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Publisher Description

The story of the growth and destruction of Toronto’s first ‘priority neighbourhood.’

From the 1840s until the Second World War, waves of newcomers who migrated to Toronto – Irish, Jewish, Italian, African American and Chinese, among others – landed in ‘The Ward.’ Crammed with rundown housing and immigrant-owned businesses, this area, bordered by College and Queen, University and Yonge streets, was home to bootleggers, Chinese bachelors, workers from the nearby Eaton’s garment factories and hard-working peddlers. But the City considered it a slum, and bulldozed the area in the late 1950s to make way for a new civic square.

The Ward finally tells the diverse stories of this extraordinary and resilient neighbourhood through archival photos and contributions from a wide array of voices, including historians, politicians, architects, story­­tellers, journalists and descendants of Ward residents. Their perspectives on playgrounds, tuberculosis, sex workers, newsies and even bathing bring The Ward to life and, in the process, raise important questions about how contemporary cities handle immigration, poverty and the geography of difference.

Contents & Contributors

Introduction – John Lorinc

Searching for the Old Ward – Shawn Micallef 

No Place Like Home – Howard Akler

Before the Ward: Macaulaytown - Stephen A. Otto 

My Grandmother the Bootlegger - Howard Moscoe 

Against All Odds: The Chinese Laundry – Arlene Chan

V-J Day – Arlene Chan

Merle Foster’s Studio: ‘A Spot Of Enchantment’ - Terry Murray

Missionary Work: The Fight for Jewish Souls – Ellen Scheinberg 

King of the Ward – Myer Siemiatycki 

Where the Rich Went for Vice – Michael Redhill

A Fresh Start: Black Toronto in the 19th Century – Karolyn Smardz Frost

Policing the Lord’s Day – Mariana Valverde

‘The Maniac Chinaman’ - Edward Keenan

Elsie’s Story – Patte Rosebank

Lawren Harris’s Ward Period - Jim Burant 

‘Fool’s Paradise’: Hastings’ Anti-Slum Crusade – John Lorinc

Strange Brew: The Underground Economy of Blind Pigs – Ellen Scheinberg 

The Italian Consulate – Andrea Addario

Excerpt: The Italians in Toronto – Emily P. Weaver

Arthur Goss: Documenting Hardship – Stephen Bulger

Fresh Air: The Fight Against TB – Cathy Crowe

The Stone Yard – Gaetan Heroux

William James: Toronto’s First Photojournalist – Vincenzo Pietropaolo

The Avenue Not Taken – Michael McClelland

Timothy Eaton’s Stern Fortifications – Michael Valpy

Settling In: Central Neighbourhood House – Ratna Omidvar and Ranjit Bhaskar

Toronto’s Girl with the Curls – Ellen Scheinberg

Chinese Cafés: Survival and Danger – Ellen Scheinberg and Paul Yee

Defiance and Divisions: The Great Eaton’s Strike – Ruth A. Frager

Elizabeth Street: What the City Directories Reveal – Denise Balkissoon

Growing Up on Walton Street – Cynthia MacDougall

Revitalizing George Street: The Ward’s Lessons – Alina Chatterjee and Derek Ballantyne

Taking Care of Business in the Ward –  Ellen Scheinberg 

'A Magnificent Dome': The Great University Avenue Synagogue – Jack Lipinsky

Reading the Ward: The Inevitability of Loss – Kim Storey and James Brown

Toronto’s First Little Italy – John Lorinc

The Elizabeth Street Playground, Revisited – Bruce Kidd

Divided Loyalties – Sandra Shaul

Crowded by Any Measure – John Lorinc

A Peddler and His Cart: The Ward’s Rag Trade – Deena Nathanson

Toronto’s Original Tenement: Wineberg Apartments – Richard Dennis

An Untimely Death – Brian Banks

Paper Pushers – Ellen Scheinberg 

The BMR’s Wake-Up Call – Laurie Monsebraaten

Excerpt: Report of the Medical Health Officer ... – Charles J. Hastings

Dr. Clarke's Clinic – Thelma Wheatley

Slum-Free: The Suburban Ideal – Richard Harris

The Glionna Clan and Toronto’s First Little Italy – John E. Zucchi

'The Hipp’ – Michael Posner

Before Yorkville – John Lorinc

Public Baths: Schvitzing on Centre Avenue –  Ellen Scheinberg

Sex Work and the Ward’s Bachelor Society – Elise Chenier

The Health Advocates: McKeown on Hastings – John Lorinc

Remembering Toronto’s First Chinatown – Kristyn Wong-Tam

Tabula Rasa – Mark Kingwell

Unrealized Renewal – J. David Hulchanski

A Short History of the ‘Civic Square’ Expropriation – John Lorinc

Storytelling is Part of the Story – Tatum Taylor

How We Think About What (Little) Survives – Patrick Cummins

Institutional Memory – Scott James & Victor Russell

Alternative Histories – Michael McClelland

Politics & Current Affairs
20 May
Coach House Books
Coach House Books Inc.

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