About the Project
In 1974, the OJA began leading tours of Kensington Market and the surrounding area. Led by a team of experienced and knowledgeable guides, the tour is popular amongst tourists, school groups, Jewish organizations, social clubs, and historic walking tour fans. In 2020, due to COVID-19, these in-person tours were suspended. However, continued interest in the tour, and the growing demand for digital experiences in the heritage field, inspired the OJA’s effort to create a digital version of this popular tour. It is also an opportune time to bring the tour to people who otherwise would not be able to attend in person.
There are a total of eight stops on the Scrolling Spadina tour that lead users through the Jewish history of Kensington Market and Spadina Avenue. The tours are written and narrated by the OJA tour guides Miriam Borden, Brad Bass, Sharoni Sibony, Cyrel Troster, and Ralph Wintrob. Each of the video guided tours was filmed on location and edited by videographer Pierre Kochel. Archival photographs, films and documents sourced from the OJA and other repositories, help to create a dynamic and immersive online experience. The result is an immersive online experience that explores themes of immigration, daily life, community development, activism, and more. It will transport viewers to the sights and sounds of the market.
Scrolling Spadina is a capstone exhibition project curated by emerging heritage professional Hanna Schacter, U of T Master of Museum Studies Candidate. Hanna is currently finishing her master of museum studies, with a collaborative specialization in Jewish Studies. Her bachelor of arts was earned at Queen’s University, where she majored in art history. Scrolling Spadina combines Hanna’s interests in local history, Jewish culture and community storytelling.
Pierre has worked with the Ontario Jewish Archives on a number of projects, helping to bring Toronto’s Jewish history to life through engaging videos. Historical projects like Scrolling Spadina are Pierre’s specialty as a video maker. He thrills in the idea of taking viewers back in time, and likes to put the past in context by giving archival materials a contemporary treatment.
About the Ontario Jewish Archives
Founded in 1973, the OJA, the largest repository of Jewish life in Canada, acquires, preserves and makes accessible the records that chronicle our province’s Jewish history. The collection documents organizations, individuals, synagogues, schools, summer camps, leisure, athletes, and businesses. There are many different ways to explore the OJA’s collection and learn about the province’s Jewish past. You can make an appointment to look at photographs, films, Yiddish newspapers, hand-written correspondence, and even an original Superman drawing! Through exhibitions, programs, research assistance, and walking tours, the OJA tells the stories of Ontario’s Jewish community.
The OJA reaches people of all ages from children in the classroom, to scholars in the universities, to teens researching their grandparents, to adults discovering their family history, and to seniors re-connecting with their pasts. The OJA services approximately 500 researchers per year, including academics, students, curators, genealogists, filmmakers, radio and television producers, journalists, UJA Federation staff, Jewish agencies, and other organizations.
OUR STORIES ARE YOUR STORIES