ST. JOHN'S WARD, OR "THE WARD"
- According to the 2016 Cenus:
- the population of Canada was 35,151,728
- the population of Ontario was 13,982,984
- the population of the greater Toronto area was 5,928,040 (5,583,064 in 2011)
- the population of the City of Toronto was 2,731,571 (2,615,060 in 2011)
- Timeline of Toronto, from the Town of York to today:
- Town of York (1793–1834)
- City of Toronto (1834–1954)
- Metropolitan Toronto (1954–1998)
- Toronto (Amalgamated) (1998–present)
Te area was bordered by College and Queen Streets, University Avenue and Yonge Street (today's southwest section of Ward 27), a location that was easily accessible from the immigrant arrival points at Union Station and the Great Western Station.
Toronto's frst immigrant community was Te Ward, which oﬀered lower-cost housing, closer proximity to work, and community acceptance to new immigrants from Europe and Britain. Most arrived without money after ﬂeeing from famine, poverty or war. Te Ward also housed the city's frst Chinatown, and also marked the end of the Underground Railroad for many fugitive slaves after the American Civil War.
By 1850, many black families had settled in Te Ward; fve years later, the total black population grew to 539.
Life was extremely difcult in the area. It was overcrowded, home to the poorest in the city, and referred by many as "the slum". Although there are no signs of Te Ward today, daily life was captured by Canadian painter Lawrence Harris, who often painted pictures of the various houses and streets in Te Ward. You can see some of these works at the AGO as part of the permanent display.
Around the turn of the century, 8 acres of Te Ward were expropriated to make way for city buildings, frst the Old City Hall and the New City Hall.
Te neighbourhood also began to change in character. As the Jewish immigrants became more settled, they moved westwards to the Kensington Market area and Te Ward increasingly became a centre for Italian immigrants, who were then arriving in great numbers. Te Italians also moved west to what is today Little Italy. Central Neighbourhood House was established in 1911 as a settlement house to assist new immigrants in Te Ward.
Today, the key landmarks in the original Ward include: City Hall, the Hospital for Sick Children and the Toronto Eaton Centre.