Jean Lumb: Community Activist

By: Brooke Downey

As part of our Toronto the Just exhibit with Heritage Toronto and Myseum Toronto, we will be highlighting eight women who helped define our city in their efforts to combat inequality and discrimination.

Jean Lumb (1919-2002) was the child of Cantonese immigrants and spent her childhood in Nanaimo, B.C. Lumb moved to Toronto at the age of 16 and soon after opened her own grocery store. A cultural and social justice advocate for the Chinese community, Lumb was the only woman delegate to meet with Prime Minister Diefenbaker to lobby for family reunification after the appeal of The Chinese Immigration Act (Exclusion Act).


So this Family Day, let’s not forget a time when our government pursued an immigration policy heavily discriminatory towards Chinese immigrants and their families. We will also continue this month recognizing women like Jean Lumb who spent their lives fighting for social justice and equality.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 6.00.53 PMPortrait by Emma Jenkin.