Gateway to Greektown: A Historical Walking Tour of the Danforth

The Greek Canadian History Project, in collaboration with the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, York University, and Myseum of Toronto invite you to a historical walking tour of Toronto’s Greektown on the Danforth. Come and discover the evolution of one of Toronto’s most recognized neighbourhoods.

When: March 24th and 25th, 2018 at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm.

Where: The tour will begin at Pape/Danforth Public Library (701 Pape Avenue) and conclude at Broadview and Danforth (the tour is designed to be about 1.5 hours in duration).

To register for the walking tour, click here.


Some more details about the tour:

The historical walking tour on the Danforth will illuminate Greek immigrant life and the history of Greektown in previously unexplored ways. While Torontonians are familiar with some elements of Greek immigrant life, such as restaurants and street festivals, this tour will highlight important historical sites and nuances that currently escape our collective memory.

The Greektown walking tour will be conducted by the Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP) using archival material from the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections at York University. These materials will highlight political, gender, spiritual, and cultural elements of Greek life on the Danforth from the 1960s to the 1990s. During this time, Danforth was a space where newly-arrived, predominantly semi-rural, Greek immigrants intersected with and shaped Toronto’s urban setting. The result was a cityscape that would become closely associated with Greek identity. However, the meaning of this identity has many angles and layers, which participants will be able to see and experience through the display of historical photographs.

The tour will begin at Pape and Danforth and will conclude at Broadview and Danforth. Historians Christopher Grafos and Sakis Gekas will use visual and audio aids to facilitate the tour, which will be complemented by a booklet distributed to those registered for the walk. Tours taking place on March 25, 2018 will occur before and after the Greek Independence Day parade, which is an annual commemorative event in Toronto’s Greektown.

Stops will include: The Trojan Horse Coffee House, which was opened by Canadian poet Gwendolyn McCewan (alongside her Greek husband) and became a symbol of resistance against Greece’s military dictatorship and a site of political/cultural exchange between Greek and Chilean musicians and activists; the Danforth Music Hall, formerly known as Titania and Allen Theatre, a venue that hosted a variety of political and cultural events; Greek restaurants; the Alexander the Great statue and public square; St. Irene Greek Orthodox Church; and various regional associations.

At each stop, attendees will hear of the site’s historical significance and will then be encouraged to pose questions to the tour’s historian.

The Greek Canadian History Project, its affiliates, and Myseum of Toronto hope that you can attend this rare opportunity to take a walk back into time by exploring one of Toronto’s most recognized neighbourhoods.


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