Historic Sites in Scarborough Heights
Please join us for an exploration of People and Place...
What: Scarboro Heights Historic Sites Walking Tour -- Part Two -- including the Doris McCarthy Trail down Gates Gully to "Passage".
When: Fourth Saturday of May -- May 24 2003, 2:00 pm (Rain date is the following day, 2 pm)
Where: For starting location, cal me at 416-447-4895
Tour Guides: Bruce and Bea McCowan of the "Scarboro Heights Record".
Cost: For individuals or couples who purchase "Neigh The Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights" there is no cost. (Otherwise, $5.00 / couple) Please order your copy of this 142 page book soon because the size of the tour group is limited. (Proceeds go to the Janet McCowan Fincham Memorial Scarborough Community Studies Program.)
How to Order "Neigh the Front" and Register for the Tour: Send $17.00 cheque to the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society, c/o 19 Monarchwood Crescent, Don Mills, Ont., M3A 1H3, 416-447-4895 (Includes postage). This is the order form and here are some reviews of Neigh the Front.
Want to keep the tour guides busy? -- Pick some tough questions from "Historic Sites" and "Notable Events"!
Bring your camera and your copy of Neigh the Front for handy reference!
The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #4
Photo: Marlene Hilton-Moore, 2002
One Interpretation of Passage
Art is all about interpretation. It would not be art if there was but one "right" answer to the question "what does it mean"? Bruce and I have the following interpretation of "Passage".
There is a concept in some computer programming languages called "pointers". These pointers actually "point" to places in a computer's memory where information is stored. Using the pointers, the computer accesses that information to perform processes which, ultimately, do useful things for people.
Similarly, the twenty-plus pairs of ribs pointing upwards on Passage are also pointers to valuable information. Each pair of ribs is associated with a date. Each of the dates represented in Passage is the key to a significant event in the evolution of Doris McCarthy's Place by the Bluffs and the People who lived in the area.
Not unlike those programming languages, Passage points to valuable information that we can process with our minds and interpret for the benefit of society. Passage points to written works such as Neigh the Front, to stage productions such as With I Hope a New Face, to heritage interpretive programs such as Walking Tours and Exhibitions, to educational tools such as the Information Processing program, to the Toronto Lost Sites Project and to many other efforts to tell the story of humanity's journey through time in this place.
Indeed, Passage itself is a perfect example of what we spoke about in our Walking Tour preamble:
Just as computers do useful things for people, so too can our heritage resources -- if we take the time to understand and interpret our heritage. To some extent, "History" is synonymous with "Experience". We've all heard the phrase, "learn from experience". For example, engineers learn how to avoid mistakes in structures by gathering, categorizing and analyzing data associated with failures in the past.
One of our challenges is to find other effective ways to make our heritage "useful". We can't just point to it -- we must do something with it to make our world a better "Place" to live.
Please join us on May 24 for our Walking Tour to Passage.
People and Place
Bruce and I were very pleased to help Marlene with the development of Passage by linking people and place through the passage of time.
We provided the 20 most significant dates in the history of Doris McCarthy's "Place" at the edge of the Scarborough Bluffs. Here they are in brief -- more details to follow in future issues. A plaque with the dates and some details will be erected beside Passage.
The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #2
I was very pleased to attend the June 2 2002 Garden Party for Passage. About 100 people gathered at "Fool's Paradise" for the final draw for the models of Passage and to celebrate that the fundraising for this important public art project is complete.
The large macquette was won by Nancy Cuttle of Etobicoke. After the draw, a number of us took an enjoyable walk down the Doris McCarthy Trail to the spot where "Passage" will be installed this fall. Please stand by for further details of this next public event!
Here is the artist's vision:
And here is my own vision for public art in Scarborough.
Moreover, here is another idea for how public art can help us appreciate the sacrifices of our past nation-builders -- by erecting public art at sites of our lost heritage.
"Passage" was supported by the Friends of Doris McCarthy, the City of Toronto Economic Development Department, Toronto Conservation Authority, Stevenson Paints, Mackey Type and Design Studio and the Province of Ontario Ministry of Culture.