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Grace Bagnato

Grace Bagnato

1891 - 1950

The Canada of today has been created by thousands of immigrants from every
corner of the world. Some of these became leaders in their communities and
co-creators of the national life. Grace Bagnato was one of them. She was born
in the United States in 1891 to Italian parents, who immigrated to Toronto in
1905. They lived in "The Ward", an area of struggling immigrant families,
located near the Courthouse and Old City Hall. Grace grew up in the Ward
and in this neighbourhood. At age 14 married Joseph Bagnato, a leader
in the Italian community. They had 13 children. Wanting to communicate with her
neighbours, Grace learned their languages; Ukrainian, Yiddish, Polish...
Grace became the district's interpreter, building bridges of understanding
between new immigrants and the English speaking world of government, law
courts and society. In 1921 she became the first Italian Canadian woman
court interpreter in Ontario and continued the task of weaving the cultures of
Toronto's ethnic neighbourhoods into the fabric we now know as Canada.

Many other marvelous Toronto plaques can be seen at Alan L. Brown's site Toronto Plaques

Submitted by ldweingberg

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