The Archives hosts exhibits and events throughout the year. Find out what’s on.

Visions of Kensington Market: Sketches and Paintings by Aba Bayefsky

Between 1947 and 2000, Toronto artist Aba Bayefsky made hundreds of artworks based on his observations of Kensington Market. This exhibition features 13 original works from the Bayefsky Family Collection, alongside five decades of historic photographs from the City of Toronto Archives. Bayefsky first visited Kensington as a child in 1920’s when the Market was the centre of Jewish life in the city. His love for the Market, its atmosphere and ever-changing character kept Bayefsky returning with sketch pads for over five decades. The exhibition is free and runs until August 2023 at the Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road.

Black and white photo of woman carrying live hen in her arms.
Kensington Ave. market, woman carrying hen in arms, July 15, 1926
City of Toronto Archives, Globe and Mail Fonds 1266, Item 8245
People shopping at outdoor corner food market.
Kensington Market, corner of Nassau St. and Augusta Ave., Aug. 2, 1974 Photographer: Ellis Wiley, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 7, id 8


2 men in army uniforms holding paint brushes with paintings and sketches around them.
RCAF war artists Flight Lieutenant Aba Bayefsky (right) and Flight Lieutenant Miller Brittain, March 26, 1946, City of Toronto Archives, Globe and Mail Fonds 1266, Item 102955

Aba Bayefsky enlisted in the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1944. In 1945, he entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just after its liberation, recording what he saw in sketch books. Here we can see Bayefsky with a number of his Holocaust works which are now a part of the Canadian War Museum Collection in Ottawa.

Atrium exhibit – open weekdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays, noon – 5 p.m.

Black Women in Leadership

The City of Toronto Archives, in partnership with BAND, Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue Gallery and Cultural Centre, presents Black Women in Leadership – an exhibition featuring portraits of 40 Black women leaders by four Toronto-based visual artists, Janice Reid, Leyla Jeyte, Jon Blak, and Patricia Ellah. Curated by Sarah Edo and Belinda Uwase, Black Women in Leadership celebrates and highlights contributions from Black women leaders across various sectors including arts and culture, business, health and wellness and activism.  These women have led and continue to inspire change in their communities and have paved the way for the next generation of Black women leaders through community involvement and advocacy.

This ground-breaking exhibition reveals little-known, as well as renowned stories of successful women, all told through the eyes of four photographers whose creative backgrounds capture the essence of each of the featured women. In 2021, a selection of these portraits was displayed at pop up locations across Toronto as part of the public art celebration BigArtTO. Now you can see the full exhibition, showcasing all 40 portraits of Black Women in Leadership.

The exhibition is free and will run until August 2023 at the Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road, open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays noon – 5 p.m.

Grid of 40 black and white portraits of women.
Photos by: Janice Reid, Leyla Jeyte, Jon Blak, and Patricia Ellah