Toronto Life | Thirteen fascinating artifacts about booze and gambling in turn-of-the-century Toronto

Turn-of-the-century Toronto was a very different city from the one we know today: booze was a hot button issue, children as young as 11 were imprisoned in the Don Jail and sleazy rags were the only place to find information on gay culture. That bygone era is documented in Vice and Virtue, an exhibition at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Gallery, on until April 30. “It’s a light-hearted look at moral reform in ‘Toronto the Good,’” says Mary Rae Shantz, the manager of service development for the library’s special collections. “Nowadays, we place moral judgments on the same themes—smoking, legalization of marijuana, the sex trade—discussed in the late 19th and early 20th century. The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Here, the stories behind 13 artifacts in the show. Read more.

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