Torontoist

Torontoist

culture

The Story of Toronto’s First Jewish Congregation

For Jewish Heritage Month, we look back on the small group of Jewish Torontonians who came together and created a community.

Now and Then explores the stories behind Toronto’s historical plaques and monuments.

The Holy Blossom Temple on Bathurst Street circa 1959. Photo by Harold Robinson and used courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives (Item 932).

The Holy Blossom Temple on Bathurst Street circa 1959. Photo by Harold Robinson. Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, Item 932. Used courtesy of the Ontario Jewish Archives.

In the mid-1800s, the Jewish population in Toronto was very small. But even a small group needs somewhere to pray. In 1851, the census put the total population of the city at 30,775. Twenty years later, the Jewish population was only 157 people and the city’s total was at 56,000. But in between those two surveys, Jewish families came together to found the first congregation in the city, which is also the first in Canada West (now, roughly, Ontario).

Keep reading: The Story of Toronto’s First Jewish Congregation

news

The Arrogance of Scarborough Transit Planning Leaves Thousands Behind

The LRT network would reach 125,000. The one-stop subway reaches a small fraction of that.

It takes vision to build rail transit. That kind of hard infrastructure takes billions of dollars and years of disruption for construction. It takes political will and relationship building with colleagues and communities. 

That’s a lot of work, time and money. So you better know where you’re going. Because once you put down rails, that’s where they’re going to stay.

But how can we know? How far into the future can anyone realistically see?

It’s not a shot in the dark. Building transit helps determine that future and what it looks like.

Keep reading: The Arrogance of Scarborough Transit Planning Leaves Thousands Behind

culture

The Winners From The 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards

An expanded slate of critics recognized exceptional shows such as Robert Lepage's 887, Annie Baker's John, and Sankoff & Hein's hit musical Come From Away.

The Toronto-created Come From Away has won three major Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Toronto-created Come From Away has won three major Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. Photo by Matthew Murphy.


It should come as little surprise that Come From Away, the musical created here in Toronto by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (in association with Sheridan College’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project), is being well lauded by this year’s Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. The show, which tells the story of Newfoundlanders who took in air travellers stranded by the events of 9/11, and was one of Torontoist‘s cultural highlights of 2016, is currently wowing critics and crowds on Broadway, and is considered a front-runner at the forthcoming Tony Awards (and certainly, Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards).

Keep reading: The Winners From The 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards