Tuesday April 16 at 7 pm on Zoom

On March 17, 1960, five men working on a watermain under the Don River died when a fire broke out in the tunnel.

They were all recent immigrants from Italy, part of the huge of wave of Italians in the 1950s who had become crucial to the Toronto construction industry.

Like so many others, these men had been mistreated, underpaid, and exposed to extremely dangerous working conditions.

The tragedy that night in North York focused a bright public spotlight on the exploitative conditions that these immigrants faced and helped to trigger a surge in union organizing, as well as some substantial reforms in Ontario labour law.

We want to remember those men and the contributions that they and their workmates made to the city. Four speakers will join us:

Franca Iacovetta, professor emerita at the University of Toronto, has written extensively on the history of the Italian experience in Toronto.

Gil Fernandes, professor at York University and director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, is now working on a new book on the history of construction workers in Toronto.

Laurie Swim, a celebrated artist, has produced a huge, beautiful quilt dedicated to the victims at Hogg’s Hollow, which hangs in the York Mills subway station.

Orlando Buonastella, a community legal worker and organizer at the Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic, has been working on issues of occupational health and safety for many years.

Events & PresentationsHogg’s Hollow Tragedy (1960)