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Memories and Writings from Scarborough Residents

December 16, 2014 | John P. | Comments (1)

City of Toronto residents have been living with amalgamation since January 1998 but different areas of the city have continued to demonstrate their own identities and elements of their own creativity. The people of Scarborough are no exception. Writing has been one means for Scarborough residents to share their creativity as well as their memories of Scarborough and elsewhere. Consider the following books available for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Moments: Scarborough Seniors Write / Scarborough Arts

Scarborough Arts, a local arts service organization, published this anthology of articles, poems, and short stories of the 2013-2014 Scarborough Seniors Write (SSW) program. Read a Toronto Observer article that described the program that began in September 2013 at Toronto Public Library’s Kennedy-Eglinton neighbourhood branch.

Place Hold to reserve a copy of this book for pick-up at your local library branch location.


Watch the report of the Scarborough Seniors Write (SSW) program on Rogers TV’s program Scarborough Now:



Memories of Scarborough a bicentennial celebration

Memories of Scarborough: a bicentennial celebration / City of Scarborough Public Library Board
Available in Book or eBook formats.

A variety of Scarborough residents provided biographical essays of themselves and/or their families in Scarborough over time leading up to the 1996 bicentennial that preceded full amalgamation into the new City of Toronto.

Place Hold to reserve a copy of this book for pick-up at your local library branch location.

Click on Access PDF Online to read the eBook version.


For additional sources related to Scarborough, please read the Cultural Hotspot Comes to South Scarborough! - Non-Fiction Reading List blog post from June 2014.

September 22 – 26: Scarborough Community Safety Week (Highlights at Albert Campbell Library)

September 20, 2014 | Elsa | Comments (0)

Safety Week

The Toronto East Quandrant Local Immigration Partnership Employment (TEQ LIP) has organized its second Scarborough Community Safety Week September 22nd–26th.

Working with TEQ LIP, Albert Campbell library is hosting library workshops to encourage greater safety awareness in the community, and to shine a spotlight on safety especially for newcomer and immigrant families. You are invited to attend! Come out and meet your neighbours and neighbourhood service providers who are committed to greater safety measures in your community.

To register for the workshops, or to find out more information, please visit in person or call the branch.


At Home Alone Workshop: 5 Steps to Independence

Home Alone
Photo Credit: John Ragai (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License)

A facilitator from Warden Woods Community Centre will lead this fun family workshop to help families prepare their 10-14 year old to be home alone safely.


Consumer Safety - Home, Phone, and Online Shopping

Consumer Safety
Photo Credit: Daniel Foster (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial- ShareAlike 2.0 Generic)

A Ministry of Consumer Services Ontario representative will teach you what you need to know about home, phone, and online shopping. Know your rights when shopping from local and international websites and learn how to be safe when buying from telemarketers.


The following Scarborough library branches will be also hosting free Safety Week Workshops:

Tuesday, September 23rd

Thursday, September 25th

Please see calendar below for a complete list of library and community events for Scarborough Safety Week:

Image Courtesy of TEQ LIP

For more information, visit:

Cultural Hotspot Comes to South Scarborough! - Non-Fiction Reading List

June 13, 2014 | John P. | Comments (0)

Residents of south Scarborough may have heard of the City of Toronto’s inaugural Cultural Hotspot initiative in 2014, namely Hotspot East – south Scarborough, comprising the area “bordered by Lawrence Avenue East south to the lake, Victoria Park Avenue east to Highland Creek Village. This Hotspot is home to a diverse cultural scene, engaged community, growing economy, green spaces and unique local history.” The City of Toronto has produced a Program Guide called “This Spot is Hot: Culture, Creativity, Community: May-October 2014” that lists a variety of signature projects and other activities in which to get involved such as the Legacy Project (an online and in-print information collection to be developed that will provide access, exploration, and enjoyment opportunities in culture, art, business, and history for residents and visitors alike) and the Cultural Loops (South Scarborough has been subdivided into three (3) cultural loops to showcase local arts, culture, business, and history opportunities.).

