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The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto

About the Multi-Year Project

Women currently make up 52% of the population in Toronto. Join us as we bring their stories to life.

This impact-filled multi-year project celebrates the myriad of ways women have contributed to various facets of city life – in art, culture, politics, sports, technology, business, and more. To tell these important stories, this project has commissioned 24 exemplary playwrights to write 52 monologues – one for each transformational woman on our list.

We kicked off this journey with a participatory performance on September 23, 2023 as part of Nuit Blanche.

Meet the 52 Women
Learn about the 52 women that are the foundation of this project. Explore their lasting legacies, and click through their biographies and further resources.

52 is Only the Beginning
Our Nomination Process — Coming Soon
Do you know a woman who’s made a positive impact on the city of Toronto?
To scratch the surface of the impact that 52% of Toronto has made on the city, audiences are also invited to nominate a woman who has had a lasting impact on Toronto. Nominees are eligible to become part of The 52 project. Help Museum of Toronto document and preserve the legacies of Toronto’s transformational women by participating in one of our upcoming crowd-sourcing activities. Stay tuned for more!
Meet the Playwrights

Twenty-four of Toronto’s most exciting and emerging artists have been commissioned to tell the stories of 52 historically significant women in the city through dramatic monologues – of which audiences will be invited to act out excerpts from. The playwrights on this project include Kanika Ambrose, Erin Shields, Ophira Calof, Marcia Johnson, Marjorie Chan, Anna Chatterton, Diane Flacks, Falen Johnson, Sarena Parmar, Julie Tepperman, Aida Jordao, Alex Cameron, Ali Joy Richardson, Coleen MacPherson, Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Jordi Mand, Julia Hune-Brown, Keira Loughran, Lisa Ryder, Meghan Swaby, Sedina Fiati, Shandra Spears, Cheri Maracle, and Sharada Eswar.

 

How We Chose “The 52”

We believe that this list of 52 women is only the beginning. Here are some of the factors we considered in this process:

  • 5 areas of city life – Civic Life, Politics, Science and Technology, and Arts and Culture
  • Impact – We considered her level of impact on the city
  • Groundbreaking – Did she trail-blaze a path for those who came after her?
  • Boldness – Is her story inspiring, courageous, heartbreaking, or resilient?
  • Diversity and Representation – How can we ensure that all Torontonians can see themselves in these women? We considered diversity and representation both across the entire list and within each of the 5 areas.

** Museum of Toronto acknowledges that this list is made of women-identified people and that some feminized people use both/either “her” and “they” pronouns.