HerStory, featuring Jean Lumb and Verna Patronella Johnston

Jean B. Lumb – An Unbreakable Spirit

Toronto History Museums launches new HerStory content

This March, City of Toronto’s Toronto History Museums is featuring the lives of incredible women past, present and future.

In time for International Women’s Day this week, Toronto History Museums’ HerStory program celebrated new stories about two incredible women, Jean Lumb and Verna Patronella Johnston—whose leadership and accomplishments helped build more equitable futures for our communities.

Verna Patronella Johnston was an Anishnabe author, activist, mother, grandmother, and mentor, known for her work in helping Indigenous youth adapt to life in the city. Discover more about Verna Patronella Johnston at www.toronto.ca/herstory

The first Chinese Canadian woman and first restaurateur inducted into the Order of Canada, Jean Lumb advocated for the end of immigration policies that had separated families for decades. Learn more about Jean Lumb at www.toronto.ca/herstory

HerStory pays tribute to some of the incredible women who have made or are continuing to make important contributions to Toronto’s history and story. With their talents, skills, determination and perseverance these inspiring women have woven together a more equitable future for us all.

Verna Patronella Johnston – An Unconventional Fighter

HerStory also currently features Salome Bey, E. Pauline Johnson and Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Explore HerStory here.

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


Awakenings is a series of art projects created within Toronto History Museums by Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism. All available for you to engage with online. Many exceptional female artists were involved in the conceptualization, creation and production of programs such as We Were Always Here, A Revolution of Love and It’s Been a While.

The Awakenings program is the recipient of the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership.

View the full Awakenings program on YouTube.

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto 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 Schoolhouse.

Learn more about Toronto History Museums programs at www.toronto.ca/museums

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