About The Toronto Dreams Project


The Toronto Dreams Project is all about popularizing the history of Toronto. It includes a bunch of different stuff:

The Toronto Dreams Project is a series of fictional dreams written about figures from our city's past. Each one is printed on the back of a custom-designed postcard and copies are left in places related to that person or their dream. Readers can follow a URL on the cards to find more information about each of the historical figures chosen for the project. You can browse all of the postcards that have been completed to date, along with photos of where they've been left, here. In 2012, the Project earned an honourable mention for the Governor General's History Award for Community Programming. It's been covered in one form or another by The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Torontoist and blogTO. And some of the dreams have been featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario. You can learn more about the background to the project in interviews with The Toronto Star here and Torontoist here.

The Toronto Dreams Project Historical Ephemera Blog shares true stories from the history of the city, like tales of bank robbers and duels and 100 year-old fish. You'll find them all here. Highlights from the blog are also published by Spacing Magazine, which you can read here.

The Toronto Dreams Project Sticky Plaque Division is a way to bring stories about the city's history to places of historical interest that don't already have their own official plaques. Each sticky plaque is a sticker displaying a QR code and a URL linking to an online post. Some sticky plaques link to posts on the Historical Ephemera Blog; some to posts by the many other great writers telling stories about Toronto's history online. Learn more here, or in an interview with Torontoist here.

The Department of Photographic Hauntings brings archival photographs to the places where they were taken. Learn more here.

The Toronto Historical Jukebox is an MP3 blog. It features songs from the musical history of the city, highlighting some of the greatest bands and solo artists Toronto has ever produced. Some of the songs are shared with sticky plaques in public places. You'll find the Jukebox here.



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About The Author

Adam Bunch is the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. He writes a local history column for Spacing Magazine and his articles about the history of the city have also appeared on The Huffington Post and Torontoist. He's been a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury, is a former columnist for the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Little Red Umbrella (a Toronto-centric arts and culture blog) and the former Editor-in-Chief of SoundProof Magazine. His music writing has appeared in PopMatters, Crawdaddy! and 24 Hours as well as on the AUX.TV website. He once gave a lecture at Trampoline Hall about not being naked.

In 2012, his work on the Toronto Dreams Project earned him an honourable mention for the Governor General History Award for Community Programming. The project has been covered in one form or another by The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Torontoist and blogTO. Some of his dreams have been featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University.


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An especially big thank you to Laurie McGregor, Christina Ivanowich and Melissa Hughes who have taken the time to read and edit my dreams before they're unleashed upon the world, making them much better than they would otherwise be.

9 comments:

  1. The project looks stalled at #16. Are there plans to continue this project, or have anyone assist you in this undertaking?

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    1. Nope! I'm actually up to #18 now; I've just been slow updating the site because another 7 dreams are coming soon.

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  2. Hi Adam,

    I'm working on a concept that combines geocaching, storytelling/literacy, and Toronto urban history. I am an English & History teacher, and would love to chat more about the logistics of how you do what you do. You can find my beta site at http://spencersadventures1.wordpress.com/ ... it borrows slightly from your placement of QR codes and the history of the city.

    I'd love to chat more about it. Get in touch if you want to as well: garthnichols1@gmail.com

    thanks,
    garth.

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  3. This is beautiful. Thank you!

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  4. Congrats. Fab site. I love all of it, but, I'm currently interested in Paul Kane #31 and his link seems to be broken. Can you fix it please?
    Thanks.

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    1. I think I've fixed the link you mean — it's just a link to his page on the Canadian Dictionary of Biography Online (which is here: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/kane_paul_10E.html)

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  5. Hi Adam - I was wondering where you got all the info on Sir Henry Pellett? I work at Casa Loma from time to time and couldnt find a source for any of the crooked stuff. As well I had it from two different curators that Sir Adam Beck and his couturier were able to take the Toronto Electric Company through legislation and didn't pay anything for it, running on the ticket, "no one should own electricity, it should be free as the air.." I'd love to able to update the information that exists now with more truthful sources. - Thanks for any help you can offer :)

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    1. The two sources I relied on the most (and which have some good information about his sketchy business dealings) are the books "Sir Henry Pellatt: the King of Casa Loma" and "Casa Loma: Canada's Fairy-Tale Castle and Its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt."

      A comment on that post from "doug" actually seems to have more information about the electrical company takeover:

      "Sources and details are given for the payment of $32 million for most of the assets of the Electrical Development Company on page. 237 of The Railway King of Canada Sir William Mackenzie 1849-1923 by R.B. Fleming UBC Press, Vancouver 1991. The book earlier describes that Pellatt borrowed $1 million for the construction of Casa Loma from Sir William Mackenzie, his partner in the electrical company, and that Pellatt paid Mackenzie back with his share of the Electrical Company. By the time the shareholders voted to accept the government's offer, Pellatt received nothing because that is how much of the company he owned."

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    2. And more sources beyond that are also listed and linked to at the bottom of that post.

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