Talk Archive

      Our First Talk: Women and Unions-November 23, 2010 :
  • Nina Bascia spoke on “Women and Unions: History Matters" at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Avenue 5-7 pm. Coffee,open dialogue and historic tour of the building. Please join us for our first gathering of HerstoriesCafe.
    [Photo on right: 75% of Alberta's teachers protest against the Klein govt in 1997]
    Nina Bascia is Professor and Director of the Collaborative Program in Educational Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Professor Bascia’s research interests include, organizational and social context of teaching and administration, teacher leadership and development, and teacher unions and professional associations. Nina Bascia has been studying teacher unions in Canada and the U.S. since the 1980s. Her research leads her to conclude that teacher organizations are vital both to the quality of teachers' work and to the well-being of the larger educational system

    Our Second Talk: Routes to Freedom-January 20, 2011

    Historian Afua Cooper spoke at the St. Lawrence Hall. 157 King Street East. 530 pm. This event is Co-sponsored by Heritage Toronto. Coffee/tea/cookies will be provided
    Routes to Freedom explores the remarkable flight and life of enslaved Black woman Ann Maria Jackson who fled to Toronto via the Underground Railroad from Delaware with seven of her children in 1857. The discussion will reveal how Jackson, drawing on the resiliency of her African foremothers built a life for herself and her family during the middle decades of the 19th century Toronto. This story, firmly located at the intersection of class, race, and gender, demonstrates that Jackson and the hundreds of other Black Torontonians during that era, were part of Toronto and Canadian life, history, and culture.
    Further, the presentation will go back further in time and address the early history of Black people in Toronto by foregrounding the life of Peggy Pompadour, a local woman, who was enslaved by colonial administrator, and Toronto City father, Peter Russell.
    Both stories reveal the multidimensional nature of Toronto’s Black history. For some it was a place of freedom, a haven; for others it was a place of oppression.

    Our Third Talk: March 8, 2011. International Women’s Day at the Cumberland House

    International Student Centre: University of Toronto campus, 33 St. George Street-north east corner of St. George and College. Speaker:Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg. Her talk "Women: Health, Peace and the Environment". Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg teaches Environmental Health, Transformative Higher Education and Policy Change: Education for Social and Ecosystem Healing" at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Also we were fortunate to have Yuka Fukuda, an international student share issues related to women, health and the environment from her home country of Japan. Both talks reveal the importance of advocating for health and environment. These must be our priorities.
  •   Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg teaches Environmental Health Transformative Higher Education and Policy Change: Education for Social and Ecosystem Healing" at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Also we will have a panel of International students share issues related to women, health and the environment from their home countries.   

    Our Fourth Talk: April 20, 2011:The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
  •  Friday, April 8, 2011-5:30pm “Women and Museums” talk will take place at the ROM . Speakers: Janet Carding, Lynne Teather and Cara Krmpotich Location: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Glass Room, 4th floor 5:30 pm

  • Cara Krmpotich is Assistant Professor in the Museum Studies programme at the iSchool, University of Toronto. She is interested in the relationship between repatriation, memory, kinship and material culture. In 2009, she helped to organize a visit by 21 members of the Haida First Nation to the British Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, providing hands-on access to almost 800 artefacts.
  • Janet Carding is the first woman appointed to the position of ROM Director and CEO. She is responsible for furthering the Museum’s mission, advocating for its ongoing public and private sector support, promoting itsresearch, programs, and collections, and overseeing the management of the Museum’s operations, which include exhibitions, programs, education, visitor services, administration and facilities management.  A museum professional for over two decades, Ms. Carding originally hails from England where she obtained her degree from Cambridge University in History and Philosophy of Science and a Masters from the University of London in History of Science and Medicine
  • Professor J.L. Teather (D.Phil. Museum Studies, Leicester) has research interests which focus on a range from the history and philosophy of museums and on contemporary issues in museum development, such as computerization and social engagment. She has taught in the Museum Studies Masters for 30 years. She has over thirty years of experience collaborating with local and national museums and has worked as a consultant to a number of museums and museum associations, both in Canada and abroad. Prof. Teather plays an active role in a number of professional museum associations such as the CMA, AAM, and ICOM, particularly in advising on curriculum for professional development and human resource management issues and thus is Secretary of the International Council of Training of Museum Personnel.. She is also a Research Associate of the Royal Ontario Museum. She is the author of The Royal Ontario Museum: A Prehistory, 1840-1914 (2005).
  • Our Fifth Talk: May Talk: at the CNE Archives
    May 12, 2011. 530 pm . The Speaker: Emily Beliveau will talk about "Women's Work and Child's Play: Women and Children at the CNE, 1879-present" (CNE) talk and refreshments will take place at the CNE Archive Building. Includes a tour of the CNE Archives will be included! Lots of fun things there!
    This is a free event. Refreshments will be served.
  • The Archives is located in the General Services Building, 2 Manitoba Drive (north-west corner of Fleet Street and Strachan Avenue). The General Services Building is north of the Princes' Gates and the east entrance to the Direct Energy Centre. For those arriving by TTC, there is a stop for the 511 and 509 streetcars directly in front of the General Services Building. If arriving by car, there is visitors' parking available on the grounds of the General Services Building. 
           Our Sixth Talk: June 15, John McKenzie House. 6-8 pm.

