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Research Project & Academic Collective

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research project, From Streets to Playgrounds: Representing children in early 20th century Toronto (2013-2017) draws on the fields of social work, photography and archival scholarship. Our interdisciplinary research team includes artists and scholars from within the fields of the social sciences, visual studies and fine art. Working with archival documents that date back to the beginning of the 20th century, our aim is to present a wider picture of the representation of children in public space at the time. In doing so, we explore connected, transnational histories through a cultural framework and attempt to reconcile different viewpoints by working across historical spaces. 

In the first decade of the last century, the public health and public works departments of Toronto commissioned photographs for site mapping purposes. Frequently these images inadvertently captured children at work and at play. Our exhibition tracks the visual representations of children from working class communities and explores how the emerging disciplines of social work and photography interacted. Our empirical archival project focuses on the welfare of children in a lower­ in both Canada and the UK that reflect different paths for working with historical images. By situating our archivally-derived materials in public spaces such as the City of Toronto Archives, we wish to engage with contemporary audiences in a manner that elicits intergenerational income immigrant neighbourhood in the industrial centre of Toronto (''The Ward''), but we have also examined archival documents and photographs in London and Brighton, England, where we have tracked neighbourhood planning and social reform visions and the official and unofficial presence of children in public spaces. Our research has culminated in the development and implementation of exhibits exchanges of collective memory.



University of Toronto: Adrienne Chambon, Bethany Good, Ernie Lightman

Ryerson University: Vid lngelevics, Mary Anderson 

University of Brighton (UK): Julia Winckler 


























ADRIENNE CHAMBON is a professor emerita from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She was the Principal Investigator on this project with funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her work has focused on critical theory (Reading Foucault for Social Work), and linking social work with narrative, history, the archive, and the arts.

BETHANY GOOD is a child and family therapist at the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (formerly Hincks-Dellcrest) and is a PhD Candidate at University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She was the research coordinator on the Streets to Playground Project providing the historical content for the project and exhibit. Her doctoral research explores how youth digital media use is understood and addressed by mental health practitioners.

ERNIE LIGHTMAN is Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work. An economist by training, he contributed to contextualizing the project with an emphasis on the political and economic dimensions of the research. This is his first foray into the world of exhibitions and installations and he learned a great deal from working with an excellent set of colleagues.


VID INGELEVICS is a visual artist, independent curator and writer. He currently is the Program Director of Photography at the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto and holds the position of Associate Professor. His artwork has been exhibited in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia and his interests follow two threads: a critical focus on the representation of the past and our contemporary experience of urbanity (often looking at Toronto).


MARY ANDERSON has an academic background in Women's Studies (BA, MA) and Photography (BFA), a rich history of research in visual arts and community health, as well as extensive experience performing hands-on social work, particularly in relation to collaborative-based art practices with marginalized communities. She was the associate researcher for this project, as well as photographer, production coordinator, curator, and text/web designer. 


JULIA WINCKLER is a photographer, art education consultant and senior lecturer at the University of Brighton (UK). Her interdisciplinary research focuses on archival traces, memory and migration narratives, bringing together knowledge acquired from her background training in African Studies & Anthropology, Social Work and Photography. As co-researcher on the SSHRC funded Children of the City: from Street to Playground research project (2013-2017), which mobilized collections of archival photographs capturing children’s active presence and participation in urban spaces, she has co-curated exhibitions in Toronto, Brighton and Lisbon.
















































































Click here to view the documentation and materials of the exhibition





University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the University of Brighton

The City of Toronto Archives

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada



The City of Toronto Archives

Library and Archives Canada

Archives of Ontario

Central Neighbourhood House

The Ontario Jewish Archives

The Granite Club

Ryerson University Archives & Special Collections 



Maryn & Jane Christie

Nico & Jordi Conway

Annie Dywelska

Theo & Camille Gazely

Maxwell & Marshall Peace

Lola Scullino



Elizabeth Banks

Teresa Casas

Nicholas Dywelska

Annie Dywelska

Mike Dywelska

Ian Hockaday

Harold Troper

Tony Wallis

Lily Wong



Carol Radford-Grant

Gillian Reddyhoff

Jessica Ehrenworth

Paul Sharkey

Lizette Costa

Chris Gonzaga

Sarah Van Maaren



Gorilla Graphics

Smokestack Studio

Saman Design

Toronto Image Works

Website Production: Mary Anderson

Exhibition at the City of Toronto Archives

September - December 2017  |  March - August 2018

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