Eight amazing archival photos from Toronto’s immigrant past

Eight amazing archival photos from Toronto’s immigrant past

Toronto has always been a destination for immigrants and exiles, from European settlers and escaped American slaves to Syrian refugees and Trump dodgers. Settling in Toronto, an exhibition at the Market Gallery on display from March 25 to July 15, tells the story of new Canadians from all over the globe through video footage, oral histories, historical artifacts, letters and archival photographs. Here, a few of our favourite images from the show.

Photograph courtesy of Library and Archives Canada
Union Station • 1910

Toronto experienced a surge of immigration from eastern and southern Europe just before WWI.

 

BCIT PA-083872 about 1912 Photograph courtesy of Library and Archives Canada
High Park • 1919

This shot of the Chinese-Canadian Boy Scouts was taken just before the government clamped down on Chinese immigration.

 

Item consists of one photograph of Tony Greco and his mother at their fruit and vegetable store, Danforth Fruit, on the southwest corner of Danforth and Logan avenues. Photograph courtesy of City of Toronto Archives
Danforth Avenue • 1930

The Greco family ran an Italian food store on the Danforth. Sample price: 15 cents for a basket of apples.

 

BCIT-Hungarian_refugees_1957-Archives of Ontario. F 1405-19-60, MSR.14500 Photograph courtesy of Archives of Ontario
Location unknown • 1919570

Hungarian immigrants arrived wearing ID tags. The diaspora grew after the country’s 1956 revolution.

 

Slum interior, occupied. See physical survey by the City of Toronto by Civic Survey Commission. Location : SC2 Photograph courtesy of City of Toronto Archives
Terauley Street lodging house • 1913

Six Polish men shared this room in the Ward, a densely populated immigrant neighbourhood along the Yonge-University corridor between College and Queen.

 

BCIT-s0372_ss0052_it0457 Photograph courtesy of City of Toronto Archives
O’Neil playground • 1914

European children practised folk dances in public playgrounds to preserve their culture.

 

TORONTO, ON: Caribana 67 got off to a swinging send-off from Varsity Stadium with a mile-long carnival procession. (Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) Photograph by Getty Images
Varsity Stadium • 1967

Toronto’s Caribbean community created the first Caribana parade as a gift to Canada for its centennial year.

 

BCIT-Mandolin orch about 1923 AO-F1405-50-21-13 Photography courtesy of Archives of Ontario
Ukrainian Labour Temple Association • circa 1924

A group of Ukrainian children in a mandolin orchestra pose for a class photo.