        "Late Victorian and Edwardian Society Teas in Toronto"
          Speaker will be Historian Keith Walden (Trent U) at the John Mckenzie House will speak about women and the history of tea in late Victorian society in Toronto. Professor Walden is a professor of history at Trent University's Frost Centre for Canadian and Indigenous Studies.
  • This talk will include string music from student performers and an assortment of teas and cookies/biscuits. You can hear stories about the history of tea, sit on the veranda and walk in the historic gardens. 
  •  John McKenzie House 34 Parkview Avenue WillowdaleThe nearest subway stop is North York Centre and the Society is located just two blocks north of the stop.Note: There is no vehicle access to Parkview Avenue from Yonge Street. Vehicles approaching from Yonge Street must use Empress or McKee Avenue to reach Kenneth Avenue, and then Parkview Avenue.   Parking on the street beginning at 6pm.
Our Seventh Talk: August 18th: 6pm
  • History of women and bicycles.
(poster courtesy of CNE archives)
  • Our Speakers: Steve Brearton and Evalyn Parry.
  • This was a special outdoor event and is free for all to attend.Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Woman and Cycling in Toronto –Fighting for inclusion since 1869
Cycling advocate and historian Steve Brearton will discuss women and cycling in Toronto from the early days of the bicycle when females fought cultural norms just to ride a bicycle to the present day where City planning and policy decision have had the effect of limiting women’s participation. Among other topics, listeners will hear of the city’s first clandestine women riders, how the bicycle offered Victorian females greater freedom and independence and a visible means of challenging restrictive social standards and how one woman determined to offer her children a safe place to ride almost single-handedly created the Martin Goodman Trail.
Steve is a Toronto writer and cyclist who has long been involved in helping build a bike culture in the city. He is Spacing magazine’s cycling columnist and in 2004, he wrote and curated an exhibition entitled From Scorchers to Alley Cat Scrambles; a History of the Bicycle in Toronto at the City of Toronto’s Market Gallery
Through a series of songs excerpted from her hit theatrical show SPIN, Evalyn Parry brings to life the adventures and impact of several 19th century cycling heroines: from Annie Londonderry, first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle in 1895, to women’s rights activist Frances Willard, author of “A Wheel within a Wheel: How I learned to Ride a Bicycle” (1895), to Amelia Bloomer, name-sake of the forerunner of pants.

Evalyn Parry is an innovative, award-winning songwriter, playwright, poet and educator living in Parkdale. She has produced 4 critically acclaimed CD’s of music and spoken word, toured all over North America, and her work has been widely commissioned, broadcast and anthologized. SPIN premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in the spring of 2011, and will touring widely in Canada over the coming year.
  • With special guests: The CYCLOPS (Cycling Oriented Puppet Squad) from Clay and Paper Theatre.

Our Eight Talk-September 27th: 5:45 – 8:00 at the Archives of Ontario
Women of Record at the Archives of Ontario
The event will highlight records we have about Ontario women who in a variety of ways, helped shape our province as we know it today. This includes highlighting the records of women who challenged systems or institutions, women who conducted good deeds (eg. nurses, lawyers, public servants) and women who were pioneers, both on the land (farmers) and in their respective professions. The event will also feature a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, highlighting how the Archives of Ontario preserves records relating to all Ontarians.
·         Talk and a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives facility.
  • Participants will also have an opportunity to learn about the educational resources at the Archives of Ontario. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Directions: The Archives of Ontario is located on Ian Macdonald Boulevard, near Keele Street, on the campus of York University. 

            Our Ninth Talk-October 27th: 5:30 at the Christie Mansion. 

