The Design Exhange has an exciting new exhibit featuring some of our work on suburban socio-economic development.
To find out more click here!
The designs are now out. You can reclaim your lost city today just by choosing the city where your heart still lies. And no we haven't forgotten about Toronto.
With funding from Infrastructure Canada, and support from various local and international partners, this multi-disciplinary research project will focus on Business Improvement Areas in the City of Toronto and Western Canada.
The team of Lorraine Gauthier and Alex Quito from Work Worth Doing have been with us from the start. Check out their latest project called NowHouse TM. In part a celebration of the small war time housing units that populate the city and the country and part feasible green retrofit.
ThinkTankToronto is proud to have collaborated with Gallery Glendon Gallerie on this multi-media exhbit.
Drop in and see Nathalie-Roze and Co. in Leslieville...or go east young man (or woman) and come out to 54East Studios at 2068 Lawrence Avenue East and check out our new T's.
Dr. Rafael Gomez (Director and Co-founder of ThinkTankToronto) and co-authors Andre Isakov (Vancouver, BC) and Matt Semansky (Halifax, NS) are currently working on a book that asks, "What would our urban environment be like without the vitality and uniqueness of our small-scale entrepreneurs?"
The book's heart consists of three case studies of small business in Halifax, Toronto and the Vancouver region. Each city has its own challenges and the book documents the ways in which independently owned businesses both reflect and challenge conventional wisdom about the perceptions of the cities in which they are located.
As Juan Gomez, former chief strategist for economic development at New Economy (Manchester, UK) and Director of Research at ThinkTankToronto has observed "In a world increasingly overrun by chain stores and corporate fast-food giants, our local shop owners stand as a unique bastion of independent entrepreneurialism and eclecticism".
Much of the book's primary research and content was inspired by previous ThinkTankToronto work - i.e., the 2007-2009 BIA Zone (TM) project, funded by Infrastructure Canada.
The book is scheduled for release in Spring 2012
On this date, columnist Dave LeBlanc "The Architourist" publishes his in-depth article on the Topham Park community history poster project in the Real Estate section of The Globe And Mail newspaper. The Topham Park poster was a partnership effort by Think Tank Toronto, Heritage Toronto, the office of Councillor Janet Davis, East York Historical Society and the TDSB.
The members of Think Tank Toronto would like to express our sincere appreciation to Dave for linking our own efforts with these important partners, and also for his continuous and generous support throughout all of our projects.
Be sure to pick up your copy of the Globe & Mail on Friday, June 4th to see the full article.
*An online version of the article is available on the official Globe & Mail website, here
Poster design by Jeremy Hopkin, © ThinkTankToronto, 2010.
As a result of many months of work, on Tuesday May 18, 2010 the auditorium of G.A. Brown Midddle School played host to a special unveiling ceremony of the Topham Park Community history poster. The well-attended event was a great success.
Created by Think Tank Toronto designer Jeremy Hopkin, the poster is arranged chronologically from left to right, telling some of the early 1940s heritage of the first Topham Park community neighbourhood subdivision, through a collage of images of original documents, newspaper clippings and photographs submitted by local residents.
Originally named "Sunshine Valley", today's Topham Park neighbourhood was constructed in 1946 as one of three Government-subsidized rental housing communities in suburban areas, created to partially relieve the housing shortage crisis that plagued the City of Toronto after WWII. When built, Topham Park was considered a "masterpiece of planning", meant to provide a favourable living space for Veterans and their new families. Streets were artistically arranged to break the monotony of the typical grid pattern so prevalent elsewhere. Also, the streets were named to pay tribute to War Veterans that made Topham Park their home. Topham Park is located in the former Borough of East York and the original 1946 Topham Park neighbourhood is bordered by St. Clair Ave. East, Selwyn Ave., Tiago Ave., and Squires Ave.
