Project Profile:

Sex Work and the Queen City: Mapping Toronto’s Sex Trade History, 1865-1915


Description: 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.


  • Laurie Bertram, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto
  • Students of “The Oldest Profession in Canada” seminar

Recent News

Refugee States: Oral History Narrators Wanted

How do we tell stories of refugee stories differently? Refugee States is a project that challenges dominant narratives about forced migration. We partner with community organizations to co-create a counter-archive of refugee and migration oral histories and to...

read more