Antonio Di Pietro driving La Gioconda Shoe Manufacturing Co. truck, Montreal, QC

Black and white photograph of Antonio Di Pietro sitting behind the wheel of the La Gioconda Shoe Manufacturing truck in Montreal, QC.

Di Pietro was born in 1910 in Cepagatti, Pescara, Italy and arrived in Canada around 1930, sponsored by his uncle Alfredo D. Sebastiani. His brother Giuseppe (Joseph) followed him to Montreal, arriving in 1934. Di Pietro worked as assistant foreman in his uncle’s factory. He also designed shoe models. Di Pietro’s uncle Sebastiani was a very wealthy man. He was a shoe factory worker when he first arrived in Montreal. He later established several profitable shoe factories, including La Gioconda Shoe Manufacturing Co. According to family members, the Di Pietro brothers enjoyed a high standard of living before World War II. Through their uncle, the Di Pietro brothers had access to the upper class of Italian Canadians: the Italian Consul Giuseppe Brigidi and others.

Antonio Di Pietro, his brother and his uncle were all arrested on June 10, 1940 as threats to the Canadian state. The two brothers were interned while their uncle was placed under house arrest due to his poor health.