            Canadian Historian and Professor OISE/University of Toronto:  Historians Cecilia Morgan-to celebrate Women's History month

  • "Among the Six Nations": Celia B. File and the Politics of Memory, History, and Home in Southern Ontario, 1920s-1960s'
'"Among the Six Nations"' explores the life and writings of high-school history Celia B. File. File began her teaching career in the 1920s at Tyendinaga, where she developed a life-long interest in the history of the Six Nations, particularly that of Iroquois women. After completing her M.A. thesis at Queen's University in 1930 on the Mohawk leader Mary (Molly) Brant, File developed a close friendship with Bernice Loft/Dawendine, the Mohawk performer and writer. In the early 1960s File wrote a memoir of her experiences at Tyendinaga and the Grand River, '"Among the Six Nations."' My presentation will focus on the intertwined nature of history and memory, the past and the present, in File's writings and the complicated politics of gender and race that shaped them. Christie Mansion is across from Queen's Park. It is now part of Regis College. 100 Wellesley Street west.(Wellesley and Queen's Park Cresc.)

Our Ten Talk-November 24 6:15 at the Gladstone Hotel 
The Gladstone Hotel-What's so Feminist About Food History? Women and Food Canada in the 1950s and 1960s" 
  • *Franca Iacovetta* Professor of History, University of Toronto will speak on feminist approaches to food history and the history of women and food in Canada, highlighting the 1950s and 1960s, by drawing on her own research and that of others in their new volume, co-edited with Marlene Epp and Valerie Korinek, *Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History.(University of Toronto Press, 2012).

We will eat our way through this cafe evening, in particular 1950s and 1960s food that graced the tables of Canadians. Have you ever made a jello salad? Did your mother make you a spam sandwich? Didyou know that Mennonite women made 7-Up Salad alongside their traditional zwieback buns? Or that all those Italian kids in Toronto were eating prosciuto in panini and radicchio salads, and not grill cheese sandwiches with plastic orange cheese, before those Italian items went yuppy? with plastic orange cheese? 

Our Eleventh Talk-January 31: 545 at the St. Lawrence Hall

Adrienne Shadd at the St. Lawrence Hall: A HerstoriesCafe partnership with Heritage Toronto. 

  • Talk entitled: "Searching for Heroines: Black Women and Community in 19th Century Hamilton-Wentworth."  
  • Adrienne Shadd is a researcher, historian and author of several books on the history of Blacks in Canada. Her latest book, The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton was published by Dundurn Press.  
  • St. Lawrence Hall. 157 King Street East.
  • This event is free. Refreshments and resources (courtesy of Green Dragon Press)  will be provided
Our Twelfth Talk-Februray 22, 2012: at 6pm at the Textile Museum
  •  Dawna Pym at the Textile Museum-History of Fashion.
  • The Textile Museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue.

" Bind or Breathe: The Great Corset Debate"  will survey the evolution of corsets and binding from its beginnings through the early twentieth century. It will also examine the role of the corset in fashion and culture along with the nineteenth century debate surrounding its use.   -

 Dawna Pym, received a degree in Fashion from Ryerson University and has studied art history at the University of Toronto. She has taught for 20 years in the Education Programs department of the Royal Ontario Museum, specializing in costume history as well as teaching at the International Academy of Design & Technology for 13 years.  She has also taught fashion history at The Chang School at Ryerson University and Seneca College. Dawna has created and presented a variety of programs/lectures for the ROM's programs department and written an Edu Kit School Case titled " World Garments" for Outreach & Traveling Exhibits.
Dawna is also a member of the executive of the Costume Society of Ontario.

Our Thirteenth Talk-March 8, 2012 at 545pm: at the Museum of Inuit Art. 

  • Alysa Procida with be speaking about Inuit Women and their Art
"Learn more about female Inuit artists across Canada at the Museum of Inuit Art, southern Canada's only public museum devoted exclusively to art made by Inuit. Examine traditional women's roles and how female artists have expressed themselves in prints, drawings, textile arts and clothing construction. Learn more about artists Helen Kalvak (Ulukhaktok/Holman), the driving force of the early printmaking program in the community; Irene Avaalaaqiaq (Qaman'tuaq/Baker Lake), who has found artistic outlets in multiple media; and Jessie Kenalogak (Qamani'tuaq/Baker Lake), whose intensely personal drawings have never before been exhibited to the public."

