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February 26, 2002
Agincourt residents share past for new living history exhibit
  
Toronto Culture --- "When my parents moved here in the early 50s, Sheppard
Avenue was just a two lane road. There was no 401 or anything like that. My
grandmother, who lived in Toronto, thought we were moving to the end of the
world." -- Margaret Jamieson, one of the residents interviewed for the exhibit
"Agincourt: A Community History" recalls her family's move to the area in
1951.

If a single word could sum up the history of a community, then "change" applies
to Agincourt. It was with this theme in mind that the Multicultural History
Society of Ontario and the City of Toronto Culture Division's Scarborough
Historical Museum teamed up to explore residents' perspectives on change in the
area.

Over the last 70 years Agincourt has dramatically transformed from a tiny
crossroads village at Main Street and Church Avenue (today's Sheppard and
Midland Avenues respectively) to a fast-paced urban community.

The demographics of the people living there have also changed - from a largely
English, Scottish and Irish Protestant resident base to a population of many
different ethnic groups, including a large Chinese community.

The exhibit focuses, as well, upon the residents' encounters with difference -
different languages, different cultures and different ways of doing things.

Project staff interviewed 48 Agincourt residents, some of whom had lived in the
area for many years, and others who were more recently established.
Participants shared their memories and experiences, and donated photographs and
other memorabilia.

The resulting exhibit creates a window into the Agincourt of old (exploring
some of the stories behind its landmarks) while tracing the development of a
multicultural community over time. It explores longtime residents' memories of
first meetings with people of different backgrounds, as well as new arrivals'
experiences of integration and adjustment to a new home. Churches, schools,
and community centres -- the neighbourhood meeting places -- are also examined.

"Agincourt: A Community History" officially opens this Wednesday, February 27,
at the Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda, 150 Borough Dr., at 7 p.m. Everyone is
welcome.

Following the community-oriented nature of this exhibit, it will travel and be
on display at a number of locations throughout the Agincourt area.

The schedule for this travelling exhibit is as follows:

February 27 to March 15, Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda, 150 Borough Dr.

March 16 to March 28, Agincourt Mall, 3850 Sheppard Ave. E.

April 1 to May 3, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 4465 Sheppard
Ave. E.

May 4 to May 16, Agincourt Library, 155 Benis Ave.

May 19 to July 1, Scarborough Historical Museum, 1007 Brimley Rd., in Thomson
Memorial Park


This exhibit is co-ordinated by the Multicultural History Society of Ontario
and the City of Toronto Culture Division, Scarborough Historical Museum.
Funding for this project has been generously supplied by the Toronto Community
Foundation and the City of Toronto Culture Division.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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