The Toronto Public Library system (TPL) is home to a citywide photo exhibit exploring the journeys of newcomers to Toronto. Opened on November 3rd the exhibit, curated by Myseum of Toronto, runs until January 8, 2017.
Photographer Colin Boyd Shafer spent a year meeting Torontonians from every corner of the world, and these encounters resulted in the display. The libraries chosen from among the 100 TPL branches each focus on a different topic that reflects the complexity of the world as well as how culturally diverse societies function in a cosmopolitan city. Toronto, as one of the world’s most multicultural cities, has been recognized internationally as a leader in allowing immigrants to maintain their identities without the struggles seen elsewhere.
Awareness of communities defined by countries of origin, nationality is of benefit to all, universal themes emerge. The result being that we know, quite literally, more about our neighbours thanks to the power of these photos and their chosen unifying themes.
One such is The Power of Art, where Estonia is featured. The exhibit is housed in the Northern District branch, 40 Orchard View Blvd., near the Yonge/Eglinton intersection. This issue’s Estonian language pages provide a lengthier introduction.
The goal of attaining a ”snapshot” of Toronto is admirable. Those interested in this cross-city exhibit are encouraged to visit the Toronto Reference library, 789 Yonge Street (at Bloor), where the Cosmopolis Toronto Hub allows visitors to learn about the programs and events connected to the exhibits. They also van pick up a program guide booklet, outlining the locations and themes, and perhaps plan their routes.
A globetrotter in one city has also visited the Don Mills, Fairview and S.W. Stewart branches because of the exhibit. The last, at 170 Memorial Park Avenue (Cosburn and Coxwell), has music as the theme, one that should appeal to Estonians as much as art.
The guide booklet asks about immigrants from 10 countries that Myseum was unable to find in Toronto. Most were Pacific Ocean island-states; the two European ones were San Marino and Monaco. And Comoros? Where is that? Google tells us they are islands off the southeast coast of Africa. It is a safe bet that many once wondered where Estonia was…
TPL’s cosmopolis includes Estonia