Community Conversation: “The Summer of ’77: How Emanuel Jaques’ Murder Changed Toronto,” June 22


On the 40th anniversary of the murder that shocked Toronto, historians Gilberto Fernandes, Daniel Ross, Tom Hooper (York University), and sex worker/advocate Valerie Scott (Sex Professionals of Canada) will discuss how the death of the young Azorean shoeshine boy Emanuel Jaques impacted the city’s Portuguese, LGBTQ, and sex worker communities, and led to the “revamping” of Yonge Street. This conversation coincides with Ontario’s Portuguese Heritage Month celebrations and Pride Week, beginning on June 23rd.

When: Thursday, June 22, 2017, 6pm-8pm
Where: Gallery of the Portuguese Pioneers (960 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON)

This Community Conversation is organized by the PCHP with support from York University’s Department of History, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies Program; the Gallery of the Portuguese Pioneers; and

All are welcome!


5 thoughts on “Community Conversation: “The Summer of ’77: How Emanuel Jaques’ Murder Changed Toronto,” June 22

  1. I lived with in walking distance of Emanuel and although I did not know them I knew another Portuguese family who was even closer , We all lived in South Regent Park and went to St Pauls Catholic school on Queen . (no buses to get to school back then ) It was a easy walk then because there were only 3 schools (one Catholic) there were always packs of us going and coming at the same time . My best friend and her 8 siblings were Portuguese , and out of that 9 my friend was the 3rd oldest , she took care of all the meals and cleaning through the day .I only met her Parents once or twice in 3-4 years and I practically lived at their house. The 2 older siblings worked and went to school , My friend and the 2 younger ones next to her worked part-time nights , They worked at Mattel and some nights were out all night picking worms . I was asked many times to come and would make so a worm , Her Father said yes my Mother said No . There was no choice for them thats just the way the family did things and all are hard workers today .I remember my Grandmother (We are immigrant Newfoundlanders ) had a photo album just for pictures and newspaper clippings of Emanuel .It was horrifying for everybody in our community. Although there were other murders going on at and around the same time , There was a grocery store bagging boy , There was also a boy coming home from swimming that were murdered all in and around downtown Toronto. For anybody that didn’t know Downtown Toronto in the 70’s or of the Portuguese culture I hope this helps .


  2. I wonder, as I often have since that murder, why a 12-year-old child was working alone on that notorious strip. In my opinion, it was a completely preventable tragedy. The issue of child labour was not raised in the media at the time, nor has it to my knowledge Been disussed since. The fact that the child was male and that the perpetrators were homosexual skewed all the coverage in that direction and away from the underlying issues of child poverty and parental neglect.


    1. It was a common economic strategy among Portuguese immigrant working families in the 50s-70s to have every able-bodied member of the household (including children) to work for wages in order to support the household’s finances and achieve that much-desired homeownership. Like Emanuel Jaques, there were plenty other Portuguese children working for wages at the time. On the other hand, many Portuguese working parents had multiple jobs and worked long hours, which meant that their children went for long periods without having their parents’ direct supervision, even if their neighbours and extended family kept an eye on them. Many Portuguese immigrant children remember having a great deal of freedom growing up, and having to “raise themselves” – see our interview with Anthony de Sa for his example – until Emanuel’s murder alarmed the parents, who began “locking their doors.”
      You are correct that not enough attention is given to the prevalent (and persistent) issue of poverty – for more on this, watch our interview with the Marmelo family and their volunteering work – in the Portuguese-Canadian commemorative narrative, which focuses disproportionally on the “bootstraps” notion of triumph against the odds. Plenty of Portuguese immigrant families did not fare well economically in Canada, including those whose family members lost lives and limbs in working accidents, and those who moved back and rarely get to tell their stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Was 22 years old living in Yarmouth NovaScotia and heard the sad new on CBC. this murder bother me just as it did lots of people. now living in Toronto Ontario. on July 29 at 1pm I will t putting a poster on a poll near 245 Yonge st. it is a picture of Emanuel Jaques, 1965-1977 and Gone but not forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s