City Centre Mirror
Having shared some of downtown Toronto’s history over the past few years, the Cabbagetown Regent Park Community Museum (CRPCM) is turning to the public to help plan its future.
The museum recently released a survey asking the public for their impressions of its exhibits and what they would like to see in the future, helping determine a direction for upcoming exhibitions.
“We want to test how much people know about us and how they feel about us,” said Laurie Stephens, CRPCM board member. “We’re known in the community because we get exposure at Riverdale (Farm), but we need to find ways to get the word out to more people.”
One of the problems in promoting the museum lies in the fact that it does not have an official home to call its own. Revolving exhibits are set up at Riverdale Farm with additional exhibits displayed at the 51 Division police station on Parliament Street and the Toronto police headquarters on College Street.
“We would love to have a location somewhere that we can call our own,” Stephens said. “That would help us significantly in making sure people know about us, but until that happens, we want to know what the people in this area and across Toronto want to see from us.”
While it is small in scale, those working to bring the museum to life have done a massive amount of research and work bringing the history of Cabbagetown and Regent Park to life.
“There are exhibits on anything and everything,” Stephens said. “The museum has worked out relationships with the Macedonian church in Regent Park, we’ve done work with WoodGreen, exhibits on the Aboriginal history in this area, which is rich, as well as looked into military aspects and the history of policing.”
Resident Carol Moore-Ede helped pave the way for a museum recognizing the history of Cabbagetown and Regent Park in 2004, and it was incorporated as a not-for-profit company in 2008.
It was established as the area – and Regent Park in particular – was undergoing massive change. With the large-scale Regent Park Revitalization underway, there was a chance the area’s historic role in the fabric of Toronto would be lost, Stephens said.
“It was a community going through a lot of transition and it was important to capture that history,” Stephens said.
While much of Toronto’s history is captured by organizations such as the City of Toronto Archives, Stephens noted the CRPCM places far more of a focus on the specific areas it serves.
“We want people to know about this real gem of a museum in a real gem of a neighbourhood,” Stephens said.
Further information on the museum is available at www.crpmuseum.com
To fill out the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/CabbagetownRegentParkCommunityMuseum