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Exhibition at the City of Toronto Archives

September - December 2017  |  March - August 2018

Children were everywhere

“Streets in immigrant neighbourhoods [of Toronto] were alive with children” (Harney & Troper, 1975:30). Our animated image (section 3), shows young children standing in the street as their normal environment, observing, witnessing, attending to one another. In this section we expand the array of activities children were involved in, and indicate the wider range of commissions that led to these images. Photographers applied a particular aesthetic or approach in capturing children in different public settings, telling varied stories depending on context and intent. We draw from social historian, David Nasaw’s, view in his 1985 book, Children of the City: At Work and at Play, that “through work and play children participated in a social world with adults but also distinct from the adult world.”  The children “carved out social space of their own, converting streets, stoops, sidewalks and alleyways into their playground.” p. i.


Fonds 70

City of Toronto Archives

Care or Control?


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