Don Was Here project explores historical path of the lower Don River

News Jul 04, 2014 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

A unique and interactive urban intervention project is giving people the chance to retrace the original route of the lower Don River.

Don Was Here, curated by Cabbagetown-based Labspace Studio, is one of several projects commissioned for the inaugural No. 9 Eco-Art Festival at Todmorden Mills (67 Pottery Rd.), which runs until Sept. 21.

The free outdoor summer art festival offers free concerts all summer long as well as seven eco-art installations that respond to the history of Todmorden Mills and the Don Valley.

Don Was Here is the only installation that goes outside the direct Todmorden Mills area.

“The festival is centralized around Todmorden Mills but the organizers wanted something that was outside of Todmorden Mills to draw people in,” said John Loerchner, Labspace Studio’s co-director/curator.

Don Was Here does just that, he said, as it essentially tags and retraces the historical route of the old Don River along the Lower Don Valley pathway.

Using historical data to accurately determine where the lower Don River originally flowed, Labspace Studio has created and placed several ‘Don Was Here’ tags along the bike path from Lake Shore Boulevard East up to Todmorden Mills.

“We found the map data intriguing to see how different the river was. … Even today, the Don River is an important waterway that still plays an important role in our lives,” Loerchner said, adding Labspace Studio is all about creating installations that help people have a new perspectives on the spaces where they live and play.

“It’s important to make people more aware of its history and conscious of the decisions we make for the future.”

Participants are encouraged to visit www.donwashere.com to view maps of the historical pathways of the Don River, peruse old photographs and tag, tweet and pin their own photos and comments on their self-guided walk.

Don Was Here, which is made possible through a partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, will also include two walking tours that explore the changing face of Toronto’s Don River Valley and the relationship between the river, the valley, and the city that developed alongside and around it.

Historian Jennifer Bonnell will lead the first walk on Saturday, July 12 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.

An assistant professor of Canadian and environmental history at McMaster University, Bonnell is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley as well as the co-developer (with University of Toronto Map and GIS librarian Marcel Fortin) of the Don Valley Historical Mapping Project. She is currently working on an environmental history of beekeeping in southern Ontario and New York State.

Lost River Walks founder Helen Mills will lead the second Don Was Here walk on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A program of the Toronto Green Community, the Lost River Walk groups has worked for the last 18 years to name and map dozens of lost creeks. The group has also accumulated an exhaustive on- and off-line archive of information about lost rivers as well as creating the Thirsty City Guides to water issues in the city; and developed the Lost Rivers Walks, storytelling tours of the city’s buried creeks.

Both tours will begin in front of Todmorden Mills and end at Riverdale Park.

Don Was Here project explores historical path of the lower Don River

No. 9 Eco-Art Festival at Todmorden Mills until Sept. 21

News Jul 04, 2014 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

A unique and interactive urban intervention project is giving people the chance to retrace the original route of the lower Don River.

Don Was Here, curated by Cabbagetown-based Labspace Studio, is one of several projects commissioned for the inaugural No. 9 Eco-Art Festival at Todmorden Mills (67 Pottery Rd.), which runs until Sept. 21.

The free outdoor summer art festival offers free concerts all summer long as well as seven eco-art installations that respond to the history of Todmorden Mills and the Don Valley.

Don Was Here is the only installation that goes outside the direct Todmorden Mills area.

“The festival is centralized around Todmorden Mills but the organizers wanted something that was outside of Todmorden Mills to draw people in,” said John Loerchner, Labspace Studio’s co-director/curator.

Don Was Here does just that, he said, as it essentially tags and retraces the historical route of the old Don River along the Lower Don Valley pathway.

Using historical data to accurately determine where the lower Don River originally flowed, Labspace Studio has created and placed several ‘Don Was Here’ tags along the bike path from Lake Shore Boulevard East up to Todmorden Mills.

“We found the map data intriguing to see how different the river was. … Even today, the Don River is an important waterway that still plays an important role in our lives,” Loerchner said, adding Labspace Studio is all about creating installations that help people have a new perspectives on the spaces where they live and play.

