The Ward Uncovered
The Ward Uncovered
The Ward Uncovered
The Ward Uncovered
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The Ward Uncovered

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The Ward Uncovered: The Archaeology of Everyday Life

In early 2015, a team of archaeologists began digging up a parking lot next to Toronto City Hall, a site designated to become a major new courthouse. What they discovered was the rich buried history of an enclave of "The Ward" - a dense, poor, but vibrant "arrival city" that existed between Yonge and University north of Queen Street from the 1840s to the 1950s.

Home to waves of immigrants and refugees - Irish, African Americans, Italians, Eastern European Jews, and Chinese - The Ward was stigmatized for decades and eventually razed. The archaeologists who excavated the lot discovered almost half a million artifacts - an unrivalled collection of household items, tools, toys, shoes, bottles, and food scraps. They also unearthed the foundations of a nineteenth-century Black church, a Russian synagogue, factories, cisterns, privies, and even two row houses built by formerly enslaved African Americans. The Ward Uncovered brings to life the extraordinarily rich world of a neighbourhood that was long ago erased from the face of contemporary Toronto.

  • 303 pages
  • 22.5cm x 15cm
  • Coach House Books 2018
  • English
  • ISBN 9781552453698