Picturing Immigrants in the Ward

Susan Dobson

This exhibition looks at how photography shaped ideas about central and eastern European immigrants in early 20th-century Toronto. The archival photographs on display were produced and circulated by a range of groups, from the press, the municipal government and social service agencies, to immigrants themselves. They represent residents of an area known as the Ward, in ways that are often conflicting, showing how photography played an important role in forming the public perceptions and social identities of immigrants. Juxtaposing historical photographs with new work by contemporary photographer Dobson, the exhibition also reflects on how the Ward district has changed over the last century. Dobsons photographs comment on the economic forces that are driving the current wave of redevelopment.

Curated by Sarah Bassnett and Patrick Mahon.