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April 3, 2002
Exhibit of Toronto memorabilia at the Market Gallery
  
"Collecting Toronto: Through the Eyes of Larry Becker" opens at the Market
Gallery this Saturday. The exhibition is based on one of the largest private
donations of artifacts and archival materials ever made to the City of Toronto.

Collecting Toronto explores the City's history through the eyes of one
collector. On display are several hundred items, dating from the early 1830s
when "Toronto" was still "York," until the early 1990s when the Blue Jays won
the World Series at SkyDome. This exhibit gives us a unique glimpse into the
nature of collections, collecting and collectors.

During his life, Larry Becker (1939 -1998) created more than 20 inter-related
collections of material focused on his native Toronto. These multiple media
collections include photographs, postcards, prints, medals, maps, newspapers,
broadsides, bottles, and ephemera of all sorts.

Highlights include parchment deeds from the 1830s; tiny tickets for horse-drawn
and pre-TTC streetcars; a dance card for the 1860 reception welcoming the
Prince of Wales to Toronto; Victorian advertising cards and Edwardian
postcards.

On display are newspaper reports of Confederation, the death of Queen Victoria
and the cross-lake swim of Marilyn Bell. Viewers can see the first program for
Maple Leaf Gardens, school report cards and exams from the 1860s, 1890s and
1920s, and a flag for the City's 1934 Centennial. Along with Fenian medals and
First World War snapshots, commemorative medals designed by such eminent
artists as Frances Loring, Florence Wyle and Emanuel Hahn will be displayed.

Based on Larry Becker's extraordinary collections, Collecting Toronto will
entertain as well as inform. The exhibition, jointly curated by the City of
Toronto Archives and the City's Culture Division, will run until September 29.

The Market Gallery is in the South St. Lawrence Market at 95 Front St. E.


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