For many newcomers, places of worship are beacons that offer social, economic, and spiritual support. These places act as informal community centres that provide material, social, and spiritual support but also a vital sense of identity and familiar culture. In Scarborough where many racialized immigrants land, over 300 churches, temples, and mosques currently exist—averaging 1.5 places of worship every square kilometer. Here, commercial units in plazas and industrial spaces become makeshift congregation halls.
Beginning in 2019, Lee has been working on the ambitious project to document and catalog all places of worship in Scarborough. More image can be found on his personal project website. This ongoing project is supported by the Canadian Council for the Arts.
Selected photographs will be featured as a public art installation with Doris McCarthy Gallery as core exhibition in 2021 Contact Photography Festival at Malvern Town Centre.
Interview: CBC Metro Morning with Ismaila Alfa