The above photo was taken 36 years ago this week in Toronto, on the front porch of a Riverdale house on Dundas East. It was brought to my attention by a Torontoist post that gives a brief overview of the KKK’s history not just in Toronto, but throughout Canada. And it stands out personally because I was born just two days later, about 6km away on Dundas West.
When the Klan set up shop in this house a few politicians condemned it with words, but “responsibility for eliminating the Klan fell to local community and church groups.” So on the day this photo was taken, “a group of about 300 protestors carrying signs and chanting ‘smash the Klan’ paraded past the Dundas St. E. home as eight members of the KKK, two in uniform, gathered on the porch to shout back. A line of police officers kept the groups separate as TV camera crews, photographers, and reporters looked on.” I like to think someone also yelled “stay out of Riverdale!” but if they did it’s lost to time.
Anyway, it worked. And while this group retreated only as far as Parkdale, another Toronto neighborhood, they “found they were no more welcome in the west end,” and eventually they “undid themselves.”
Read the full post at Torontoist to learn more.