Toronto History Museums Launches New HerStory Content for International Women’s Day – City of Toronto


Press release

March 8, 2022

Today, Toronto’s History Museums launched new content for the City of Toronto’s HerStory program, focusing on the stories of influential women past and present to celebrate International Women’s Day. . This new content features Verna Patronella Johnston and Jean Lumb.

Verna Patronella Johnston was an Anishinaabe author, activist, mother, grandmother, and mentor known for her work helping young Aboriginal people adjust to city life. She has established a strong presence in her community of Cape Croker and Toronto. Verna had been responsible for helping hundreds of young Aboriginal people come to Toronto. She has given countless presentations to businesses, community groups and organizations on Aboriginal culture. She was a grassroots volunteer in the emerging days of many Aboriginal organizations in Toronto.

China’s first Canadian and first restaurateur inducted into the Order of Canada, Jean Lumb, has called for an end to immigration policies that have kept families apart for decades. She campaigned to end the total obliteration of Toronto’s first Chinatown and played a pivotal role in challenging immigration restrictions that prevented family reunification for Chinese Canadians separated by 24 years of marriage. exclusion. She was the only woman on the delegation to Prime Minister Diefenbaker. By fighting against racism and advocating for the self-representation of Chinese Canadians, she realized her lifelong dream of cross-cultural connections and integration into Canadian life.

Find out more about Verna Patronella Johnston and Jean Lumb at

HerStory content from Toronto’s History Museums pays tribute to incredible women whose talents, skills, determination and perseverance have woven together a more equitable future for all. HerStory also currently features Salome Bey, E. Pauline Johnson, and Mary Ann Shadd Cary.

On March 24 at 7 p.m., the Toronto History Museums will host HerStory, Women & Mental Health, an online virtual panel discussion with special guests Pauline Larsan (Downtown Yonge BIA); Nadine Finlay (Lakeshore Grounds Interpretation Centre); and a representative from Workman Arts in conversation about women and mental wellness followed by a Q&A. Registration opens soon at

On International Women’s Day, the City is also recognizing the achievements of Toronto filmmaker Domee Shi, who premieres her animated feature “Turning Red” in Toronto today. Domee Shi studied animation at Sheridan College, widely recognized as one of the best in the world, and made Toronto the star of “Turning Red”. She won an Oscar for her animated short “BAO” in 2018 and is now the first woman to direct a Pixar feature film. Watch the “Turning Red” trailer.

Today, the Toronto sign in Nathan Philips Square is lit purple to celebrate International Women’s Day and will include a splash of red at 7 p.m. to celebrate HerStory and inspiring women like Jean Lumb, Verna Patronella Johnston and Domee Shi, who have made or are continuing to make significant contributions to Toronto’s past, present and future.

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action to accelerate women’s equality. This year’s theme is Break The Bias. Learn more about


“HerStory celebrates the women who, through their acts of courage and determination, have played an extraordinary role in creating positive change in their communities. International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to remember the ongoing struggle for gender equality in pay, representation in business and politics, education and health, around the world and here in Toronto. I encourage all residents to experience HerStory through Toronto’s history museums.
– Mayor John Tory

“HerStory content from Toronto’s History Museums enriches International Women’s Day celebrations in Toronto by shining a spotlight on influential women past and present. The program provides an authentic response to the lack of such stories in Toronto’s historical narrative.
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

The Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 City of Toronto owned and operated museums that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills, and Zion School. The Toronto History Museums Awakenings Program is the recipient of the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership. More information is available at, or follow Toronto’s History Museums at Twitter, instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s main economic engine and one of the most diverse and livable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and ranks consistently at the top of international rankings thanks to investments supported by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City website or follow us on Twitter, instagram Where Facebook.


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