The 2015 Canadian Federal election saw the highest voter turn-out since 1993, with 17,546,697 Canadians casting ballots.

For many people living in Canada, however, voting is not an option.  Despite contributing to their communities in a number of meaningful ways, those living in Canada without full citizenship are not able to vote in elections at any level of government. In Toronto alone, that includes 75,821 permanent residents. Across Canada, there are 396,202 international students who cannot vote.

“…But I still can’t vote” features international students from the University of Toronto, and the contributions they have made to civic and campus life. Their words and experiences demonstrate the frustration of not being able to participate to the fullest extent in Canada’s democracy, but also the variety and richness of civic contributions beyond voting.


Mary Githumbi

Jasmine Gui

Chizoba Imoka

Tamanna Karim 

Lydia Li

Tyra Yah

Curatorial team

Danielle Thibodeau

Jenifer Newcombe

Online exhibition

Gracia Dyer Jalea

Graphic Designer

Orvis Starkweather

Special thanks to:

Cynthia Nevins

Virginia Ise

Talking Walls would also like to thank the Centre for International Experience at the University of Toronto, for their assistance in reaching out to potential participants.

“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.”

John Monahan
Warden, Hart House

This exhibition was made possible by:

Toronto Ward Museum logo