The Topham Park Community history poster is the result of a local history project undertaken by students in the winter/spring of 2010 at Gordon A. Brown Middle School (Toronto District School Board). Historical information was collected by Sherri Walker’s class in collaboration with members of Heritage Toronto and Think Tank Toronto. This project would not have been possible without the input and the financial/logistical assistance of the office of Councillor Janet Davis (City of Toronto, Ward 31), the East York Historical Society, local residents who donated their historical data and materials and the Scarborough Historical Society for providing access to original 1940s newspapers.
The framed 2' x 4' poster that was unveiled will have a permanent home on a wall in the main hall of G.A. Brown School, near the auditorium. Printing and framing of the poster was graciously donated by The Framing Depot.
It is hoped the poster will provide new residents and visitors with an appreciation of the rich heritage and pride the local residents have in their unique community to this day.
- History Harvest flyer design © Jeremy F. Hopkin
Think Tank Toronto has formed a partnership with the office of Councillor Janet Davis, Heritage Toronto, G.A. Brown Middle School and the East York Historical Society to create a commemorative poster for the community of Topham Park.
The poster will reflect the rich heritage of this area of the former Borough of East York. The area today encompasses the triangular area of land between St. Clair Ave. East, O'Connor Drive, and Victoria Park Ave.
Leading up to the poster creation, the partners are hosting a "History Harvest" event at Gordon A. Brown school, designed to collect the neighbourhood memories of residents and former residents of Topham Park and the surrounding area.
Topham Park Community
Saturday, April 17, 2010
1 – 4 PM
Gordon A. Brown Middle School Cafeteria
2800 St. Clair Ave East
Local History Presentation: 1:00 PM
Followed by history collection
• Enjoy a brief for a presentation from Gordon A Brown students about the local history they’ve gathered about the community.
• Share your local history stories, photos, and memorabilia with neighbours and students from Gordon A. Brown School.
• Students will be collecting and documenting your stories as part of the Topham Park local history project, which will be unveiled by the end of the school year.
Tell your story:
• Bring your family photos, old newspaper clippings and neighbourhood memorabilia (baseball uniforms, medals, house blue prints)
• Join us and share your stories about the Topham Park Community
The collection of local histories will be compiled by students at Gordon A. Brown to create a poster celebrating the history of our community.
Organized by: City Councillor Janet Davis, Gordon A. Brown Middle School, Heritage Toronto, ThinkTankToronto and the East York Historical Society
If you cannot attend this event and have a story or artifact you
would like to share please contact us at:
416-392-4035 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A brief history of Topham Park:
The area known today as Topham Park was mainly used as farmland until 1944, when the crown purchased land to house Veterans of WWII. Today that original wartime neighbourhood is bordered by St. Clair Ave. E., Selwyn Ave., Tiago Ave., and Squires Ave..
The Topham Park neighbourhood was developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation between 1944 and 1946. Streets were given names that reflected the War Veteran population, such as Warvet Crescent and Valor Boulevard. Merritt Road is named after Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Merritt, Canada's second Victoria Cross medal winner. In the early days, Topham Park was known as "Sunshine Valley" partially due to the fact that the sun shone down brightly on the homes as there were very few shade trees around at that time. The present day neighbourhood is named after the local park, which in turn was named after Frederick Topham, another recipient of the Victoria Cross.
The name Topham Park has since grown to include the larger area inside the triangle of Victoria Park Ave., O'Connor Drive, and St. Clair Ave. Housing styles in this larger area reflect the needs of the time period they were built, although much of the surrounding subdivisions are rich with post-war brick bungalows.
Think Tank Toronto is pleased to announce the completion of the "End Of Project Report" for our research partnership project entitled “The Local Economic Infrastructure of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in the City of Toronto”.
Contents of the report will be made available to the public on the BIA Zone website in the near future. www.thebiazone.comPartnership with Infrastructure Canada’s Knowledge-Building, Outreach and Awareness (KOA) Program:
Entitled “The Local Economic Infrastructure of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in the City of Toronto” this research project was kicked off in spring 2007 and ended in 2009. The project studied the effect of BIAs on local communities as well as disseminate best practices across other BIAs in the country and around the world. Toronto was the birthplace of the BIA concept – a union of local businesses, shopkeepers and retail property owners designed to beautify and promote a local area – and although this idea has spread across the globe, we are one of the first teams to ever study these areas in any great depth.
