Tina Zaza, Maria Egilda Fontanella, Anna Zaza, and Vittoria Fontanella posing in a garden - solo in inglese

Black and white photograph of a group of women posing in a garden in front of a house on Grace Street in Toronto, ON. From left to right the women are: Tina Zaza, Maria Egilda Fontanella, Anna Zaza and Vittoria Fontanella.

Sisters Tina and Anna Zaza are the daughters of Nicola Zaza. After immigrating to Toronto, Nicola opened a cabinetmaking business at the corner of College and Clinton Streets in Toronto's Little Italy. He also worked in the furniture department at the T. Eaton Co., to better support his family. His eldest daughter Tina (Concetta), also worked there as a seamstress. On June 10, 1940, Zaza was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) while working his shift at Eaton’s. Tina Zaza was fired from her job.

The other two women in the photograph, Maria and Vittoria, are also sisters. Maria had arrived in Canada in 1924. She lived at 127 Grace Street, where this photograph was taken, and was very active in Toronto’s Italian Canadian community as well as the city’s fascist movement. In 1937 and 1938 Fontanella was the fiduciary of the women’s fascio. She had applied for naturalization in 1939 but was denied because of her fascist activities. She was arrested on September 12, 1940 and was 55 years old. She is one of the four Italian Canadian women who were interned at the Prison for Women in Kingston, ON during World War II. She spent five months interned in Kingston before she was released.