TORONTO WARD MUSEUM
FILLING A GAP IN TORONTO’S HERITAGE SECTOR
Toronto is home to 20 per cent of Canada’s immigrants. Almost half of Toronto’s population was born outside of Canada and over 180 languages and dialects are spoken throughout the city. As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, immigration has been integral to Toronto’s past and present.
While a number of organizations in Toronto have done much work to preserve and document this history, Toronto currently does not have a go-to destination where the public can discover and interact with this wealth of stories. The city needs a cultural institution that strengthens our understanding of immigration history through innovation in interpretation and public engagement. Working with our partners, the Toronto Ward Museum will bring the city’s untold history to life, and engage visitors and locals alike in a conversation about pluralism and what it means for our communities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TRADITIONAL LANDSharing stories is at the foundation of TWM’s mission. As we encourage newcomers to Canada to share their stories of immigration, we also encourage them to hear and respond to the stories of Canada’s First Nations. That story begins at least 15,000 years ago on the territory where we all now live—lands that are traditional territories of the peoples of Turtle Island. The lands that are now Toronto are the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The TWM is grateful to live and work with them and with newcomers on this territory. Living on this territory makes all people in Toronto treaty peoples, including those who come as settlers, or immigrants of this generation or earlier generations, including those brought involuntarily as a result of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. For more information, please visit the City of Toronto’s Indigenous Affairs Office and the Tkaronto Indigenous Peoples Portal (TIPP).
The Toronto Ward Museum is unlike any other museum, a community based, participatory organization that gives a platform to residents of Toronto to tell their stories. Donate today.
WORDS OF SUPPORT FOR TWM
Kapisanan believes in safe spaces that serve to encourage and empower our youth to explore their identity and realize their full potential, so we are delighted to collaborate with the Toronto Ward Museum in not only the preservation but celebration of Toronto’s rich narrative history. We are thrilled at the prospect of sharing and contributing our own distinctive cultural heritage to the complex and multifaceted tapestry of our city.
If Pier 21 was an immigration gateway Toronto, and the Ward in particular, was a destination. The staff and volunteers at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 look forward to partnering with the Ward Museum to tell “the rest of the story” in innovative ways that bring historic and contemporary migration stories together.
The Toronto Ward Museum is an innovative and interactive cultural and educative program that will recognize the roots of Toronto’s rich immigrant history and merge it with current and future immigrant experiences and contributions to our great city.
The Toronto Ward Museum stands apart from previous attempts as it places immigrant communities at the very centre of its creation and programming. It is both a necessary and ground-breaking addition to Toronto's rich cultural landscape. OCASI looks forward to championing an initiative like the Toronto Ward Museum, as it will highlight the multiple histories of immigration and ethnic communities in Toronto.
Heritage Toronto is excited to partner with Toronto Ward Museum and to tell the stories of the people, places, and events that shaped The Ward and the diversity of our city.
Hart House is pleased to be a supporting partner of the Toronto Ward Museum. Our exhibit, “…but I still can’t vote” gives voice to an “outsider” population who have greatly contributed to building their communities even without full citizenship or the right to vote. The mission of the Toronto Ward Museum is the perfect fit for our exhibit and for Hart House’s ongoing commitment to serving as a forum where students of the University of Toronto and other members of the community can learn from one another through the exchange of different narratives.
Every great city needs a space where the stories of newer immigrants can meet and mingle with the stories of older arrivals, creating a dialogue that allows all to appreciate the long history of everyday struggles and soaring hopes that built Toronto.
Passages Canada is excited to support the Toronto Ward Museum—an initiative that, by telling Toronto’s migration stories, new and old, will spark valuable cross-cultural dialogues and bring to light many untold stories of this increasingly diverse city.
The Ward holds forever a spot in Toronto’s history. Although most of the bricks and mortar that once filled the neighbourhood are long gone, its legacy and stories will endure through initiatives like the Toronto Ward Museum. While Toronto is celebrated and recognized for its diversity, history shows that the path to today’s successes was not without obstacles and hardships. Remembering the past is integral to steering the present and future.
The Ward Museum is an exciting and inspiring initiative which will make Toronto’s history of immigration visible and meaningful for today’s multicultural citizens. The museum’s vision, which is based on a collaborative and inclusive model, speaks to the awareness that well established immigrants and newcomer communities should speak to each other and learn from their diverse experiences. The extremely creative, passionate and knowledgeable team at TWM is building more than a museum, creating a space for dialogue about Toronto’s past, present and future.
The labour of feeding a city falls largely to immigrants: restaurant workers, market vendors, home cooks, and gardeners. By sharing their stories, the Toronto Ward Museum will likewise nourish the soul of a great city.
The Toronto Ward Museum is a long anticipated venture that will educate and inspire Canadians and mobile people worldwide to hear its stories and gather their own. As a new Canadian and a historian of migration, I am eager to learn from its collections and use them in my classes. Kudos and thanks to its dedicated team.
One of the sad things about Toronto is that we continually lose spaces that were once the sites of struggle, joy, livelihood and community created by people who came to the city and worked - often in the shadows - to make it what it is. When we lose the places they created, we also compromise our understanding of the city. Initiatives like the Ward Museum help us to regain those memories and challenge more conventional narratives of immigration and settlement.
Toronto has a rich heritage of immigrants and the foodways they brought with them. Toronto's Ward Museum is helping us all understand how the global table enriches our lives, shapes our city, and represents a key pillar of our economy.
The Toronto Ward Museum is inspired by the power of personal storytelling and focused on engaging newcomers as storytellers. Its approach has the potential to make a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the Toronto immigration experience, and of the city itself.
The Toronto Ward Museum is a much needed project to help connect the city’s past and present. With an outstanding team and a bold vision, this project will surely take its place as one of the most important public history projects in the country.
Art is a powerful way of sharing the experiences and values that shape our identities. When moving to a new country, each and every person has a different story to tell. Art communicates beyond language, fostering a deeper understanding of ourselves and others while allowing the artist to share in the culture and community of their new home.
The Toronto Ward Museum promises to be Canada's response to the internationally renown Tenement Museum in New York City - a place where stories of immigration and urban life are creatively shared with young and old alike. Oral history has the power to make history come alive, making important connections between the past and present.
The structure the Toronto Ward Museum proposes is also uniquely situated to weather the precarious economic realities cultural institutions are facing. The model is highly scalable and adaptive to shifts and changing circumstances. The proposal to partner and embed themselves into existing infrastructure holds the potential to be bring new talent and dynamism into these organizations and build capacity that can be carried into the future.
The Toronto Ward Museum offers our community a unique opportunity to determine how our stories are being told and how our community is being represented. We welcome the opportunity to be part of this amazing project. It is an important initiative for the City.
By sharing the same values and goals, we hope, with the help of the Toronto Ward Museum, to uncover the rich, diverse and complex, but less visible, legacy of our migrant population.
Le Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration (Paris) met en valeur l’histoire de l’immigration en France depuis 150 ans. Il témoigne ainsi de la façon dont les immigrés ont contribué à l’enrichissement de la culture, de l’économie, de la société française. Cette histoire s’inscrit pleinement dans l’histoire de France. Le Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration est heureux de pouvoir échanger avec le Ward Museum de Toronto. Le croisement des échelles nationale et locale sur ces enjeux de sociétés peut être riche d’enseignement.