A City for All
The first immigrants came by boat. If today you stand with the lake behind you, imagine the original shoreline located all the way north of the rail lines. To the east was Dr. Rees' wharf, which served the first immigrants.
When Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe established York (Toronto), the new capital of Upper Canada, in 1793, the seeds of diversity were already planted. The conclusion of the War of 1812 set the stage for Toronto’s evolution into a major economic and cultural centre. By remaining British, Toronto became a destination for British, mainly English, immigrants. This changed dramatically with the arrival of the Irish in 1847, refugees from famine and disease.
Subsequent immigration came in sporadic waves, each providing opportunities for the newcomers and challenges for the city, which in time became inclusive and one of the most multicultural cities on Earth. The sites included in this theme provide a sense of immigrant experiences, including Ireland Park and its story of the 1847 famine, and Kensington Market, at various times home to waves of Jewish, Caribbean, Asian and South American immigrants.
A selection of sites from this theme is laid out in the trail Immigrant Toronto.
A Microcosm of the Canadian Mosaic , 1960
Anti-Greek Riots Rock City , August 02, 1918
433 Yonge Street
Anti-Slavery Lecture Opens Hall , 1851
157 King St. E.
Bathhouse Raids Enrage Gay Community , 1981
Mutual St. and Carlton St.
Bollywood at the Naaz Theatre , 1970
Gerrard St. E. and Ashdale Ave
Byzantium in Toronto! St. Anne’s Anglican Church , 1908
270 Gladstone Ave.
Canada's First Municipal Park , September 11, 1860
City of Churches: St. Michael’s Cathedral , 1848
200 Church St.
Idealistic Experiment in Free-Form Learning , 1975
341 Bloor St. W.
Marching “For Crown and Country and the Reformed Religion” , 1873
College St. and Euclid St.
“Mayor of Little Italy” Opens Supermarket , 1948
College St. and Grace St.
“Poor House” Moves to New Quarters , 1848
87 Elm St.
Refugees from Great Famine Arrive , 1847
Slum Conditions in the Shadow of Old City Hall , 1911
Elizabeth St. and Foster Pl.
Spiritual Beach for Little Malta , 1930
3224 Dundas St. W.
The Changing Church on Cecil Street , 1891
58 Cecil St.
The God that Answereth By Fire , 1928
56 Queen St. E.
The Junction Shul: A Heritage Place of Worship , 1911
56 Maria St.
Tom Longboat: Long-distance Superstar , 1907
Simcoe St. and Wellington St. W.
V-J Celebrations in Chinatown , August 26, 1945
Elizabeth St. and Foster Place
Walking for God and Raising Hell: the Jubilee Riots , October 03, 1875
King Street West and Spadina Avenue
William Peyton Hubbard: Pioneering Black Politician , 1913
Old City Hall