce relocated to Toronto with the Canadian Press, where he worked as an editor, war correspondent and, ultimately, as general superintendent, until his retirement in 1963. His wartime experiences are believed to have deeply influenced his personal life and his writing. His poetry publications include Personal Note (1941), Grey Ship Moving (1945) and The Flowing Summer (1947). His poetry also appeared in magazines such as Harper's, Saturday Night, Canadian Poetry and The Saturday Evening Post.

Bruce’s The Mulgrave Road received the 1951 Governor General’s award for English-language poetry or drama, and in 1952 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater, Mount Allison University. He wrote one novel, The Channel Shore (1954), followed by a collection of linked short stories, The Township of Time (1959), both of which were republished in the 1980s.

Bruce’s final writing project was a history of the Southam family and their business empire, News and the Southams (1968). He died in 1971 in Toronto.


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The Song Fishermen ([ca. 1928-1930])

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[ca. 1920] - 1930

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Charles Bruce was a regular contributor to The Song Fishermen's Song Sheet and the author of the group's third illustrated broadsheet.

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