Due to its concrete jungle of skyscrapers and plethora of gentrified neighbourhoods, it is easy to forget that Toronto is actually a city rich in history. In an attempt to showcase these often forgotten events, enthusiast Adam Bunch has begun the “Toronto Dreams Project,” a project which has created quite a stir amongst tourists and Toronto residents alike.
The purpose of the project is to inform the public of significant events that occurred in particular spots in Toronto. To do this, Bunch has created what he calls “sticky plaques”- or, postcard-sized stickers containing QR codes which may be scanned using a smart phone device.
Once scanned, the codes forward readers to either blog sites such as the Torontoist or Bunch’s own site; both of which explain the significance of that particular spot in Toronto.
For example, if you scan the plaque posted across from Sidney Smith Hall at the University of Toronto campus, you will be led to an article about William Hincks- or, the “Adulterous fox”. The article explains that in 1853, when the University of Toronto was looking to hire the chair of their new natural history department, a brilliant scholar named T.H Huxley, who was second only to Darwin as the most influential scientists in history, became a front runner for the position.
That is, until William Hincks came along- a scientist whose questionable and often bizarre theories were “negligent at best and harmful at worst.” Despite his lack of scientific merit, Hincks apprehended the position. Why? Because his brother, Francis Hincks, was the Premier of Ontario at the time.
Many of the historical stories chosen by Bunch are similar to this in that they are full of irony, humour, and charm. Told in a sarcastic and casual tone, the tales are an easy and interesting read, appealing to Torontonians of all ages.
There are now about 24 different sticky plaques posted throughout Toronto, but Bunch hopes to increase this to 100 by the end of the summer. These plaques not only add a unique quirkiness to the city, but also pose as a reminder that Toronto was not always the dizzying corporate core that it is today.
Not sure where to find these plaques? The map below indicates where most of them are located:
For more information on the Toronto Dreams Project or the historical events themselves, visit Bunch’s website at http://torontodreamsproject.blogspot.ca/ or scan one of the QR codes themselves!
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