Toronto Public Library is a community partner amongst many organizations of the Cultural Hotspot East initiative with 12 library branches located in the designated area. Albert Campbell District Branch, Cliffcrest and Taylor Memorial Neighbourhood Branches all fall within Loop 1. In Loop 2, one can find Cedarbrae District Branch (location of the Scarborough Historical Collection) as well as Bendale, Eglinton Square, Kennedy/Eglinton, and McGregor Park Neighbourhood Branches. Or, follow Loop 3 in southeastern Scarborough in which one can visit Guildwood, Highland Creek, Morningside and Port Union Neighbourhood Branches. Visit any one of these 12 library branch locations to pick up a free copy (Please note: while supplies last!) of the booklet “Toronto Public Library and the Cultural Hotspot East..: Library Guide Reading List”. The booklet includes a page called “Your Passport” on which you can get stamps from each of the 12 library branch locations. If you visit all 12 designated library branches to get “Your Passport” stamped 12 times, ask library staff for a ballot for a chance to win a gift basket. Enjoy exploring public library branches in the Cultural Hotspot East – south Scarborough area! Or, download the PDF (Portable Document Format) file version of the booklet here.


The booklet’s reading list includes a variety of titles available for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections. Here is the list of non-fiction titles subdivided by areas of interest:


Art & Architecture:

Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris McCarthy

William Moore and Stuart Reid, 1999

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection produced this exhibition catalogue in 1999, highlighting the work of Artist of Honour Doris McCarthy who also served as artist-in-residence in 2000. 


Doris McCarthy roughing it in the bush

Doris McCarthy: Roughing It in the Bush

Doris McCarthy, 2010

Enjoy viewing the exhibition catalogue of the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). 


Doris McCarthy ninety years wise

Doris McCarthy: Ninety Years Wise

Doris McCarthy, 2004

Written by the author at age 94, the now-late painter Doris McCarthy (1910-2010) focused on a recent summer (two years before) spent at her Georgian Bay cottage painting and connecting with friends. Photographs (including some of the artist’s work) complement the story of this memoir. 


Home Sweet Scarborough

Richard Schofield, 1996

The Scarborough Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) presents architectural profiles of various historic buildings in Scarborough, including different churches and the Scarboro’ Centennial Memorial Library.


Signposts to Scarborough’s Rural Past:  A Photographic Journey

George W. J. Duncan, 1999

Read the story of Scarborough’s earliest building dating from the pioneer era, the log cabin located at 191 Guildwood Parkway, along with stories and photographs of other Scarborough landmarks. 


Those interested in Scarborough-based arts and architecture should also consider watching the following episodes from the Rogers Television program Structures, available for borrowing in DVD format, from Toronto Public Library collections:

Structures. 2006 Episode 8 (DVD)

The Scarborough Golf Club & Country Club. Cliffside Neighbourhood.

Rogers Television, 2006

Learn about historic sites in Cliffside neighbourhood and at the Scarborough Golf Club and Country Club.


Structures. 2009-2010 Episode 1 (DVD) 

Highland Creek

Rogers Television, 2010

Take a tour of Highland Creek neighbourhood in eastern Scarborough to appreciate its architecture, environment, and history.


Structures. 2009-2010 Episode 6 (DVD)

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

Rogers Television, 2010

Learn about older and newer buildings at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. 


General History: Scarborough & Scarborough Neighbourhoods:


Fact & Folklore: Highland Creek, Hillside, Port Union, West Hill

John P. Spilsbury, 1998 – available in eBook  format through


Take a look back at southeast Scarborough through settler families, general stores, transportation by stage coaches and railroads, churches and cemeteries, hotels and inns, a mechanics institute library, and the establishment of community associations such as the Centennial Community and Recreation Association (CCRA) in 1949. 


