Monday, 11 November 2013




      This past week, while working on our exhibition Harbord Village: Stories of a Neighbourhood,  we made our final image selection for the exhibition! To build a visual representation of the oral histories that have been collected from Harbord Village residents, we are using photographs collected from residents depicting daily life in the neighbourhood. The three themes we have decided to highlight are based on the importance and frequency these themes reoccur in resident oral histories. Our final exhibition themes are: porch life, laneways and foodscapes. We chose these three themes because they represent essential spaces of gathering and interaction in the neighbourhood. Furthermore, porch life, laneways and foodscapes document the use of these spaces within social history of the neighbourhood and demonstrate the deeply embedded patterns of social interaction in Harbord Village across a span of six decades.

      We chose to represent porches as a major theme because gathering on your porch, or a neighbour's porch was a major form of socialization and entertainment on hot summer nights after dinner. Don't forget, no air conditioning! Parents would play games and talk while children played in the yard or on the porch before dark. 

Neighbourhood kids with adults on porch outside 95 Lippincott, June 1957. Image by: ?
      Laneways were an ingrained social space for children, who were released into the back lanes to play every morning and returned only for meals and to participate in supervised play on neighbourhood porches at dusk.

Playing in Poretta Lane across from 180 Robert Street, 1962. Image by: Sylvia Poretta.
      Foodscapes illustrate the habitual gathering, making and eating of food in the neighbourhood. Food preparation and production was an ingrained domestic practice of recycling and tradition. Be it making sausage in your neighbours basement, making wine from grapes in your backyard, hand making sauerkraut, canning your gardens summer harvest for winter or simply gathering all 12-15 of the houses residents for dinner!

Family Passover Seder, 1936. Image by: Marsha Bronstein Ginsberg.

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