From former slaves to Italian seasonal workers and Chinese railway workers, the once overpopulated neighbourhood of Toronto is remembered for its diversity.

While much of what made up the overcrowded Ward was deemed a slum and torn down, stories from this slice of history are being preserved by Toronto Ward Museum ( ), a virtual museum of migration created in September 2015. The founding partners include Heritage Toronto, the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, N.S.

The idea is to tell the stories of those who made the area home. To share their struggles and reveal how they shaped today’s Toronto, says Ward Museum founding executive director Gracia Dyer Jalea.

“In a city as diverse as ours, where at least 50 per cent of us were born outside of Canada, it’s important to understand how constant mobility has built the city, brought new synergies and conflicts, and continues to shape future development,” Dyer Jalea says.

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