General Eclectic: Oral Histories from Kensington Market

2015, Digital/Online, History, Kensington Market Historical Society
event photos, human library, Kensington Market, neighbourhood, new media, oral history, poster, promotional materials, virtual exhibit
About This Project

Date: Opening April 19, 2015

Partner: Kensington Market Historical Society

Venue: online

Project Members: Marianne Williams and Rachel Leaton


The exhibition will provide access to excerpts from the Kensington Market Historical Society’s Oral History Project. Using engaging and accessible online media, General Eclectic showcases the unique and diverse public histories of the beloved downtown neighbourhood.


Our exhibition is designed for adults and youth interested in learning more about Kensington Market, one of Toronto’s most beloved neighbourhoods.


The exhibition is hosted on the website of the Kensington Market Historical Society to create continuity with their Oral History project. The launch event was held at the Lillian H. Smith library as it is close to the market and where the Kensington Market Historical Society often have their events.


The Kensington Market Historical Society provided us with the oral histories and their valuable knowledge of the Market. The Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public Library who co-sponsored our launch event.


The project began in September 2014 and was finished in May 2015.


The online exhibition consists of audio pieces, edited from the 11 original oral histories, grouped around themes. For each audio piece, there are 3 images in order to provide context and situate visitors in the market.


As a launch event and program, we created a Human Library event with additional activities to promote the exhibit and give people a chance to experience the exhibit. The exhibit was marketed largely through social media with both a facebook event and an Eventbrite listing. The launch event was also publicized in a library publication about events. Posters and handbills will be distributed in the community and at the launch event.


Our exhibition aims to reach as wide an audience as possible. We hope to have between 50-70 people at the event and a significant amount of visitors to the site once it is launched. Thanks to the Kensington Market Historical Society, in particular, Sylvia Lassam and Bruce Beaton for their help and support.


Thanks to the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public library for co-sponsoring our launch event. Thanks to Paulina Saliba, Myra Wein, Alice Stanton-Hagan and Akina Lalla for their assistance. Thanks to all of the interviewees and the participants in the Human Library.