Posts Tagged ‘immigrants’

Myseum of Toronto is a fairly new addition to the cultural fabric of the city.  It is a museum without walls.  It is an organization that helps deliver programming to different locations in the GTA.  Last night, March 6, at City Hall, Myseum of Toronto launched its second annual festival of events and exhibitions.  This festival, Myseum Intersections,  consists of 36 different events and exhibits spread around the city throughout the month of March.   “One Toronto.  Infinite Perspectives” is the motto of this year’s festival.

In keeping with that motto is an exhibit called ‘Cosmopolis Toronto: The World in One City’.   It was showcased at the Myseum Intersections launch party.   A few months ago it was on display at 18 libraries around the city but it has been brought together in one exhibit for the festival.   At the moment it can be seen on the ground floor of City Hall but it will also spend some time at Metro Hall and then end the month at the North York Civic Center.   (schedule at the bottom of the post).

people looking at an exhibit of photos and stories that are printed on upright posters standing on the floor.

“Cosmopolis” consists of a series of portraits and interviews by Colin Boyd Shafer.   The goal was to find a person from every country in the world who now calls Toronto home, hence its tagline “Photographing the world, one Torontonian at a time”.   I am not sure if that goal was attained, but the series is a fascinating look at a very diverse group of people.

Cosmopolis posters on display at City Hall as part of Myseum Intersections festival

Cosmopolis posters of Andrea from the Congo and Nevena from Serbia

Two photos were taken of each person.     The first was a portrait taken in a Toronto location where they felt “at home”.  The second was of an object that they felt connected them to their country of birth.

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

The Cosmopolis website has more information as well as the portraits and stories of many more new Torontonians.

portrait and story about Yosvani from Cuba, a violin player

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries


MARCH 5 – 8 & 13 – 19
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 8:30AM – 4:30PM
City Hall
100 Queen St W, Toronto

MARCH 9 – 12
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Metro Hall
55 John St, Toronto

MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30AM – 9:30PM
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St, Toronto

#myseumTO | #myseumX



By the time of Confederation in 1867, one quarter of the population of Canada were of Irish ancestry.  Although the Irish had been immigrating to what is now Canada for a long time, the Irish famine years of 1845 to 1849 saw an increase in the number of immigrants.  Immigration peaked in the summer of 1847;  boatloads of Irish settlers arrived.  Most were very poor and sick.  They landed in a number of places along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, including Toronto.   Thousands of those Irish immigrants died in Ontario that summer, mostly from typhus (or typhoid fever).

Ireland Park is home to a memorial in honour of those immigrants. It is on the waterfront between Lake Ontario and the old Canada Malting Co. silos.

view of Ireland Park from the waterfront, and looking slightly north east.  A large shape made of limestone is on the left of the photo and a green space is beside it.  The silos of the Canada Malting Company are visible as is part of the Toronto skyline in the distance.

Sections of limestone fit together in a shape that resembles a boat.

Names are engraved on the sides of the limestone sections.  They are placed such that they are in the gaps between the sections.  At first they are not visible.  It is only when you are close to the stone that you can see the names.

Names in black lettering carved into the side of limestone.

675 names are carved in the stone. These are the known names of the 1000 to 1100 people who died shortly after they arrived in Toronto in the summer of 1847.


The park also has seven sculptures by Rowan Gillespie of Dublin Ireland.
The installation is called ‘Arrival’. 

Sculpture of a man with his arms upraised.  He is looking over part of the harbour towards downtown Toronto.

‘The Jubliant Man’ from behind.

close up of one of the sculptures in Ireland Park.  It is a man with his hands clenched in front of him and a worried look on his face.

‘The Apprehensive Man’

 for more information: the Ireland Park Foundation website