In 1924, the Labor Lyceum, a union hall for Jewish workers in the garment industry, stood at the corner of Spadina and St. Andrew, in the Jewish Market, now Kensington Market. Their strike action led to better conditions for all garment workers in Toronto. So when trailblazing anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman, who J. Edgar Hoover called “the most dangerous woman in America” was exiled from the U.S. for agitating on topics as radical as birth control and women’s rights, she fittingly chose Kensington Market as her adopted home. When her funeral was held at the Labor Lyceum, the crowds caused havoc with traffic in downtown Toronto.
Now housing the Hsin Kuang Centre, it is famous for another reason – being extremely haunted. Feng shui masters have come and exorcised the building, the main entrance was moved for better luck, it is painted gold, lions guard the entrance – and still no business survives here long.
The Hsin Kuang Centre/former Labour Lyceum is part of Urban Capers’ Kensington and Chinatown Caper, a scavenger hunt through the history, art and architecture of this unique neighbourhood, where you can get bonus points by tasting some of the great street foods of the world! Check out our calendar here.