Toronto Historical Labour Sites: Research Assignment: Toronto Eaton’s Centre Building (specif

This 4-6 page (minimum: 1500 words) double-spaced essay will describe the significance, the physical properties and specific location of a site of historical significance to the labour movement in Canada.

You will need to use 4 secondary resources for your essay, including 2 valid academic sources*. This assignment emphasizes your relationship to the material history of the labour movement in Canada and should help to illustrate your own interconnectedness with that history, both as scholars of labour history and residents of Toronto.

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You will need to visit the site of your choosing, and then photograph, videotape, illustrate, or otherwise visually represent that location and any commemorative plaques or monuments posted there (including Historical Toronto plaques, statuary, and [murmur] ears).
Your assignment should include a brief 250-word-plus account of that site: you should describe the site and provide an account of your response to the site in light of your research of it. Remember to include in your account why this site is of personal significance to you.

Tip: You may wish to present this assignment in two parts:
a field component, with your representation (i.e. photos, videos, drawings) of the site, and;
the research component: your report on the history and significance of the site.
Note: Keep in mind the site does not need to be commemorated, so long as it is a site of historical significance to labour in Canada (an example of an uncommemorated site would be the razed poor houses of Cabbagetown). Part of your project can be bringing your historic site to the attention of Toronto Heritage or an alternative commemorative group such as [murmur], or the Missing Plaques Project.

Tip: Speak to your family members and friends and find out how they might have been involved in the unfolding of historical events significant to the labour movement: Was your grandfather a part of the construction of the Bloor Street Viaduct? Did your Aunt or sister ever participate in a strike? Has a friend of yours ever been invited to join a controversial union, such as that of McDonald’s or Walmartemployees? Mine your own history for a Toronto site that may be significant to labour history. Your connectedness to the site will make it that much more interesting to work on, and it will allow you to experience firsthand your own relationship with history.


For this report, you will use at least two database articles (only one of them from a newspaper or magazine, and at least one from a scholarly/peer-reviewed journal), and at least one website. Additional sources, such as books (or chapters in books) by labourhistorians (Greg Kealey, Desmond Morton, Brian Palmer, Joan Sangster, Julie White, Dionne Brand and more) are recommended but not required.

List all of the sources used in the course of your research on a Works Cited page at the end of your 4-6 page report. Be sure to also use in-text citation to indicate the sources for all direct quotations, facts and statistics used in your report.
Some questions your report might answer:

What does the site look like?
Where is it located? Explain in detail the event and its actors that make the physical location significant?
What is the historical significance of your site?: i.e., what happened there? Who was involved? What was the outcome?
If the event / person who is the object of the site is controversial, why?; i.e. some sites will honour a person who might not be completely praise-worthy; or, they may pay tribute to an event that does not deserve celebration. Make sure to include an account of this. Remember to continue to employ the rules of reading history critically, even (or, perhaps, especially) in this exercise.
How is this event / idea / person / change still of significance today?
If your subject is a person (a plaque or statue commemorating a person):
Relate the site to the person: why is this site significant?
What did this person do to change the situation of labour in Canadian history?
Did she/he make changes for the better of for the worse?
If your subject is an event:
What was this situation like prior to the unfolding of your event?
What were some immediate outcomes?
What were some long-term outcomes?
What feeling do you get standing where history unfolded? What connections did you make, or did anything become clearer to you standing on that physical site?
Why is this event or person personally significant to you?
our project should include the following details:

A clearly worded thesis, related to some aspect of labour art— see above for some sense of where to begin in terms of choosing a subject.
Details about who was involved, why they became involved, when the work, movement, union, etc. existed— as a general guideline, try to provide as much detail as possible.
Your project should include statistics, facts, and / or concrete data from valid sources to support or illustrate your claims.
Those statistics, facts and data should be analyzed and explained in detail; i.e. what does a particular stat, law, or fact mean in relationship to your historical site? What does it tell us about your topic? How does it relate to labour history?
When you are including other peoples thoughts, ideas, words, or research, correct and complete APA citations will be required.
Tips for the successful completion of this assignment:
Your report should answer in sufficient detail the questions you have set out in the outline component of this assignment.
Clearly organize your work in order that your reader can follow closely what it is you are arguing.
Be sure that all relevant terms and concepts used in the project are explained, and that the information you give is contextualized. This will help the person reading your work to follow you through your presentation.
Be sure to double-check your work for errors of grammar, spelling, and logic.
Depending on what it is you are researching, finding valid material beyond that on the official website may be difficult; you should, therefore, choose a subject that you feel you are able to adequately research.

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