Re(story)ing Canada’s Diverse City

“There is a story I know. It’s about the earth and how it floats in space on the back of a turtle. I’ve heard this story many times, and each time someone tells the story, it changes. Sometimes the change is simply in the voice of the storyteller. Sometimes the change is in the details. Sometimes in the order of events. Other times it’s the dialogue or the response of the audience. But in all the tellings of all the tellers, the world never leaves the turtle’s back. And the turtle never swims away.”

– Thomas King The Truth About Stories

North America is Turtle Island. And the first person on it was Sky Woman who fell from Sky World on to turtle’s back. The first thing she asked the sea creatures was to bring her some mud. So otter swam to the very bottom of the sea and brought back some mud. Sky Woman used the mud to make land on turtle’s back. Here she gave birth to twin sons. Together, her children created humans. The humans remembered their mother because the land still carried them. Mother land could not get any more real.

This is a history that matters. I encourage you to find more histories because all of them matter. Let’s look at another history. Remember its not the only one.

From a compilation of Southern Ontario archaeological records and the only book I can find about the history of Toronto written by a Native, I uncover some information about the people who lived on the land I call home. About 11 500 B.P. (before present)  archaeological sites reveal groups of people who are hunters and nomads. This is unveiled from the evidence of settler sites ageing tens of thousands of years old.

Continue reading Re(story)ing Canada’s Diverse City

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The Creative City’s Potential for Urban Improvement

The creative city is a contestable model for urban redevelopment because of its repercussions on displaced members of community, on artists, non-profit organizations, as well as on nearby neighbourhoods of lesser affluence. Downtown Toronto has pockets of redevelopment that have focused on carrying out the creative city model in the hopes of placing Toronto on a national and international competitive scale for talent. The case of the creative city is outlined by Charles Landry who suggests that cities of the future can be better because they can harness the potential of creative employers as well as creative governance to improve city life (Landry xxi). The origin of this model is a positive and hopeful one that could be more successful over time if participants of urban development move forward considering the impacts of the creative city on the ground. Continue reading The Creative City’s Potential for Urban Improvement