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From the 1870s to the 1950s, waves of immigrants to Toronto – Irish, Jewish, Chinese and Italian, among others – landed in ‘The Ward’ in the centre of downtown. Deemed a slum, the area was crammed with derelict housing and ‘ethnic’ businesses; it was razed in the 1950s to make way for a grand civic plaza and modern city hall. Archival photos and contributions from a wide variety of voices finally tell the story of this complex neighbourhood and the lessons it offers about immigration and poverty in big cities. Contributors include historians, politicians, architects and descendents of Ward residents on subjects such as playgrounds, tuberculosis, bootlegging and Chinese laundries. With essays by Howard Akler, Denise Balkissoon, Steve Bulger, Jim Burant, Arlene Chan, Alina Chatterjee, Cathy Crowe, Richard Dennis, Ruth Frager, Richard Harris, Gaetan Heroux, Edward Keenan, Bruce Kidd, Mark Kingwell, Jack Lipinsky, John Lorinc, Shawn Micallef, Howard Moscoe, Laurie Monsebraaten, Terry Murray, Ratna Omidvar, Stephen Otto, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Michael Posner, Michael Redhill, Victor Russell, Ellen Scheinberg, Sandra Shaul, Myer Siemiatycki, Mariana Valverde, Thelma Wheatley, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Paul Yee, among others.