“It’s important to make people more aware of its history and conscious of the decisions we make for the future.”

Participants are encouraged to visit www.donwashere.com to view maps of the historical pathways of the Don River, peruse old photographs and tag, tweet and pin their own photos and comments on their self-guided walk.

Don Was Here, which is made possible through a partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, will also include two walking tours that explore the changing face of Toronto’s Don River Valley and the relationship between the river, the valley, and the city that developed alongside and around it.

Historian Jennifer Bonnell will lead the first walk on Saturday, July 12 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.

An assistant professor of Canadian and environmental history at McMaster University, Bonnell is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley as well as the co-developer (with University of Toronto Map and GIS librarian Marcel Fortin) of the Don Valley Historical Mapping Project. She is currently working on an environmental history of beekeeping in southern Ontario and New York State.

Lost River Walks founder Helen Mills will lead the second Don Was Here walk on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A program of the Toronto Green Community, the Lost River Walk groups has worked for the last 18 years to name and map dozens of lost creeks. The group has also accumulated an exhaustive on- and off-line archive of information about lost rivers as well as creating the Thirsty City Guides to water issues in the city; and developed the Lost Rivers Walks, storytelling tours of the city’s buried creeks.

Both tours will begin in front of Todmorden Mills and end at Riverdale Park.

Don Was Here project explores historical path of the lower Don River

No. 9 Eco-Art Festival at Todmorden Mills until Sept. 21

News Jul 04, 2014 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

A unique and interactive urban intervention project is giving people the chance to retrace the original route of the lower Don River.

Don Was Here, curated by Cabbagetown-based Labspace Studio, is one of several projects commissioned for the inaugural No. 9 Eco-Art Festival at Todmorden Mills (67 Pottery Rd.), which runs until Sept. 21.

The free outdoor summer art festival offers free concerts all summer long as well as seven eco-art installations that respond to the history of Todmorden Mills and the Don Valley.

Don Was Here is the only installation that goes outside the direct Todmorden Mills area.

“The festival is centralized around Todmorden Mills but the organizers wanted something that was outside of Todmorden Mills to draw people in,” said John Loerchner, Labspace Studio’s co-director/curator.

Don Was Here does just that, he said, as it essentially tags and retraces the historical route of the old Don River along the Lower Don Valley pathway.

Using historical data to accurately determine where the lower Don River originally flowed, Labspace Studio has created and placed several ‘Don Was Here’ tags along the bike path from Lake Shore Boulevard East up to Todmorden Mills.

“We found the map data intriguing to see how different the river was. … Even today, the Don River is an important waterway that still plays an important role in our lives,” Loerchner said, adding Labspace Studio is all about creating installations that help people have a new perspectives on the spaces where they live and play.

“It’s important to make people more aware of its history and conscious of the decisions we make for the future.”

Participants are encouraged to visit www.donwashere.com to view maps of the historical pathways of the Don River, peruse old photographs and tag, tweet and pin their own photos and comments on their self-guided walk.

Don Was Here, which is made possible through a partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, will also include two walking tours that explore the changing face of Toronto’s Don River Valley and the relationship between the river, the valley, and the city that developed alongside and around it.

Historian Jennifer Bonnell will lead the first walk on Saturday, July 12 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.

An assistant professor of Canadian and environmental history at McMaster University, Bonnell is the author of Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley as well as the co-developer (with University of Toronto Map and GIS librarian Marcel Fortin) of the Don Valley Historical Mapping Project. She is currently working on an environmental history of beekeeping in southern Ontario and New York State.

Lost River Walks founder Helen Mills will lead the second Don Was Here walk on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A program of the Toronto Green Community, the Lost River Walk groups has worked for the last 18 years to name and map dozens of lost creeks. The group has also accumulated an exhaustive on- and off-line archive of information about lost rivers as well as creating the Thirsty City Guides to water issues in the city; and developed the Lost Rivers Walks, storytelling tours of the city’s buried creeks.

Both tours will begin in front of Todmorden Mills and end at Riverdale Park.