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Fort York Visitor Centre. Image courtesy of Patkau Architects and Kearns Mancini Architects.
On September 19, Fort York will be marking the official opening of its new visitor centre—and then on September 20 and 21, it will be celebrating the opening some more with various events and activities. The 24,000-square-foot centre is located on the south side of Garrison Common, and features a 480-square-foot vault for “iconic and light-sensitive artifacts,” a 2,900-square-foot exhibit gallery, and, perhaps most intriguingly, an “‘immersive experience’ exhibit, which takes visitors through the steps leading up to the Battle of York and the explosion of the fort’s Grand Magazine.”
The Daniels Spectrum, which opened in Regent Park two years ago as part of the larger neighbourhood revitalization, has become a cultural hub: operated by Artscape, it hosts performances and events, fosters the artistic interests of young people in the community, and is home to various groups, including the Regent Park Film Festival and Pathways to Education.
It also became a source of inspiration for local artist, emcee, and actor Mustafa Ahmed, known as Mustafa the Poet. He composed a piece about it, and when musician Thompson Egbo-Egbo heard it, a new collaborative project was born. Egbo-Egbo reached out to the Twice Upon a Time studio and suggested the idea of working together on a “a gift to the neighbourhood’s many thousands of residents”—the result was “Spectrum of Hope,” a music video featuring the poetry of Mustafa the Poet, the music of Egbo-Egbo, and images of daily life and revitalization in the neighbourhood. The result of a year of effort, the work was co-directed by the studio and seven local Regent Park youth, all of whom are involved in programs at the Daniels Spectrum.
Ward: 6 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), currently represented by Mark Grimes, who is seeking his fourth term as councillor.
Background: A police spokesperson, Vella is on an unpaid leave of absence to run for council. He previously sought the appointment for Ward 3 (Etobicoke Centre) to replace Doug Holyday—a position that ultimately went to Peter Leon. Vella says that in his spare time, he enjoys going to his cottage and the waterfront.