Pathways to Toronto is an online exhibition that explores the life stories of six individuals who, over the past two centuries, have moved to Toronto to live and work.
The exhibit invites viewers to contemplate the motivations, journey and settlement of newcomers and asks them to consider the role that policy, community and multiculturalism have played in making Toronto one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
For each individual the story begins in the country of their birth. What were their lives like before they came to Toronto? What motivated them to leave? Was it their choice to leave or were they forced to flee? Why did they come to Toronto and did they stay?
Through a critical lens, the exhibit asks the viewer to consider the impact of this movement on the individual’s sense of identity and belonging. What are factors that have helped newcomers to survive, settle and adjust in a new place? Is this process always easy? What makes it difficult?
Migration is never linear. Like identity, it is complex. Through a combination of agency, freedom, opportunity and support, individuals have been able to create a life for themselves in Toronto. Some have thrived and other have struggled. When reading each story, consider these differences and challenge yourself to think of ways to make Toronto a more inclusive society that can bring people from around the world together, allowing them to thrive.
A pilot project, Pathways to Toronto was researched by Digital History undergraduate students from the University of Toronto Scarborough and was interpreted by Museum Studies graduate students from the University’s iSchool. A collaboration between the Toronto Ward Museum, the students and their professors, Donna Gabaccia and Irina D. Mihalache, the project took over a year to produce. Undergraduate Digital History students began by researching stories of migration to Toronto. Many chose to interview and write about their families. Once the research was complete they passed their work on to Global Cultures and Museums graduate students to interpret and develop the exhibit. What you see here is their work.
CLICK ON NAMES BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH PATHWAY
Gracia Dyer Jalea
Donna Gabaccia, Professor of History and Interim Chair, Historical and Cultural Studies
Irina D. Mihalache, Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, Faculty of Information
Stephanie M. Cavanaugh, Doctoral Candidate in History; Historical Research Consultant
Sarah Forbes, Scholarly Communications Librarian
Whitney Kemble, Liaison Librarian for Historical and Cultural Studies
Kim Pham, Digital Projects & Technologies Librarian
Lydia Zvyagintseva, Digital Humanities Librarian
Catherine Fournier Boulianne
Mary Kate Whibbs