Mapping Harbord Village: Stories of a Neighbourhood

2013 JCC Gallery Exhibition —
MAPPING OUR MEMORIES (the Sticky Note Wall)

Posted on the wall at the entrance of the JCC display room was a large street map of Harbord Village, with markers and coloured sticky notes nearby inviting viewers to write comments about their experiences of the neighbourhood. Soon the map was covered by layers of handwritten notes expressing joy, nostalgia, and admiration, with memories ranging from the 1930s to the present.

The selection of transcripts below includes close-up photos of a few notes, taken by the Museum Studies students who organized the exhibit.

Visitor Comments

Left side of map (Bathurst Street)



  • I’m a Bubbie now. MY GRANDMA LIVED HERE in a big house. Rented out rooms. She bought chickens live in Kensington & took them to a shoichet there. (shown at left)

  • I arrived in Canada in 1948, was housed at Harbord & Markham. – JR

  • Grew up near here in the 60s. I can say “Come in for supper” in 8 languages. We all played in the schoolyard & were called home for dinner.


Across top edge, left to right (Bloor Street)


  • When I first arrived in Toronto, I thought “I have got to live here!” (And I do.)
    (shown at right)

  • Robert St. kids/teens often played ball hockey on tennis courts in late 70s & early 80s. Great rivalries with Major St. (including Tommy, Paolo, & Carlo's team — see photo on wall) and other streets.

  • Met my husband dancing at the Tranzac Club.



  • A sneaky exchange as a devoted son found a good home for grandpa’s pickled herring (homemade!) that his family didn’t like.
    [with drawing shown at left]

  • In the 30s & 40s, my grandparents owned a grocery store on the SE corner of Major and Sussex. My dad delivered groceries on his bike! Now I live a few houses away!

  • When my dad first came to Canada in 1948, he and his family stayed in an attic here. At night, they would watch the making of donuts on Bloor St.  – MK

Along Harbord Street, east to west


  • When I moved to Toronto from Montreal 40 years ago, my only relative here, Uncle Max, lived in Harbord Village. We got together every Sunday for breakfast. (shown at right)

  • HC – Student house—across the street from where my grandmother grew up! I remember the sirens the night they BOMBED the Morgentaler Clinic.

  • FANTASTIC Sci-Fi / Fantasy Bookstore here! (Bakka-Phoenix)



  • Found true love at the Harbord Bakery. (shown at left)

  • For years I have loved walking along Harbord St. Every home is unique & beautiful. Love the trees! Been in the area 15 years.

  • “Boys of Major Lane” THANK YOU!

  • 233 Brunswick – lived there since born. Now live in Wpg. Have great memories.

  • TSA (Toronto School of Art)—moved to 225 Brunswick Ave. in 1972. The founder, Barbara, still fondly remembered by the name of nearby laneway.

Along bottom edge, east to west (College Street)


  • 1970s Borden St. – ATE in BACKYARD of Neighbour, BBQ Madeira (Portuguese) style skewers of beef, marinated in wine, sea salt & ? (shown at right)

  • My mother was born in 1925 on Borden. Her parents came from Poland in 1915 to escape the pogroms.

  • As a child I used to come from Hamilton to visit my great-aunt and uncle. They immigrated from Poland and lived on Brunswick.



  • 1935 to 1951 – Born at 217 Lippincott – great place to grow up in my grandparents’ house (Weiss) – “solid brick detached" their pride (shown at left)

  • I lived at 217 Major 1942-1949.  – At 40 Brunswick 1976-2005. – Now at 46 Brunswick.  – DA

  • Went to Associated Hebrew P.S. (Brunswick Talmud Torah), 52-56ish. B.

  • Walking along College with my grandfather.

Written by Children


  • I live near here and I went to Kensington C.S. since junior kindergarden and I am recently going to Lord Lansdowne from 2013-2015. Go Canada!! [smiley symbol] Eh! [small Canadian flag] (shown at right)

  • I have been to Harbord Bakery

  • I liv here

  • I live here [with drawing of house] -- at least 12 instances

  • Harbord Village is a great place full of friendly people.