Our tour began at the Cecil Street Community Centre. Originally build in 1891 as a church, the building became a synagogue in the 1920’s. It is now a Chinese community centre, however when we went inside, there is still much evidence of it being a synagogue. Sharoni, our guide explained that Cecil street housed all the Jewish institutions of that time, including the original site of Baycrest.
From there we walked along Spadina, stopping to see the original site of United Bakers, and some other landmarks of former Jewish buildings. We saw the Minsker synagogue, one of the few remaining synagogues in the area that is still open. After a walk through part of Kensington Market, we ended our tour at the Kiever Synagogue, where we were able to go inside and see the sanctuary, which still looks like it did when it was built in 1927. A member of the synagogue shared some of the history of the congregation with us, before we got back on the bus to head home. It was a great night, learning about the roots of the Jewish community in Toronto!