Sex Work + the Queen City: Mapping Toronto's Sex Trade History, 1865-1915

Though often hidden and forgotten, the city of Toronto is home to numerous historic sites associated with the city's booming sex trade economies in the late 19th century. Twelve students in Dr. Laurie K. Bertram's seminar, "The Oldest Profession in Canada" in the Department of History at the University of Toronto have researched the hidden sex trade history of the locations on this map. By comparing court and newspaper reports with archival maps, directories, and memoirs, they have located a range of spaces associated with sex work in the Queen city, from courthouses and reformatories to the many brothels located in Toronto between 1865 and 1915. This map is the first stage of of a longer-term project that will illuminate many more of these 19th century sites throughout our city.

Student adding pin to map
Student adding pin to map

Sex Work + the Queen City: Mapping Toronto's Sex Trade History, 1865-1915