Alysa Procida is the Educational and Development Coordinator at the Museum of Inuit Art in Toronto, Ontario. Her first experience with Inuit art was at the MIA when she met Kananginak Pootoogook, during one of her first days at the museum. She has a Masters of Arts from the University of Toronto and has also studied at the University of Vermont and University College London. As the Educational Co-ordinator at MIA, Alysa is passionate about successfully engaging visitors with the artwork on display, effectively mediating information about the museum's collections to viewers, increasing visitor satisfaction and ultimately strengthening their relationship with both the museum and Inuit art."

 Our Fourteenth Talk-May 3 2012 at 545pm: at the Toronto Archives. 

"Women and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra" 

  • The City of Toronto Archives is located at 255 Spadina Road. It is easy to get to by public transit. Exit the University subway line at Dupont Station and walk north one block.
  • There is limited free parking. A pay parking lot is available on the south side of MacPherson Avenue, west of Spadina Road.

The Toronto Archives is currently hosting an exhibit celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. HerstoriesCafe is honoured to recognize the important contributions of two groups of women to this history: the Women Performers in the Orchestra and the Women of the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee Association.

"Women and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Toronto Archives" will include a talk by retired TSO violinist Andrea Hansen
as well as a talk by Marion Langford, a leading member 
and past president of the Women's Volunteer Association.
please join us for these special talks, music and food.  
This is a free event but all guests must register:

The Toronto Archives Exhibit Celebrates 90 Seasons of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
"Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions. This page is a compilation of many of the wonderful images from the past 89 seasons, grouped by Music Director. These photos tell the unique story of the TSO, including significant events such as its first radio broadcasts in 1929, first concert at Carnegie Hall in 1963, and the historical Asian tour in 1978, among many others. Please enjoy this photographic journey through 90 seasons of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra! The City of Toronto Archives has partnered with the TSO to launch a 90th season exhibit featuring historical records of the orchestra, including many unique documents, photographs, prints, and artifacts."
  • The HerstoriesCafe Talk recognizes the important role of women to the history of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Paul Gardiner, Archivist of the City of Toronto Archives will provide an introduction to the exhibit.  He is curator of the exhibit entitled: A World of Music: Celebrating 90 Seasons with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  Paul will contextualize the exhibit by speaking briefly about acquiring the historical records of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and the processes by which the exhibit was put together a few years later.
  • see exhibit poster:

Our Fifteenth Talk--June 25 at the Toronto Dance Theatre at 6pm

The History of Women and the Toronto Dance Theatre at the Toronto Dance Theatre. 
Special guest speaker: Patricia Beatty, founder of the Toronto Dance Theatre. 
Toronto Dance Theatre has had a profound influence on dance in Canada. In 1968, Patricia Beatty joined forces with David Earle and Peter Randazzo to form the Toronto Dance Theatre The inaugural performances took place on three Monday evenings, December 2, 9 and 16, 1968, at Toronto Workshop Productions Theatre. Patricia Beatty will reflect on this 25 year history in her talk. Please join us for this very special event.
There will also be refreshments and a dance performance by Danielle Baskerville.
This event is in partnership with the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Assocation (DVCRA) who has generously provided the venue for this special event.
  • This is a special event as it is the first time Herstoriescafe is collaborating with a neighbourhood group to raise awareness of women’s history in a specific historic neighbourhood of Toronto. 
Tasty food for this event is generously contributed by local foodies: Merryberry Café & Bistro, Absolute Bakery, JETFUEL Coffee Shop
Toronto Dance Theatre is located at 80 Winchester Street, in historic Cabbagetown. 
80 Winchester Street
To reach there by TTC, take the Bloor subway line to Castle Frank station. From here, take the #65 Parliament Street bus south to Winchester Street (about a 5 minute ride). Walk east for one block along Winchester. Or, take the College Street streetcar east, to Parliament Street. Walk north for two blocks to Winchester Street (at the next set of traffic lights), turn right, and walk for one block.

Our Sixteenth Talk--October 11 at Heliconian Hall at  6pm
WALK THROUGH HISTORY" Book Launch and signing

(published by Green Dragon Press)

October 11th: 6pm at The Toronto Heliconian Hall
  • Please join us for a book launch, talk and walking tour. 
  • This event is free and includes refreshments.
Heliconian Hall
35 Hazelton Avenue (at Yorkville) Toronto.


Take the Cumberland exit at the Bay subway station. Walk north along the pedestrian walkway to Yorkville Avenue. Cross the pedestrian crossing at Yorkville Ave. and continue on Hazelton Avenue, where you will see The Heliconian Hall on your right hand side just after Scollard Street.


There is green P parking available on Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street, as well as limited street parking right on Hazelton Avenue.