We are proud to have worked with Infrastructure Canada on this project.
With a fond farewell, 54east closed its doors in June of 2009.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people on the 54east team and everyone who generously supported our endeavours for the two years (2007-09) we spent at our Wexford Heights location. Many fond memories of the people and events that transformed this space into much more than just a storefront are still fresh in our thoughts.
Although 54east Studios is gone, the great work started at there will carry on through the continuing efforts of Think Tank Toronto.
Keep checking back here for updates.
Think Tank Toronto and members of the 54east studio were pleased participate in Toronto's Black History Month events through an exhibit entitled "Many Rivers to Cross" The Toronto Journey, 1900-1950, curated by Sheldon Taylor.
This insightful archival photo and artifact exhibit was open to the public in St. Lawrence Hall (157 King St. E.) from February 11-16, 2009.
Part of the photo collection of Freemon Redmon, a long-time Scarborough resident (and regular visitor to the 54east studio) was prominently featured in this exhibit through efforts by 54east member Jeremy Hopkin, Sheldon Taylor, the office of Councillor Michael Thompson and several community leaders.
We wish to express our gratitude to all who organized the event and participated in any form to this tremendous display of our local heritage of diversity.
54 East Magazine is proud to announce the publication of it’s 6th issue and first local history themed edition. Now with more pages and more stories than ever before.
54 East Magazine is the essential arts and cultural publication representing the east end of Toronto and beyond.
The History Issue features an intriguing look at Scarborough’s distant and more recent past. Tracing the East end footsteps of war heroine and chocolate namesake Laura Secord and hometown proud funnyman Mike Myers the issue makes new and interesting links to the quirky and often overlooked history of the city’s East end. Featuring exclusive drawings, photos and stories about Scarborough, 54 East Magazine has extraordinary content that you won’t find anywhere else.
Available at Book City and the Toronto Public Library 54 East Magazine can also be purchased at the 54 East Studio, 2068 Lawrence Ave East.
For more information: MA Tamburro Communications Officer, 54 East Studios 2068 Lawrence Ave. East, Scarborough, Ontario M1R 2Z5 (647) 403 1495 (647) 435 4959 email@example.com
Photo documentary presentation by Ghazaleh Etezal of her applied social research in BloorCourt Village directing the ThinkTankToronto supported TheStoreFront Community project from May 2008 to Octobeer 2009.
Fringe Benefits - Design Exchange July 9th - Ends September 23rd 2008 The Design Exchange (Toronto 234 Bay Street) currently hosted 'Fringe Benefits' a multi-media exploration of what's going on clulturally, economically and architectually in Toronto's inner and outer suburbs. ThinkTankToronto designers and researchers contributed two intallations to this amazing show, curated by Ian Chodikoff.
Our current BIAZone project in collaboration with Infrastrcuture Canada is exploring how the modern manifestation of a local Business Improvement Area can reconnect businesses and cictizens with this lost history and whether it proves valuable to consumers, residents and businesses alike.
Above is the Hugh Morse (c) 2008 inspired panel detailing the 54East Project's toolkit of neighbourhood innovations designed to provide newly formed Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) with easy to access solutions to the questions of local identity and brand.
Below is the Jeremy Hopkin (c) 2008 designed panel detailing the evolution of a street corner. The businesses and built form of this corner stretch of east Toronto display both a transcendence through time -- the corner of Pharmacy has always been home to retail commerce -- but also shows a marked revolution in space and land use. This can be seen in greater detail in the two bottom panels.
The Wexford 50th Anniversary - May 5th, 2008
Image: The Wexford in 1958 - Jeremy Hopkin, 2008.
What an incredible event!
