St. Christopher House, 1912-2012: a century of social services in Toronto

In 2012, St. Christopher House (presently West Neighbourhood House) celebrated its 100th anniversary with a number of events scheduled throughout the year. To kick-off the celebrations, the Century Committee of the House organized a community public history exhibit on March 2-3, which was curated by Gilberto Fernandes (PCHP), at the time a member of the House's Board of Directors. The majority of the House's archival collection is located in the City of Toronto Archives. However, a considerable amount of records, primarily photos, were still stored at one of the House's locations. In preparation for the exhibit, a volunteer task force was formed to inventorize this collection, digitize a select number of photos, and eventually transfer those materials to the City of Toronto Archives. The records used for the community event and for this online exhibit were drawn from this collection and not from the records already at the City of Toronto Archives.

The text used on the displays of the original community exhibit was adapted from Patricia O' Connor's, The Story of St. Christopher House, 1912-1984, Toronto Association of Neighbourhood Services (1986), with additional content by Gilberto Fernandes. Much of that text was re-used in this online exhibit, along with a considerable amount of original content by Susana Miranda (PCHP), particularly in the sections that deal directly with the Portuguese community.

The Portuguese Canadian History Project thanks Maureen Fair, the Executive Director of St. Christopher House, for allowing us to use their digital archival records in this online exhibit. Another big thank you goes out for the staff, volunteers, and community members of the Century Committee of the House, without whom none of the exhibits would be possible.

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