IN THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’ TORONTO’S CHILDREN HAD THE RUN OF THE STREETS

In a growing, dirty and dangerous city, children created their own playgrounds. Photographers found them in laneways, backyards, behind houses, on construction sites, sitting on stoops and staircases and playing chicken with streetcars.

For immigrant children in The Ward (officially known as St. John’s Ward), TORONTO’s downtown slum, the street was where they played, watched and wandered. Here they were masters of their own destiny.

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 Ward became the site of early health and hygiene planning and slum clearance.  PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives – Website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7cb4ba2ae8b1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

<PHOTO ABOVE – a modern playground in newly renovated GRANGE PARK, behind the Art Gallery of Ontario.>

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