It's obvious that this celebration was a great success, with thousands of people attending. The parking lot of the Wexford Heights Plaza was filled with people enjoying Carnival rides, Classic Cars and five cent ice cream. The Wexford Restaurant rolled back many of it's prices to what they were in 1958 as a thankyou to the community for its everlasting support.
Our sincere appreciation goes out to the Kiriakou Family (founders and operators of the Wexford Restaurant) for inviting 54east studios to head their 50th Anniversary graphic promotion campaign. 54east members, Rafael Gomez and Jeremy Hopkin brainstormed a concept for the overall look and sounds of the celebration day. Designer Jeremy Hopkin created restaurant menus, placemants and advertisements (which appeared in the Toronto Sun) all based on the styles from the year the Wexford Restaurant opened, 1958. 54east designer Tom Sardelic helped with the overflow of design work and web designer Peter Hamilton constructed the website for the restaurant's celebration.
See the Wexford Restaurant website for more details: www.wexfordrestaurant.com
Jane's Walk, May 3rd, 2008 - Golden Mile, City of Industry tour
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all that came out to participate in our part of Jane’s Walk on Saturday, May 3rd - The Golden Mile, City of Industry. On the tour we covered the many layered history of this interesting area in Scarborough from it's early days as a pioneer settlement, munitions factory during WWII and the industrial giant of the 1950s. T-Shirt and canvas bag designs based on this storied past were created by Jeremy Hopkin (54east, Scarborough Historical Society) and are now available for purchase through the 54east studio, 2068 Lawrence Ave. East.
GECo, Golden Mile designs, copyright Jeremy Hopkin, 2008.
We also would like to thank Robert Sheehan who donated a small collage painting to our studio exhbit Art of the Record Album. We also would like to thank Ted Sherk (M.E.S. Candidate - Community Energy Planning, Faculty of, Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo) who documented the event and has hosted it all at the following sites:
Here's a link direct to the album:
Scarborough Music Series
For more information click on:www.janeswalk.net________________________________
The Second East End Nights Music Series Took Place on Friday July 25th at 54east Studios. Thanks to all who attended, it was a great night!
East End Nights - Concert Series
54east is sponsoring a concert series featuring local musicians at Rockgarden, 262 Progress Ave., Scarborough, Ontario.
Check out the East End Nights website for more information.
Art of the Album Cover Exhibit -- Extended to July 2008!
With the help of our generous sponsor, The Framing Depot, the 54east Gallery plays host to several framed original vintage LP albums in the Art of the Album Cover exhibit, which documents the artistic contributions made to the coverings of vinyl records from the ubiquitous front and back cover to the inside sleeve. For several years it was typical for the large, vinyl record album cover to be a staple of every young teenager’s bedroom or basement apartment walls, a first "art" purchase.
The Art of the Album Cover will surely bring back fond memories for those who remember & inform younger generations on this once prominent format.
Sections in the exhibit include: The Wall of Genres which chronologically documents the changes in the cover art of six popular genres of music. Illustrated here through over 200 reproductions of album covers, authentically dated. Four local people of some note are featured prominently in a section titled Five Favourite Albums of Local Personalities, where local singer songwriters and well known music aficionados choose their favorite five album covers and explain why. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly? section profiles some of the quirky, kitchy and just plain ugly covers that were put into the mainstream. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you have the final say.
Some of the earliest examples of what we today know as the album cover are featured in the History of the Cover section. Album covers that were the first to feature original artwork and design were sparked by the noted graphic designer Alex Steinweiss in 1939, a man that today is considered the creator of the modern album cover. Samples of actual Steinweiss' album covers are featured here.
The exhibit also features sections such as: How Records are Created, Entire Band Careers in Covers, Oh Canadiana! (Canadian LP content), Famous Artists that Created Album Covers, The Good The Bad and the Ugly? (Features some of the best and worst covers made). We also have a small tribute section to everyone's favourite record storage method - Milk Crate Heaven.
Among all the albums the exhibit will also have a continuously playing music film component for you to enjoy, several vintage record player consoles and other curiosities of daily life during that bygone era af the record.
