The CAFTCAD blog

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Around Town

A Common Thread: 
A History of Toronto's Garment Industry

Till June 15th,08  
At the The Market Gallery, Toronto

A Common Thread chronicles the history of the garment industry that began over one hundred years ago and centred around Spadina Avenue. 

Photographs, vintage clothing and other items including old sewing machines provide a colourful backdrop to this fascinating aspect of Toronto's history. This exhibit explores a wide variety of issues such as immigrant opportunities, working conditions, union activity as well as individual stories of those who worked in this industry.

Curated by Dorion Liebgott of the Beth Tzedec Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum and supported with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, this exhibit highlights the Jewish community which was an integral part of the industry's development and which still closely identifies with the trade. The exhibit also looks at other immigrant groups including Italians, Greeks, Portuguese and Asians who have also contributed to the success of the local garment industry.

2nd floor, South St. Lawrence Market
95 Front Street East
Toronto, ON   M5E 1C2

Gallery hours are:
Wednesday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

photo credit: woman sewing Eatons brand clothing circa 1912. Archives of Ontario F229-308-001823 with permission of Sears Canada.


Jo.Sy said...

This small exhibit was a joy to visit and as well as reminding you why you love clothes so much, it was also informative. Did you know that Toronto's garment industry has been primarily run by the decades latest wave of immigrants?

My favourite was the documentary made of the mostly Jewish operated garment district of the 1960's. To see the vintage we adore so much being made brand new. And seeing how everyone smoked, holding their cigarettes right next to these gorgous dresses (!)as well as the old store facades of our city makes you remember how such a different time it was.

Which perhaps is why we love the old clothes so much whenever we do a period piece- because we get to evoke a different time to the one we know today.