In the good old days, many TORONTO children had the run of the streets. A new exhibition from the vast photography collection of our city’s archives captures the kids at work and play in a growing, dirty and dangerous city. Photographers found them in laneways, backyards, behind houses, on construction sites, sitting on stoops and staircases.
For immigrant children in The Ward, TORONTO’s downtown slum, the street was where they played, watched and wondered. Here they were masters of their own destiny. The Archive’s exhibition focuses mainly on this neighbourhood – officially known as St. John’s Ward – between 1909 and 1918.
The Ward became the site of early health and hygiene planning and slum clearance. The Playground Movement in Canada began in the early 1900’s. TORONTO’s Cherry Street Playground opened in 1909, St. Andrew’s and Elizabeth Street playgrounds in 1913. A department of social work was established in 1914 at the University of Toronto.
The Archives and exhibition are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm. There’s plenty of free on-site parking.
The City of TORONTO Archives occupies an impressive building at 255 Spadina Road. While there you can see the stacks through a glass window – boxes and boxes of our city’s history, and over a million photographs. Website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7cb4ba2ae8b1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD