Destination Canada

About the Exhibit

Toronto Public Library and Passages Canada are pleased to present Destination Canada, a new exhibit that explores our diverse experiences of migration, arrival and finding a place of belonging from early settlement to present day.

Since Confederation in 1867, more than 17 million newcomers have made their home in Canada.

Destination Canada looks at experiences of migration through personal stories and individual circumstances. Why did they choose Canada? What were their first impressions and early experiences? What challenges did they face in starting a new life? What does it mean to become “Canadian”?

Discover the stories of newcomers throughout our history through posters, photographs, written accounts and other materials from Toronto Public Library's Baldwin Collection of Canadiana and Chinese Canadian Archive. The exhibit also features personal mementos from storytellers with Passages Canada.

Passages Canada logo

Passages Canada is a national storytelling program of Historica Canada that invites newcomers and established Canadians to share their personal experiences of identity, heritage, and immigration with groups of all ages. More than 1,000 volunteers participate in this storytelling program that nurtures cross-cultural dialogue and strengthens our appreciation for one another in an open spirit that is genuinely Canadian.

Immigration Depot in Toronto. Detail from "Map of the part of the Province of Ontario for emigration purposes," ca. 1877.

Britishers Bring Your Families to Canada, Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited, 1929.

Dr. Fidel Exemenari greets his three children after they arrive in Toronto from Biafra, 1970. Frank Lennon/Toronto Star. From the Toronto Star Photograph Archive.

Guided Tours

Every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Meet inside the TD Gallery. Drop in. No registration required.

To organize group tours or class visits, please contact:

Fourteen nationalities are represented in this primary class at York Street Public School in Toronto, 1923.

Related Programming

Exhibit Launch: Ask Me My Story!

May 23, 2017, 5:30 pm
TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library

Collecting Voices with the Multicultural History Society of Ontario

June 15, 2017, 6 pm
June 22, 2017, 6 pm
Discussion Room, Toronto Reference Library

Registration required. Email to register.

Dishing Up Toronto: Follow the Maize - From Mexico to the Great Lakes

July 6, 2017, 6 pm
Beeton Hall, Toronto Reference Library

Registration required. Book your free ticket here beginning May 20 at 9 am.