A history of Scarborough

A History of Scarborough

Robert R. Bonis, 1968 – Also available in eBook format


This groundbreaking book set the historical stage for the transformation of Scarborough and its component villages into a more industrialized, urban municipality following World War Two. Follow the life of pioneer families through recreational activities such as plowing matches, horseshoe throwing, and spelling bees through to the construction of Scarborough’s first high school in the early 1920s (now R.H. King Academy) to the development of community centres (such as Heron Park), the Scarborough General Hospital, the Scarborough Board of Education and the Scarborough Public Library Board in the mid-1950s. 


The History of the Guild Inn

Carol M. Lidgold, 2000

Read about the love story of Rosa and Spencer Clark and their dream to build an arts-based co-operative community through the Guild Inn. Follow brief biographies of various artists, and explore a guide to the sculpture garden. 


Memories of Scarborough a bicentennial celebration

Memories of Scarborough: A Bicentennial Celebration

City of Scarborough Public Library Board, 1997 – Also available in eBook format

Scarborough residents reflect upon yesteryear and the development of their lives and their communities over time. One essay explores the history of recreational chess clubs in Scarborough. 


The people of Scarborough a history

The People of Scarborough: A History

Barbara Myrvold, 1997 – Also available in eBook  format

This book tracks the people of Scarborough from the beginning – i.e. Aboriginal peoples before and after contact with Europeans – through to early European settlement (1796-1815), immigration and settlement (1815-1861), rural population decline (1861-1910), suburban development and population growth (1911-1945), suburban population explosion (1945-1971), and multicultural city (1971-1996) – with a focus on various ethnocultural groups, including their activities and organizations. 


Scarborough Then and Now

Richard Schofield, 1996

Track the development of Scarborough and its services from 1796 to 1996, including the board of education, the public library board, and parks and recreation. 


Natural History & Walking Tours:


Along the shore rediscovering Toronto's waterfront heritage

Along the Shore: Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront Heritage

Jane Fairburn, 2013 – also available in eBook  format

Follow the historical journey from past to present by focusing on specific areas of Toronto’s waterfront, namely from east to west: the Scarborough Bluffs, the Beach, the Island (i.e. Toronto Islands), and the Lakeshore (encompassing New Toronto, Mimico, Humber Bay, and Long Branch). Learn how residents in these communities of yesteryear relied upon the proximity of Lake Ontario for their survival, whereas the opportunities for recreation have increased in importance over time. 


The Rouge River Valley an urban wilderness

The Rouge River Valley: An Urban Wilderness

James Garratt, 1999 – also available in eBook  format

Environmentalist James Garratt offers the reader two decades of his ecological examination and personal observations on the Rouge River Valley, a wilderness occurring within an urban setting. The author looks at the diverse, natural habitat forced to deal with the specter of urban sprawl and continuing development. Contrast this with the more recent announcement of this area being turned into an urban-based national park. 


Stroll psychogeographic walking tours of Toronto

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto

Shawn Micallef, 2010 – also available in eBook  format

The senior editor of Spacing magazine includes Scarborough-based walking tours for Rouge Park, Kingston-Galloway and Guildwood Village, Scarborough City Centre and Bendale, and Dorset Park. 


Toronto's ravines walking the hidden country

Toronto’s Ravines: Walking the Hidden Country

Murray Seymour, 2000

The author introduces the reader to 34 ravine walks accessible by public transit within the City of Toronto. People in Scarborough can explore the eastern stretches of the Taylor-Massey Creek watershed in western Scarborough as well as the Highland Creek valley and the Rouge River area in southeastern Scarborough.

Immigrant Diversity Week: Information for Newcomers on Employment Success and More

April 30, 2013 | Winona | Comments (1)

Immigrant Diversity Week is on now and continues until Friday May 3.

Free events, put together by the Employment, Education, and Training Action Group of the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership, are happening throughout the east end of the city, and many are taking place at library branches in the Scarborough community.

If you are new to Canada, drop in to your local library branch to find out what resources are available to you!