Art of the Album Cover is on display from March 14 to May 30, 2008 at the 54east Gallery - 2068 Lawrence Ave. East.
Gallery Open: 11am-5pm (Monday thru Thursday), 12pm-7pm Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturday. Closed Sundays.
SEPTEMBER SUN - Locally based singer songwriter Mark Ripp will perform on the Wexford Restaurant outdoor patio
Saturday 29th at 8pm - Mark Ripp will play and host original music on the Wexford Patio (if the weather is nice!) or right inside 54East Studios.
Scarborough Before The Boom - A Neighbourhood Photo Album installation.
Visit the 54 East Gallery to see this great multimedia exhibit of local history while it lasts. On display until September 18th, 2007.
Children Looking East on Lawrence & Warden, c.1950
Friends at Wexford CPR Railway Station, c. 1930
On Saturday June 16th we presented the "Sportscard Show" at 54East Studios. It was a great success! A big thanks to Kevin Lambert (event planner) and Jeremy Hopkin (designer) for making this event come to life!
People dropped by to see classic sports cards and other collectables from around the world. This month's feature card was a Bobby Orr Rookie Card.
THE OPENING WEEKEND, June 1st,2nd, and 3rd, 2007
We wanted to send out a big thank you to all who came by and participated in our three day 54East Studio opening weekend. In particular the musical artists who played Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A big thank you to Willowbank (aka Tom Sardelic, Luke and Simon Gadke), Mark Ripp, and Revanth and Sadhana Persaud. We should add that the Persaud family players were 9 and 8 years old! Thank you again.
The opening weekend was just the kick off to the Scarborough Before The Boom exhibit inside our gallery, which is part of our ongoing Neighbourhood Photo Album project. Here is just an example of the images on view at the exhibit.
Our Summer in the Park Film Festival, August 2007,2008,2009, and 2010
Our Summer in the Park Film Festival Ends with a Bang - August 1st, 15th, and 29th 2007
Over the course of three nights in August, Councillor Thompson's office (Ward 37) in conjunction with proud local sponsors, brought you free film nights in the park.
August 1st - Madagascar - Wexford Park
August 15th - E.T. - Dorest Park
August 29th - Shrek the Third- Lord Roberts Woods *Film credits roll just as thunder and lightening lights up the sk
We'd like to thank everyone who came out and supported our summer film fest in the park. See you all next summer and stay tuned to this page for more Fall and Winter events.
Wednesday, August 20th - Free Movie at Glen Ravine Park
The City of Toronto's Councillor Thompson, 54east studios and several local sponsors bring you the third and final installment of our "Movie Night In the Park" with the 2006 fantasy film "Night At The Museum", starring Ben Stiller.
Glen Ravine Park, 50 Gilder Drive (North east of Eglinton Ave. and Midland Rd. intersection).
Please click here for a map to Glen Ravine Park. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass. We hope to see you there!
Wednesday August 6th - Free movie at Dorset Park
The City of Toronto's Councillor Thompson, 54east studios and several local sponsors bring you the second installment of our "Movie Night In the Park" with the memorable 1985 sci-fi adventure film Back To The Future - Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
Dorset Park, 5 Glaive Drive, 8pm-11pm
(Rain Date Wed, Aug 13th)
Click here for a map to Dorset Park
*Bring lawn chairs or blankets to bring to sit on the grass. "One point twenty one Jig-A-Watts!" "What's a Jig-A-Watt?"
Wednesday July 30th - Free Movie at Wexford Park
(It rained on the planned July 23rd date)
Wexford Park - 55 Singleton Road (Pharmacy + Eglinton nearest intersection). *Take 67 Pharmacy Bus from Victoria Park Station.
Sponsored by major contributions from:
And proudly supported by the following local organizations and businesses:
Thanks to the help of City of Toronto (Ward 37) and a host of local sponsors above, 54east is proud to present Raiders of the Lost Ark (the best movie in the Indiana Jones series). Come out to the park, as a result of our generous local sponsors above, its a free event for family and friends.
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