In May 2019 Kensington Market, one of Toronto’s most distinct and historically significant neighbourhoods, will host a new exhibition called Storefront Stories. The exhibition will showcase former businesses that once thrived in Kensington Market. Current businesses are invited to display a poster in their storefront highlighting the history of their store’s location, illuminating the Jewish history of the market and the larger immigration narrative.
The Market, once the epicenter of Jewish cultural life in Toronto, nourished the culinary, intellectual, social, and entertainment needs of the community and offered a refuge to Yiddish-speakers arriving in Canada during the first half of the 20th century. The Market, a short distance from the once booming garment district, employed many of these early immigrants and became central to meeting the needs of this community.
Storefront Stories will draw tourists, shoppers, business owners, customers, and residents to storefronts throughout the market as they will be invited to discover the vibrant cultural heritage of Kensington Market. Each participating storefront window will be one stop in this immersive exhibition experience, connecting visitors to the market’s history.
Exhibition curatorial team: University of Toronto Master of Museum Studies students Erica Chi, Evelyn Feldman, Casarina Hocevar, and Amy Intrator.
Supervised by: U of T Assistant Professor Matthew Brower and OJA Archivist Faye Blum