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Myseum of Toronto Sidewalk Stories Tours 2022: Women of the Ward
September 17, 2022 @ 10:00 am
Through the captivating stories of four resilient women, explore two centuries of history in The Ward, Toronto’s “first immigrant neighbourhood.” This walking tour breathes life into lesser-known chapters in the city’s past with theatrical presentations of the lives of Cecelia Jane Reynolds, Elizabeth Neufeld, Annie Whelan, and Jean Lumb. Led by John Lorinc and Tatum Taylor Chaubal, witness The Ward like you’ve never seen it before.
Developed in collaboration with John Lorinc and Tatum Taylor Chaubal.
WHAT TO EXPECT
During the tour, participants will encounter these four women through a series of live theatrical presentations:
Cecelia Reynolds – a young Black woman who escaped enslavement as a teenager through the Niagara region with the help of the Underground Railroad. Cecelia settled in Toronto’s Ward neighbourhood and started a new life, all while corresponding with her former enslaver in an attempt to purchase her mother’s freedom.
Written by Audrey Dwyer, Performed by Krystle Chance
Elizabeth Neufeld – a young Jewish social worker who was the executive director of Central Neighbourhood House, an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of the residents of the Ward. Energetic and outspoken, Elizabeth advocated for social programs and services for newcomers regardless of ethnicity, faith, or creed.
Written and Performed by Coleen MacPherson
Annie Whelan – a widowed Irish woman who became a bootlegger during the prohibition to support her family. Annie ran a speakeasy out of her own home, and was able to skirt fines and law enforcement for over two decades of this operation.
Written by Ali Joy Richardson, Performed by Rebecca De La Cour
Jean Lumb – a Chinese restaurateur who was a life-long advocate for the rights of Chinese people in Toronto and Canada. Owner of the Kwong Chow Chop Suey House and recipient of the Order of Canada, Jean galvanized fellow community members around saving the city’s original Chinatown from destruction and played a pivotal role in challenging the restrictive immigration laws of the time.
Written by Marjorie Chan, Performed by Julia Hune-Brown