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Spacing.ca: The Ward Musical
John Lorinc | April 26, 2017

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Songs and Sounds of a Lost Toronto Neighbourhood

http://spacing.ca/toronto/2017/04/10/ward-musical-songs-sounds-lost-toronto-neighbourhood/

From Issue No. 258 | May 1, 2017

If you try to imagine your way back into the early 20th century streets and laneways of The Ward — the dense immigrant enclave razed to make way for Toronto’s City Hall — you might pick up the sounds of newsies and peddlers hawking their wares, the clanging of the area’s junk and lumber yards, and shrieking children playing on the Elizabeth Street playground north of Dundas.

Those streets would also reverberate day and night with a jumble of languages — Italian, Yiddish, Chinese. The dialects and accents of these newcomers were considered to be not only “foreign,” but also proof (to the keepers of Toronto’s Anglo-Saxon morality) of the area’s worrisome social and physical failings.
But despite the fact that many mainstream Torontonians saw The Ward as an impoverished blight on the face of the city, the neighbourhood resonated with energy and culture and music — evidence of the resilience of the stigmatized newcomers who settled there in waves from the late 19th century onward.

Editors Notes: I wish I could attend tonight, and that a theatre impresario picks this up and runs with it......such an interesting way to tell history.
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