Portrait of James Franceschini with his family, Toronto, ON, ca. 1921

Black and white portrait of James Franceschini with his wife Annie and daughter Myrtle, Toronto, ON, ca. 1921. Myrtle was born in 1921. Given she is pictured as a baby, this photograph was likely taken soon after her birth. This is further supported by her attire, which suggest this was a formal portrait to commemorate her baptism. Unlike most Italian Canadians at the time, Franceschini was a protestant. This photograph was taken at the same time as another in our collection DICEA2011.0013.0008.

In 1912, Franceschini founded Dufferin Construction and became well known nationally. As the company became increasingly more successful, Franceschini was able to move into the construction of highways, provincial roads, rail lines and suburbs. Within three years – at the age of 25 – Franceschini became a millionaire.

On June 10, 1940, he was arrested and interned as a threat to the Canadian state.