Photographs provided by our interviewees

Back to main Donated Photos page


Photos Provided by Silia and Vittoria Giannone

This page shows photographs provided by Silia and Vittoria Giannone, reflecting the experience of immigrants from post-war Italy as they helped shape the multicultural centre of Toronto. Captions are based on the interview with sisters-in-law Silia and Vittoria Giannone and their niece by marriage, Sylvia Porretta. Photos of many of the same people and scenes, extending to slightly later periods, are also displayed separately in Sylvia Porretta's collection and that of Mario Porretta, their nephew.

NOTE: These images may not be reproduced without permission. Contact to inquire.


To view larger images, move your mouse pointer over the thumbnails. To read or listen to the interview, click on the donor's name.

1962. Salvatore Giannone, Nick Porretta, and Nino Giannone, playing in the laneway (now Porretta Lane) across from 180 Robert Street. Salvatore and Nino had recently arrived from Italy.

1961. Nino Giannone (Vittoria’s husband) in the barber shop that he ran for a few years in the storefront at 93 Harbord Street, owned by his brother Giorgio Giannone. Giorgio housed many family members from Caccamo, Sicily in the house at 93 Harbord when they first arrived in Canada.

1963. Nino Giannone on Harbord Street, dressed for his next job in the Bank of Montreal at King and Bay. Note the Harbord streetcar in the background.

1963. Nino Giannone in front of Giorgio Giannone’s woodworking business, now occupying the ground floor at 93 Harbord. Giorgio did fine woodworking for Toronto businesses and became the head woodworker at the Ontario College of Art.

1963. Emanuele Giannone (Silia’s husband) in front of the tailor shop at 100 Harbord (now Almond Butterfly Bake Shop), where the Giannones had their suits made.


1965. Nino and Vittoria Giannone, Silia and Emanuele Giannone. Silia and Vittoria married brothers the same year, lived in the same house, and had their first babies at nearly the same time. In their interview (around minute 40:00), Vittoria discusses how this closeness felt when her baby died at birth.

1970. Porretta’s Pizza at 97 Harbord Street, showing also Louie’s Laundry at 95 Harbord. Paolina Porretta was the sister of Maria Giannone, who lived at 93 Harbord. (See also similar photos provided by Mario Porretta, Paolina's youngest son, and by Sylvia Porretta, who married Nick Porretta, Paolina's second son.)

1973. The Porrettas' new delivery car, parked on the Robert Street side of the store at 97 Harbord. (See also similar photos provided by Mario Porretta.)

1980. Porretta’s Restaurant at 97 Harbord after the Porrettas bought Louie’s Laundry at 95 Harbord and renovated the combined building, next to Giorgio Giannone’s house at 93 Harbord. (Photos from Mario Porretta show similar views.)



Our thanks to our sponsors, contributors & volunteers.