John Lorinc speaks on ‘The Ward’ at the Riverdale Historical Society

John Lorinc speaks at the Riverdale Historical Society, September 29, 2015Why does The Ward matter?
For almost a century, this neighbourhood served as the major point of entry for waves of immigrants to the city: African Americans, Irish, Italians, Eastern European Jews, and Chinese, among others. While the area came to be known as an over-crowded slum packed with derelict housing, The Ward hummed with life — small businesses, places of worship, theatres, restaurants, schools, playgrounds, studios and social service agencies. It was also notorious for its speak-easies, gambling dens and sex workers, and thus attracted the attention of missionaries, moral reformers and the police. Anglo Toronto spent almost forty years fretting about The Ward, and finally bulldozed the area to make way for a new civic square, hospitals and office buildings; it was literally erased from the face of the city. Despite that abrupt end, The Ward marks the place where Toronto first encountered concentrated ethno-cultural diversity and the geography of difference. It is, quite simply, the community where modern Toronto begins.

This evenings presentation will include two speakers
John Lorinc & Michael McClelland

Michael McClelland, OAA, FRAIC, is a registered architect with over twenty years of experience. He is actively involved in the promotion of Canada’s architectural heritage and is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Professional Heritage Consultants (CAPHC). He is the recipient of a certificate of recognition from the Ontario Association of Architects and the Toronto Society of Architects for his outstanding contributions to architecture and a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. (click his name above to read more)

JOHN LORINCJohn Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and author, and contributes regularly to The Globe and Mail, Walrus Magazine and the ROB Magazine.

He is a senior editor for Spacing Magazine, and writes a weekly local politics column for

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

Location: St. Matthew’s Clubhouse
Riverdale Park East at Langley and Broadview