Diversity Makes Us Unique photo by Marc Falardeau
Photo of TTC subway tile by Marc Falardeau via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.
On Tuesday April 30, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., visit the McGregor Park Branch to get information from local agencies such as the ASCA Newcomers' Centre, which has been providing services for newcomers such as translation, interpretation, counseling, and employment-related services in the community for over 35 years.

On Wednesday May 1 join us for job-related workshops at Albert Campbell Branch. Find out about Canadian workplace culture and the essential communication skills you need to succeed in a diverse and competitive workplace from an employment counsellor from Goodwill Employment Services. Participants will learn about they key aspects of culture and communication, including non-verbal forms of communication, the expectations and assumptions of Canadian colleagues, and more. Or get information about resumes from an expert from Centennial College Job Connect, who will offer instruction on how to create effective resumes and cover letters. If you already have a resume or cover letter, bring it with you to receive feedback and tips for improvement. Useful handouts and skills lists will be distributed. Please call 416-396-8890 to register for one of these free workshops. Both workshops take place from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Visit the Kennedy/Eglinton Branch on Wednesday May 1, from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m., to get information about services for immigrants from the Catholic Crosscultural Services, which provides settlement and immigration services for all newcomers regardless of religion. 

On Thursday May 2, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Catholic Cross Cultural Services will be back at the Kennedy/Eglinton Branch to present a free resource information workshop for newcomers on immigration and refugee issues, settlement plans, and more. Register by phone, 416-396-8924, or drop in!

If you would like to practice your English communication skills, come to the Albert Campbell Branch on Thursday May 2nd at 3:00 p.m. for our English Conversation Circle. Learn about Canadian culture and improve your spoken English in an encouraging and supportive environment with other newcomers. To register, call Lakhbir Dhillon at 416-757-7010 ext. 212 or email [email protected], or just drop in!


Can't make it to an Immigrant Diversity Week event? Don't worry - resources for newcomers are available at the library all year long. For more information, check out our webpage Find Your Way if You're New to Canada.


Are you a newcomer looking for work? Here is a selection of books on how to achieve employment success, especially for job-seekers who are new to Canada (click on the picture for more information about the book and to place a hold):

Living and Working in Canada _ David Hampshire Arrival Survival Canada : Naeem Noorani A Complete Guide to Overcome No Canadian Experience _ Obi Orakwue No Canadian Experience, Eh? _ Daisy Wright

How to Find a Job in Canada _ Efim Sheinis Get Hired on Demand : Grace Taller Communicating Across Cultures at Work _ Maureen Guirdham You're Hired Now What? _ Lynda Goldman

Who, me, activist? Knitting and Community in the Library

October 9, 2012 | Marie | Comments (2)

We'll soon be celebrating the second anniversary of Kennedy/Eglinton's "Tuesday Night Knitting Circle".  It's composed of a motley crew of (mostly) ladies of a certain age who (mostly) knit and tell the (mostly) most mischievous stories!

The group had a very community-type beginning. In 2010 a neighbourhood grade 7 teacher gave her class an assignment  to "knit scarves for the homeless".  Our library regulars soon bombarded the staff with pleas of "teach me, teach me how to knit." 

One of the things the library is really good at is connecting demand and supply.  We may not know everything there is to know, but we can certainly guide you in the appropriate direction on your quest for knowledge and enlightenment.  A few skilful seniors from the Don Montgomery Community Centre Seniors Group volunteered to run a one-day "knitting bootcamp".


Seniors, staff and youth knit together, and everyone had so much fun that they asked to come back.

The group has grown to include elementary school students KnittingGirlsDec2010
(sometimes), newcomers, and those who didn't know one end of a knitting needle from the other.

The group kept in touch with that grade 7 class. Several students knitted their scarves with the group. When the project was finished the Circle made a healthy donation on behalf of the class to an organization which assists the needy. They supplemented the donation with several of their own warm and cozy creations.

