InConversation Podcast

When launched in 2015 the Toronto Ward Museum was Toronto’s first museum of migration. It re-imagined the future and rejected physical buildings and collections.   The Museum’s key to success has been programs and exhibits that are produced in collaboration with community organizations, settlement, arts and governmental agencies, and local universities and it is this co-collaboration that ensures the active involvement of newcomers in ways that foster their collective empowerment.

Through the Toronto Ward Museum InConversation Podcast series, you will hear interviews with some of the Toronto Ward Museum’s past and current staff and volunteer activists and get an insider look at their work and contributions,  hear how the Museum was founded, where the museum got its name from, and how the Toronto Ward Museum works with migrant communities to enrich the lives of all residents across the GTA! You can even get to know some of our interviewees’ favourite foods and cuisines they would recommend anyone to try.


Block by Block is a participatory, multimedia project. Led by youth, Block by Block seeks to engage the public in a dialogue around the impact local communities have in the lives of newcomers. Through this exchange of personal stories, reflections, testimonies and resources we hope to create a better understanding of the role neighbourhoods play in fostering a more inclusive society.

Quartier par Quartier est un projet multimédia participatif. Mené par des jeunes, Quartier par Quartier cherche à engager le public dans un dialogue sur l’impact des communautés locales dans la vie des nouveaux arrivants. À travers ces échanges de récits personnels, de réflexions, de témoignages et de ressources, nous espérons mieux comprendre le rôle que les quartiers peuvent avoir dans l’établissement d’une société plus inclusive.


Journeys to the Frontline is a collaborative online exhibition that shares the stories of seven professionals in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. It is an active collaboration between the Toronto Ward Museum, OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, and the University of Toronto.


Not Just Numbers: Representation in the Canadian Census™ is an interactive game that challenges participants to engage with and reflect on categorization and representation in historic records. Participants discover the story of a historical Canadian by sifting through census entries, photographs, letters, and newspaper articles, and are encouraged to challenge their assumptions along the way.


Dishing Up Toronto Festival 2018: “Beyond Food”
Food is not merely a consumable product, it’s about the hundreds of thousands of people and places that continually keep us well fed and foster communities. Join us for a unique festival series about the food, people, and places contributing to Toronto’s past, present, and future.  All your curiosities and cravings will be satisfied during the Dishing Up Toronto festival as we will meet and eat with some of the City’s oldest, newest, least known, and almost famous contributing to Toronto’s food scape.


Dishing Up Toronto is a food and storytelling program that started in 2016. It is produced in partnership with the Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and focuses on food as a lens through which we can discuss issues of inclusion and exclusion, identity, belonging, food injustice and food insecurity, and invites participants to explore the ways in which our migration, and the migration and choices made by our ancestors have impacted the food that appears on our plates today.


A series of arts-based workshops for newcomers to Toronto. Participants are invited to bring a textile or textile-related memory pertaining to their migration story to the workshops.

Instructed by artist Khadija Aziz, we will explore the powerful ways that textiles capture meaning and memory. We will create our own scarves using block printing techniques. No previous skills required.

We welcome all those with personal histories of migration who identify as newcomers.

Workshop schedule:

March 10, 2018 – 1-4pm

March 17, 2018 – 1-4pm

March 24, 2018 – 1-4pm

Location: Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave., Toronto, ON M5G 2H5

Closest Subway: St. Patrick Station Closest major intersection: University Ave. and Dundas St. W.

Registration is required.

Space is limited.

TTC tokens and food will be provided.

To register, visit:


WHILE PASSOVER’S ORIGINS go back almost 3000 years, its commemoration has continually evolved and adapted based on cross-cultural encounters between Jewish communities and their neighbours in countries around the world. Using the varied experiences of Toronto’s Jewish community as a case study, we hope to explore some of the many ways in which time-honoured cultural traditions undergo transformations due to migration.

At its core, Passover is a story about a community fleeing oppression. Utilizing this narrative as a jumping-off point to explore stories of migration particularly the experiences of refugees and immigrants we hope to engage the public in a contemporary and critical dialogue around migration, displacement, and refugee and immigrant experiences. We will look at experiences as they relate to Torontonians from within and beyond the Jewish community in the hopes of building inter-cultural understanding and solidarity in spite of differences. What are shared experiences of departure, movement, and arrival and what are some differences?


Finding Myself in the Archive features the stories of fifty-four objects – letters, brochures, conference programs, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, maps, menus, textbooks, audio recordings, and even an epergne – from various special collections at the University of Toronto. What brings together these very different historic objects is their connection to migration and movement. At one point in time, many of these objects accompanied people on their journeys across the world, in Canada, and even more locally in Toronto. Others were produced, won and lost by immigrants and migrants, as they moved back and forth, in unexpected pathways; and some were intended to get us to think about immigrant and migrant experiences.


The Ward: Our Living History builds on the work and the relationships formed during the creation of the Picturing the Ward exhibition that was commissioned by Infrastructure Ontario (IO) in 2016 on behalf of the Province of Ontario.  As with the exhibition, this event brings together former Ward residents and their descendants to share, exchange and discuss what it was like to live in St. John’s Ward, which was once one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto. Through storytelling and family photographs uncover aspects of Ward life – experiences that, although rooted in the past, still resonate today. The legacy of this neighbourhood lies not in the buildings that once stood, but lives on in the lives of those who remain to tell their stories.


The Dishing Up Toronto™ Tumblr blog is a digital kitchen table. Visitors are invited to connect their personal experiences of migration and food online. We hope telling stories about food will spark dialogue and encourage migrant-led conversations about issues and topics affecting newcomer communities today. All are welcome to share their story on the blog through the ‘Submit your story’ link at the top of the blog’s website.


Pathways to Toronto is an online exhibition that explores the various factors that have influenced migration to Toronto over the past two centuries. Through the life stories of six individuals the exhibit invites the viewer to contemplate the motivations, journey and settlement of newcomers to the area and asks them to consider the role that policy, community and multiculturalism have played in making Toronto a popular destination for immigrants. 

Launch: September 26, 2016

“… But I Still Can’t Vote”

“But I Still Can’t Vote” explores stories of civic connection and contribution from among the 12,556 International students at the University of Toronto, and their rich contributions to the democratic life of our communities.  Beginning on September 19, 2016, the exhibit will be available online.  Join the conversation and share your stories of civic engagement using the hashtag #StillCantVote.


As part of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s 6 Degrees, the Toronto Ward Museum will host a Ward Walk, led by John Lorinc, co-author and editor of The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood and Gracia Dyer Jalea, Founding Executive Director of the Toronto Ward Museum. Tour goers from 6 Degrees will be invited to discover the historic Ward neighbourhood, Toronto’s first immigrant neighbourhood, through the words and life stories of former Ward residents and their descendants. Storytellers along the way will include: Brian Banks, Mavis Garland, Patte Rosebank, Rosemary Sadlier and Nelson Wong.

The tours will take place: September 21, 2016 departing from the AGO.

Photo credit: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 10073.


Picturing the Ward is a temporary exhibit at the construction site of the New Toronto Courthouse commissioned by the Province of Ontario. It is a collaboration between the STEPS Initiative, the Toronto Ward Museum, and artists PA System and is a mixed media exhibit consisting of commissioned artwork and heritage interpretation in the heart of the historic Ward.