Tag Archives: Toronto

History Slam 208: The Story of Yonge St, a City’s Transformation, & The Heart of Toronto

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/History-Slam-208.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham If you’ve visited Toronto for any length of time, you’ve probably found yourself on Yonge St. Starting on the shores of Lake Ontario, the street includes theatres, the Eaton Centre, the Air Canada Centre, and one of the city’s subway lines. Every day, thousands of people head to the street to… Read more »

Visiting and Recognizing the Past: Toronto’s 1919-1920 Smallpox Outbreak

Alt text: A crowd dressed in hats and coats fills a city street. There are banners with the following text: “Stop the slaughter of the innocents! Protest against compulsory vaccination” and “Compulsory vaccination German born – down with compulsion!!”

Sara Wilmshurst A few years ago, on this very site, I published an article about combatting vaccine resistance with historical education. Surely, I thought, if people understood how devastating preventable diseases could be, everyone would be eager to roll up a sleeve and be jabbed. Such is the pain of living through historic times. At least I learned something. Like… Read more »

Food First, Then Archives: Precarity and Community Memory

This post by Lilian Radovac and Simon Vickers is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. Alternative Toronto is a DIY digital archive and exhibition space that documents the history of alternative communities in the Greater Toronto Area from 1980 to 1999. As archive director and volunteer coordinator for Alternative… Read more »

The Real Estate State and Housing Insecurity in the Time of Covid-19

This post by Max Mishler is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. Toronto, ON, is the beating heart of Canadian finance capitalism. Global investment banks, mining companies, and consultancy firms dominate the downtown corridor and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The city is also home to several professional sports… Read more »

COVID-19 and Warehouse Work: The Making of a Health Crisis in Peel Region

Catherine Carstairs and Ravnit Dhinsa During COVID-19, thanks to e-commerce and video chats, it was possible for many workers to pick up their laptops and set up their office on the kitchen table. This could be stressful, especially for parents who had children at home, but at least these workers were safe from exposure to COVID-19. The essential workers powering… Read more »

History Slam 182: Shelter

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/History-Slam-182-Shelter.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Shelter has its World Premiere tonight as part of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. If you’re in Ontario, you can buy tickets to the virtual screening here. In the decade following the Second World War, the population of Toronto doubled, in large part because of a steady influx of immigrants. By… Read more »

How a Belfast Immigrant to Canada Came to Testify Before the Undercover Policing Inquiry in the UK

Bryan D. Palmer In the summer of 1955, Ernest (Ernie) Tate, a young immigrant from Belfast, wandered into the “Toronto Labour Bookstore” on Yonge Street north of Wellesley. The proprietor of the bookshop was Ross Dowson, a founder of the small Canadian Trotskyist movement. It espoused the ideas of Marx and Lenin, but was critical of the Soviet Union and… Read more »

Sewell and the Septics: The Government Commission that Tried to Give Community Planning Back to Communities

David M. K. Sheinin In early December 2020, former Toronto mayor and federal Progressive Conservative cabinet minister David Crombie resigned as chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Council. Created in 2005, the Council advises the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs on maintaining the Southern Ontario Greenbelt. As the COVID-19 second wave loomed large, Crombie’s announcement won little media play. But the… Read more »

History Slam Episode 169: Jeannie’s Demise

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/History-Slam-169.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Ian Radforth about his new book Jeannie’s Demise: Abortion on Trial in Victorian Toronto, which examines the murder trial following the 1875 death of Jeannie Gilmour, a young woman who had gone to Arthur and Alice Davis to have an abortion. We… Read more »

Remember/Resist/Redraw #25: “We won’t be quiet until we get the Special Diet!”

Earlier this month, the Graphic History Collective released Remember/Resist/Redraw #25. The poster looks at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s successful 2009 struggle to increase access to the Special Diet benefit, an additional $250 for those living on social assistance to purchase food. With art by Rocky Dobey and an essay by John Clarke, the poster highlights the power of poor… Read more »