Of late they've made a large donation of baby and child goods to a homeless shelter



This group of dedicated and talented knitters keep ideas flowing and share experiences as they work on their projects.They discuss future projects and consider possibilities for new connections with agencies who serve people in need. 

Getting started is easy:  new knitters overcome their fear by creating "The Introductory Project".


This simple doll is good practice.  Tangible results of your efforts in a short period of time.  Of course, the experienced ones in the group always give good feedback. And our little cabal of dolls is growing! The dolls seem to reflect the personalities of their creators.  (If this means anything,the branch head's doll is still not - and may never be - complete.)

You may ask about books.  Many good projects have come from library materials, and more than one knitting session has been full of discussion about this mystery, that author, who's writing what these days and more.  Many good reads have been shared around the table. But that's the subject of another blog entirely.

If you're in the neighbourhood on a Tuesday night, drop in and join our group.  Even if just for an hour.  You will learn something new, get a few good reading suggestions, and maybe develop a new network or two. It's an easy way to make a rewarding and positive difference in your community.

We're waiting for you!







Culture Days at Kennedy/Eglinton: Shannon Thunderbird and Friends

September 25, 2012 | Marie | Comments (0)

Kennedy/Eglinton branch is very pleased to present Shannon Thunderbird and Friends as part of our Culture Days celebrations this Saturday, September 29 at 2 pm. Your mind will be opened and your senses will be filled during this 90 minute program.

There are two parts to the afternoon: first, a vivid performance by Shannon and friends featuring vocals, stories, dancing and a bit of theatre pieces.  The interactive second half of the afternoon focuses on songs in the Ojibwa language, with a great deal of audience participation on the very big (and very loud) drum.

The story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce sets the tone for the afternoon.  The Nez Perce were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest to a reserve in Idaho in the tumultous post-Civil War era of the "opening of the west". Rather than comply, Chief Joseph led the Nez Perce on a trek towards political asylum, which came to be known as the Nez Perce Wars. Chief Joseph is famous for his words "I will fight no more forever."  He was admired as a leader by his allies and his foes.

The library has material for both adults and children about Chief Joseph.


Hampton, Bruce. Children of Grace: The Nez Perce Wars of 1877. New York; Henry Holt 1994



Hopping, Lorraine. Chief Joseph: the voice for peace. New York; Sterling 2010

Shannon is a vibrant artist and educator with a special talent for engaging community and encouraging artistic expression.  Find out more about Shannon and the power of the drums.  You'll be amazed by the power of her storytelling. 

Join us at Kennedy/Eglinton Branch.  Saturday September 29, 2pm to 3:30 pm.


Remembering Randy Starkman

April 19, 2012 | Marie | Comments (1)

We are saddened by the sudden death of Toronto Star Sports Reporter Randy Starkman.  Randy had a special interest in Canada's young athletes who sacrifice much in order to achieve success at the Olympics.  Tributes from athletes and his fellow journalists testify to his devotion to his craft and his subjects. 

Kennedy/Eglinton was pleased to host Randy in April 2010 courtesy of the Toronto Star Speakers Bureau. He arrived at the branch, backpack full of laptop, for our evening program after a full day of his own work. 

Our audience was small that night, but Randy didn't mind.  He spoke informally to a small group which included 5 teens and a young family.  He talked about the places he'd been and the athletes he'd met. They enjoyed his stories and he answered a lot of their questions.  It was really quite a nice conversation!

He launched the branch's  "Keep Toronto Reading" April events, and made the first entry in that year's "travelling journal" He faithfully put it in his backpack and pledged to leave it on the TTC for others to pick up and share their favourite reads.


The best thing about the evening, however, was a connection Randy made with a precocious young lad who was eager to demonstrate his computer skills.   He worked one on one with the child for quite a while, trusting him with the laptop, and was impressed with the boy's enthusiasm and talent.   Randy was just so interested in what this child was showing him. And this was after his official program ended.

