Block by Block, TWM’s flagship program, a participatory, multimedia project that engages young people, newcomers and Indigenous community members in the collection and interpretation of oral histories in immigrant neighbourhoods. It first ran nationally in 2017 and resulted in a print and online exhibition and 3 public events to further educate the public on the role that neighbourhoods like the historic Ward, Cote-Des-Neiges, and Strathcona have played in the settlement of newcomers to Canada. In 2019, Block by Block was expanded into a multi-year project that focuses on 4 Toronto neighbourhoods undergoing significant redevelopment: Agincourt, Parkdale, Regent Park and Victoria Park. To date, we have hired 45 racialized and newcomer youth citywide and trained them in oral history and co-curation to preserve and animate stories of migration, settlement, and community building. We have documented over 100 oral histories, created 12 local exhibitions and 12 Block Parties, and co-curated an evolving digital exhibition.

Our culminating exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Gallery artfully shares the outcomes of our Block by Block program across all 4 neighbourhoods. The exhibit runs from August 20, 2022 – November 20, 2022.

Block by Block is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Inspirit Foundation. We have 10 program partners: Agincourt Community Services Association, The City of Toronto’s Newcomer Office, Ontario Council of Agencies serving Immigrants, Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Toronto Public Library, West Neighbourhood House, and Working Women Community Centre.