The New Old Country
Ukrainian tastes and traditions in Toronto through the decades
▲ 1930: Members of a Ukrainian choir prepare to perform in Toronto. The city’s Ukrainian associations, clubs and benefit societies date back to 1906.
▲ 1954: Ukrainians congregated in a handful of west-end neighbourhoods—the Junction, Queen and Bathurst, Roncesvalles—before settling in Bloor West Village, which remains the heart of the community.
▲ 1969: Maria Hlushko, 22, wins the Miss Canada title at Toronto’s Metro International Caravan. The festival, founded by Ukrainian-Canadian Leon Kossar in 1964, celebrated immigrant culture in the city.
▲ 1975: A high-flying Ukrainian dance ensemble at the Metro International Caravan, which ran until 2004.
▲ 1981: Prominent Ukrainian-Canadians Marge Hunchik, Sophia Romanko and Michael Mutzk gather next to a statue of artist and poet Taras Shevchenko in Oakville to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Ukrainians’ arrival in Canada. It all started when two young farmers came over in 1891 in search of free, fertile land. Their messages home led to the migration of many more Ukrainians.
▲ 1984: Steve Mociak tends to the sausages at his popular deli, Durie Meat Products, one of many Ukrainian-owned shops that dotted Bloor West.
▲1986: An eight-year-old girl named Mindy Semkiw celebrates Ukrainian Christmas in Toronto with the season’s must-have gift, a Cabbage Patch Kids doll.
▲1989: The Runnymede Theatre, also known as the Runny, opened in 1927 and played an integral role in the social life of Bloor West Village for decades. Today, the building is a Shoppers Drug Mart.
▲1994: Four children decorating pysansky, traditional Ukrainian eggs, during the Easter weekend.