That, I think, is the treasure of Randy Starkman.  He was interested in people, their lives and their journeys.  And, I think, he had a real desire to see success in the people he met and the athletes whose lives he covered for the Star. One of those athletes, paddler Adam van Koeverden, this week shared his memories of Randy in the Star.

It is the mandate of a public library to welcome all within its walls. People meet, engage, and create within those walls.The young lad who so engaged Randy that night hasn't been back to the branch for a while.  People come and people go, but they often leave a lasting impression on us.  The young lad did so, and so did Randy Starkman.  That's, to us at the branch, his legacy.  He was a great guy who considered his work a vocation.  We will think of him at Kennedy/Eglinton with affection and respect.  Much respect.

It's Romance Time at Kennedy/Eglinton (well, sort of)

April 18, 2012 | Marie | Comments (0)

Spring is the traditional time for romance.  People meet, their stars collide, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Right?  Ha! Really, romance is a complicated thing. In the spring and all the seasons, for young and old alike. 

May's Movies, with Marie feature four films  with really, serious complications. 

  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Persuasion
  • Crimes and Misdmeanors

We bookend the month with two serious but funny Woody Allen films. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) is all about Elliot's (Michael Caine) mid-life crisis of confidence and fidelity. 



Crimes and Misdemeanours (1989) is about Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau), an apparently successful opthamologist who is conflicted about his infidelity with the needy Dolores - Anjelica Huston in a stunning performance.  Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston and Claire Bloom figure prominently in Judah's moral journey.  This film features the best one-line analysis ever of what makes something funny.



Woody Allen began his career as a standup comic before he turned to film directing.  The film critic Richard Schickel sat down with Woody Allen in 2002 for a long, long conversation. Borrow the book.Woody Allen A Life In Film

And if you want to explore Woody's wit in writing, Mere Anarchy, 2007 and   Getting Even, 1978 are grand introductions that will make you chuckle out loud.

 But wait!  Do you think love got complicated only with Woody Allen?  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Love affairs have been fraught with interruptions, interference and complications for ever and ever - and everywhere too! 

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954, Stanley Donen) is a rip-roaring yarn with a bit of Biblical inspiration featuring handsome Howard Keel, joyful Jane Powell and a whole lot of dancing, singing and even - even an avalanche!


 There's also an amazing barn-raising sequence in this film, which of course is highlighted by dancing and singing.  The director Stanley Donen is legend in Hollywood for the most magnificent of 1950s musicals.  Read more about Donen and his achievements: Dancing On The Ceiling

Persuasion (1995, Roger Michell) is perhaps the most sentimental of our four May films.  It resonates with strong, independent single women who have made (or have had made for them) decisions about life, love and destiny.  Time, geography, war and poverty are just some of the obstacles in the way of Captain Wentworth and the plain (but very smart) Anne Elliot.  Jane Austen's amazing novel Persuasion has been oft-adapted for the screen.  This version with Ciaran Hinds as the dark and sullen Captain Wentworth

starts and ends (literally) on the sea. Persuasion addresses questions of unconditional love over time and geography, when people can communicate only through letter writing.  Who loves more ardently, more long-lastingly?  Men? Women?

Handwritten letters feature prominently in this film.  Remember the art of writing a really, really good letter? Remind yourself by borrowing  For The Love Of Letters, then try writing one yourself!

Can love really conquer all?  Maybe.  Find out Fridays at 2pm, Kennedy/Eglinton.  Bring a snack, bring a friend.  We'll supply the romance. And tissues!


