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CHATTER: A deeper history buried in Mirvish Village (August 2019)

September 2nd, 2019 · No Comments

JUAN ROMERO/GLEANER?NEWS

The prospect of a little time-travelling attracted a large gathering of residents to A Different Booklist on May 29. There was a definitely palpable sense of intrigue and excitement at the event as messages had been prepared to send to the future. 

The future of Westbank’s Mirvish Village at Bloor and Bathurst Street is a work in progress, but thanks to a concept launched by A Different Booklist, the diverse history of the area will be enshrined within it. The bookstore and cultural centre gathered more than 1,000 messages and had them buried at the former site of Honest Ed’s.

“Bathurst Street and the former Mirvish Village was a place of memory and history and so we added to that,” says Ita Sadu, co-owner of A Different Booklist.“We believe that in doing the time capsules our narratives, the history of African-Canadians, of Caribbean-Canadians of Koreans, of Ukrainians, or of the Jewish community will be recorded.”

Each capsule contains the name of the person who wrote it, and the name of someone who inspires them. A reception at the bookstore gathered project participants, including local elders and students from the nearby Alpha Alternative School, to walk together to the proposed burial site for the time capsule at the south-west corner of Bloor and Bathurst Streets. 

At the construction site, the group handed the box over to Westbank construction workers to bury.

Jonah Letovsky, a development manager at Westbank, says there will be a parkette built right above the area where the time capsule was buried.

“We are looking into the idea of installing a plaque immediately above the time capsule. The plaque would identify what it is and why we placed it there,” says Letovsky. He adds that when Sadu approached him about the project, he immediately liked the idea. “We see the idea of adding the time capsule to create a new marker in time instead of continually referencing the Mirvish period. This is a great way to indicate the importance of this location as a cultural icon.”

—Juan Romero, Gleaner News

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