Make Local History at Doors Open

The hoopla surrounding Ontario’s 150th anniversary as a province raises a question: How would Toronto’s growth over the past 15 decades be mirrored in its twin, make-believe, model metropolis for storybook mice, Mouse City?

Torontonians aged 2-8 can not only explore but make local history at Mouse City Chronicles, a series of five model city-building workshops taking place at Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St W), on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, as part of Doors Open presented by Great Gulf. Admission is FREE.

Each workshop will focus on the pivotal changes to the physical and social composition of Toronto during a 30-year period, from 1867 to today. Budding city-planners can construct model buildings out of craft materials inspired by the era.

Leading urban commentators such as Matt Blackett, Adil Dhalla, Jane Farrow, Jay Pitter, Rani Sanderson and Stephen Shapiro will help kids position their buildings on giant city grids inspired by Toronto’s layout at the time. They will also serve as ‘Mayors’ of Mouse City.

Here is the workshop schedule: As more and more buildings are placed on a grid, it becomes possible for budding urban planners to see how a city functions as an ecosystem of sorts . Taken together, the five incarnations of Mouse City will offer Torontonians of all ages a chance to see how a city landscape changes over the course of 150 years.

Urban planners aged 2-8 can also write the story of a given Mouse City in words and drawings (and both) by creating pieces for The Mouse City Times  – the newspaper of record for Mouse City. Sheets will be distributed at the workshops.

Admission to these workshops is FREE. There is no need to register ahead of time. We encourage you to arrive at the start of a given workshop, in order to hear the short talk about the period by the Mayor. That said, latecomers will be welcome to participate.

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