Singing! Guitar Playing! Writing! and more writing! at Kennedy/Eglinton

March 30, 2012 | Marie | Comments (0)

March Break was beautiful in the Kennedy/Eglinton neighbourhood, even inside our little branch. Children’s entertainers Cindy Cook (from the Polka Dot Door) and Doug Barr delighted over 100 family members in dynamic and fun programs.
But, the best of all events at the branch during the break was our inaugural IFY@KE Young Writer’s Workshop on March 15. Now, you know, it was an absolutely GORGEOUS day out, and even though six people had registered, we weren’t sure if anyone would come out of the daylight and into the branch.
Writer Kristyn Dunnion engaged, enlightened and inspired 8 youth with mind-stretching exercises and lots of tips and tricks. Ideas flowed freely, experiences were shared and best of all the participants had a great time. Wow! It was an amazing night!
Kennedy/Eglinton has three more IFY@KE workshops scheduled. April 5 focuses on Newsletter and Blog writing with Mabel Ho . April 19 is all about poetry with accomplished author and poet Lillian Necakov-Avalos. The final workshop on May 17 will focus on writing in Manga style and format.
All the workshops are free. Youth between 13 and 19 can register by emailing Brennan at [email protected]. Or, call the ProTech Lab in the Kennedy/Eglinton Branch at 647-345-1448. Or, just drop in to the branch and tell register in person. There is always room for youth at Kennedy/Eglinton Branch!

Drawing and Writing on the Wall - Subversive Act or Community Strength?

February 16, 2012 | Marie | Comments (1)

Before you explore this post, you have to promise yourself to read all the way to the end. Join me on a little journey.


The art of mural making has been with us since cave dwellers carved visual stories on walls.  People have a long history of using public space to share their stories.  Here’s an example: BlogFeb2012CaveDrawings


Artists and regular people tell stories about themselves, their community and their own experience.  John Abrams’ recent work at the Cameron House is both eye-catching and thought-provoking: CameronHouseWallArtAbrams

Are you still reading? Have the images grabbed your attention? What's your reaction to this art?

Writing and drawing on walls is kind of subversive, right? Right?  Hmmm... Political, artistic, and legal issues around graffiti as art or vandalism are hot topics right now in Toronto. The City of Toronto even has a “Graffiti Management Plan”  A City program called  StART (Street Art Toronto) has emerged out of that plan. This program supports street art and increases awareness of the beauty and character that street art brings to neighbourhoods.  

Telling and listening to stories in a public space makes people more aware of their surroundings and their neighbours.  It builds relationships and breaks down barriers. Scarborough’s own Mural Routes works with residents to create beauty and art in otherwise dreary places.  And a lot of stories get shared.  Here’s a sample of what they've been doing since 2010.

In 2011 Kennedy/Eglinton Branch partnered  with Mural Routes for an 8 week program called “Leadership in Mural Making”.  Young artists met weekly at the branch with Mural Routes staff and community artists to hone their skills and learn about the “business” of being a serious artist.  The branch hosted an exhibition of their work at the end of the session. 


This was the first public exhibition of work for many of the youth MuralRoutesArtistsOct2011

Here are some wonderful pieces that emerged from this program.  The artists produced work large: MuralExhibitOct2011

and small


What makes graffiti different from a mural? What makes a mural so cool? What kind of planning goes into a mural and just how does it all come together on a public space? Find out at Kennedy/Eglinton this spring as we partner up again with Mural Routes to offer an 8 week program called “Introduction to Mural Arts". 

We’re hosting a Mural Routes Open House on Thursday March 22 at 6:30.  You’re invited. Yes. You.  Meet up with our Mural Routes friends. Find out more about the program.  The program begins on Saturday April 14 at Kennedy/Eglinton branch.  It is open to people 14 to 99; and open to all skill levels.  For more information contact Marie Belanger [email protected] (416-396-8924) or Jen Fabico [email protected] (416-698-7995). Jen will answer you on Twitter if you tweet @MuralRoutes. Explore the creation of art in a public space.  Expand, explore and make your statement!

The Albert Campbell District Blog is an online resource and place where you can access information related to the Albert Campbell, Eglinton Square, McGregor Park, and Kennedy Eglinton branches. It will feature reading recommendations, information on new titles and resources in the branches, special events and programs, as well as other information of interest to you. We encourage you to make this blog an interactive space by replying and commenting on posts and by subscribing to the RSS feature which allows you to receive blog updates without having to search for them.