Our History


  • 1959 – The Toronto chapter is formed as part of the Society of Technical Writers (STW).
  • 1960-1969 – Many of the many members develop documentation for aircraft mechanics, so dinner meetings are held near the airport in Malton.


  • 1971 – The organization changes its name to the Society for Technical Communication (STC).
  • Mid-1970s – The chapter goes dormant, but Director-Sponsor Rennie Charles carries it as an inactive chapter. Among his other accomplishments, Charles starts the Business Communications programme at Ryerson College.


  • Mid-1980s – Ann Rockley presents Rennie Charles with the idea of reviving the community, and calls the first meeting of the new era.The chapter grows quickly; a majority of the members are now computer documentation specialists.One of the first projects is to produce and mail ten newsletters a year.Special interest groups (SIGs) with separate meetings are launched.For several years, an STC Toronto West branch is active, with a greater emphasis on freelancers.The community in Waterloo is developed as a branch by members who live west of Toronto.
  • 1989 – With Ann Rockley as community president, the chatpter hosts a three-day regional conference as a practice session for hosting the international conference.Rennie Charles dies suddenly of a heart attack. The chapter institutes an award to honour him.


  • Education days with concurrent sessions are held, and run for several years. They are led by Roy Hartshorn and his wife, Heather.
  • 1997 – With Michelle Hutchinson as chapter president and about 250 volunteers, the chapter successfully hosts the international conference. It is the largest conference at the time, and the first to issue proceedings on CD, thanks to The Rockely Group.The chapter holds technical illustration and publication contests. Roy Hartshorn designs detailed guidelines for judging and scoring, which are later used internationally.The chapter begins trading publications to be judged by other chapters, to insure impartiality. Award banquets celebrating the winners are held.


  • David Gow organizes a successful awards banquet with Knowlton Nash as the guest speaker.
  • One of the first online documentation contests in North America is begun and organized by Tony Alderson.
  • Carla Salvador and Diane Whitehouse develop the idea of including an Education Day as part of the awards luncheon.
  • The job bank, originally a voice mail system, goes online and quickly attracts new members.
  • Rob Milkovich helps develop the new website.
  • Stan Wilson, Carolyn Watt, and others hold management planning sessions to help guide the community into the future.
  • Internationally, the chapter’s entries win prizes at the international contest.
  • The newsletter wins “best of show” twice, and the chapter also receives achievement awards.
  • Members including Carolyn Watt become founding members of the Canadian Issues SIG and help with chapter planning at the international level.
  • The chapter begins reaching out  to universities and colleges, and contributing to the development of technical communications programmes. Many of our senior members still teach and advise in those programmes.
  • October 17, 2007 – Community President Bernard Aschwanden and Newsletter Editor Andrew Brooke convert our newsletter to a blog format.
  • 2008/2009 – Community President Bernard Aschwanden implements the new “5 & 5” program model: 5 Professional Development Events/5 Socials, with the support of the admin council.He presents the new model model at Leadership Day at the STC Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2009 – As part of the STC Transformation process, the chapter is rebranded as a community.Susan Burton, Executive Director of STC asks Bernard to record his “5&5” session to share with all communities at an international level saying, “I wanted to thank you again for a dynamic presentation which challenges communities to be more proactive and risk taking in programming. The Toronto model looks to a future where communities can be self reliant.
  • May 23, 2009 – The website is completely redesigned and relaunched. Using Google Sites, community President Bernard Aschwanden, Vice President Anna Parker-Richards and Blog Editor Andrew Brooke create the initial site in only one day. The new features and benefits include a much cleaner and simpler interface, the ability to update the site anywhere using an online editor, automatic notification of changes, and a greater focus towards our various readers: people considering technical communication as a career, current technical communicators and companies.
  • June 23, 2009 – Over 60 people attend the Annual General Meeting at the Mandarin restaurant. The meeting includes various presentations, including an overview of how the chapter will be planning for impact, a tour of the new website, an awards ceremony and the plans to expand our foundation.


  • Feb. 26, 2010 – Over 70 people attend our Management Day event.
  • 2011 – The community wins a STC Community of Excellence Award, Andrew Brooke becomes President. Constant Contact is used as our primary email and event marketing tool.
  • 2012 – The website is redesigned again. The community wins the prestigious STC Community of Distinction Award.