Photographs provided by our interviewees

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Photos provided by Sylvia Porretta

The photos on this page extend the story of the Italian immigrant experience, reflecting the lives of the second generation and their growing contribution to neighbourhood life, including helping organize the first Fall Fairs on Harbord. These photos were provided by Sylvia Porretta, and often overlap with photos provided by Silia and Vittoria Giannone and Mario Porretta; she is related to all of them by her marriage to the late Nick Porretta, son of Paolina and Giuseppe Porretta. Captions reflect the interview in which Sylvia participated along with Silia and Vittoria Giannone, and subsequent conversations.

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.

Early 1970s. On Robert Street just south of Harbord. From left: Johnny Fuda, Salvatore Porretta, Carmelo Giannone, Mario Porretta (barefoot) sharing a bike with Aldo Coletta, Salvatore Giannone and Pasquale Porretta.

1969. Porretta’s Pizza at 97 Harbord Street before it took over Louie Laundry next door at 95 Harbord. At that time 93 Harbord was a psychiatrist’s office. Photo provided by Sylvia Porretta. (See also photos from Mario Porretta, the brother of Sylvia's husband Nick Porretta.)

Mid 1970s. The Robert Street side of Porretta’s Pizza at 97 Harbord, before its patio was established. The Mini Morris car was bought for deliveries vehicle as soon as the oldest Porretta son Sal turned 16; before that, the four sons delivered on bicycles. The Di Rocco antique store on the other side of Harbord soon became Kromer Radio.

Mid-1970s. Paolina Porretta in the kitchen of Porretta’s Pizza at 97 Harbord Street.

1973. Nick Porretta (left) and father Giuseppe on Robert Street just south of Harbord shortly before the garage at the right caught fire. Nick and friends rescued a person from the blaze.


Late 1970s. Nick Porretta on the north side of College Street, opposite 273 College, now occupied by the Tribute condo building.

Early 1980s. Barker Fairley and his friend Robert Hall, who both lived on Willcocks Avenue, were frequent customers at Porretta's Pizza, and are seen here on the new Robert Street patio. The lane between Robert and Sussex Mews, north of Willcocks, is named after Barker Fairley, and Margaret Fairley Parkette at Ulster and Brunswick is named after his first wife, who died in 1968.

1982. Fall Fair on Harbord, seen from the patio of Porretta's Pizza. Nick Porretta took much pride in helping organize the Fall Fairs. New owners had just bought Harbord Convenience across the road from Celeste Fuda, who had run it for over 30 years. (Celeste Fuda was also interviewed for this project.)

1982. Fall Fair on Harbord at Robert. Dale Martin and Jack Layton were campaigning for the first time for the ward's two positions of alderman (which they won). Front left is long-time neighbourhood activist Joan Doiron. The light-blue building in the background is Major Roberts restaurant (now Harvest Kitchen), then owned by the late Alan Powell and managed by recent city councillor Adam Vaughan, who used to borrow supplies from Porretta's.

1982. Fall Fair on Harbord at Borden. Mayor Art Eggleton, with his wife Brenda, is campaigning for reelection. The telephone booth is no longer there, and the Submarine House is now Chabichou.

1982. Fall Fair on Harbord at Borden, with Mayor Art Eggleton campaigning for re-election. Olivia Chow and Jack Layton are on the left. The woman with the microphone is Eileen Harbison, who ran a business called Ultra Word Processing at 81 Harbord for many years, and served as chair of the Harbord Business Improvement Association.



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