Published Oct 01, 2020As the City of Toronto develops its Master Plan for Toronto Island Park amid seasonal flooding and ongoing reconstruction, Torontonians are being invited to share their own "Island Stories" as part of the city's new initiative to preserve the colourful memories of the historical, unique outdoor space.
Since launching a month ago, the "collective multimedia storytelling project" has already hosted video stories by local musicians including Shad, Witch Prophet and A Tribe Called Red's Bear Witness, alongside Mayor John Tory, OCAD professor and photographer April Hickox, students at the Island Public/Natural School, and many more.
Over the years, having hosted multiple editions of Camp Wavelength, Virgin Fest, Electric Island and Caribana — events that have seen the iconic performances of Björk, Caribou, Jamie xx, Flume, Arcade Fire, Pavement, M.I.A., the Killers, Smashing Pumpkins and so many more — there is sure to be an endless well of amazing island memories to share from Torontonians and touring artists alike. Historic moments like these are why the city is asking you to share your own story.
But story submissions don't have to be about concerts or festivals — yours could be about a favourite spot, the thing that keeps you coming back, or anything Toronto Island-related — everyone and anyone is invited to submit a story. Moving forward with the Master Plan, the City is hoping for as many contributions to the project as possible in order to help shape ideas and future updates and changes to the park.
Submission formats can include images with captions, video testimonials, audio recordings, written submissions or photo essays.
In a statement, project organizers elaborated on the project:
Best kept secret. Family BBQ. Quiet sanctuary. Epic beach day. Home. The island means something different to everyone. As part of the upcoming Toronto Island Park Master Plan project, we're reflecting on the unique role the island plays in the lives of Torontonians of all walks of life – before we collectively reimagine its future. We want to hear from you! Share a post, send a video, write a story, make some art – whatever feels right. Because every island story is worth sharing.
Alongside Mayor Tory, Ward 10 Councillor Joe Cressy shared his own memories for the initiative.
"Toronto Island holds a special place in our hearts," said Cressy in a press release. "From canoeing in the harbour to lounging on the beach, to taking in the view of the city's skyline, the Island is a place where we come together with friends, family, and loved ones to appreciate all our city has to offer."
He added: "As the work begins on the inclusive and equitable Master Plan for Toronto Island Park, I invite everyone to join in and share their thoughts and ideas for what the future of the Island could look like."
Watch some of the project's recently published stories below, and submit your own at the Island Stories website.