Howard Grittani in Navy uniform outside family home, Toronto, 1940s
Black and white photograph of Howard Grittani wearing his Naval uniform standing outside his family home on Northcliffe Blvd. in Toronto. His older sister Gloria can be seen standing on the steps outside the home in the background. A bare tree is visible in the front left foreground which would suggest the photograph was either taken in early spring or in the late fall.
Howard Grittani is the son of Giuseppe Grittani, an Italian immigrant who settled in Toronto in 1907. Giuseppe Grittani married Elena on October 23, 1919 and the couple settled at 2 Northcliffe Blvd. where they raised three children, Gloria, Howard and Joe Jr. On June 10, 1940, Grittani was arrested by the RCMP. The family had no idea what had happened to him, but soon realized the serious nature of the situation when the RCMP came to search the family home. He was interned at Camp Petawawa for eight months. Grittani’s internment was a serious blow to his family though they carried on as best as they could. The family's bank account was frozen and Elena was able to continue her husband’s work as an insurance broker. However, this meant taking her son Howard out of school to drive her to appointments and his studies suffered as a result. At some point during the 1940s Howard joined the Canadian Navy despite his father's internment by the Canadian government.