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March 3, 2009
Toronto celebrates its 175th Anniversary on Friday March 6, 2009
On Friday March 6, 2009, City Hall opens its doors and welcomes the public to celebrate the City’s 175th anniversary. A full day of free programming has been planned highlighting the City’s heritage, unity and diversity. Photography exhibits, literary readings, film, theatrical performances, music and dance - this is a celebration of the diversity of Toronto’s artistic community.

“One of the events that I’m really excited about is a new media installation at City Hall called 360-Extended,” said Mayor David Miller. “This is an opportunity for all Torontonians to participate in the anniversary celebrations by sending text messages, photos and e-mails to the new media artist about what ‘My City…’ means to them. These messages and photos become part of the exhibit. It is not too late to participate - just visit for information about how to submit a message.”

On Nathan Phillips Square, 175 years of City services will be commemorated with vintage vehicles and demonstrations by Toronto Police Services and Toronto Fire. A smudging ceremony with the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, the first indigenous peoples to inhabit the land where Toronto stands today, will kick off events at noon on the Square. A number of performances and demonstrations will take place on an outdoor stage and the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada will perform a historical re-enactment on the Square.

Events inside City Hall begin at noon:
• Three art exhibits will be showcased including an impressive display of archival photographs from Toronto Archives. Additionally, Well and Good and Manifesto showcase street art in all its forms and School without Borders presents My City My Story (MCMS) featuring photography by Toronto youth.
• Faisal Anwar, a video production artist, will curate an installation in the City Hall rotunda called 360-Extended that uses text or e-mail messages and photos that have been submitted by residents to the My City… campaign online at or through facebook.
• Lit City will present A City of Writers for 175 Years and The Bohemian Embassy Revival on March 6 in the City Hall Library. Both presentations celebrate Toronto’s heritage, unity and diversity through literature.
• Mayor David Miller will launch the City's commemorative book entitled, Toronto's Visual Legacy: Official Photography from 1856 to the Present. Based on the extensive photographic holdings of the City's Archives, the book provides an impressive and visually rich history of 140 years of urban development, municipal initiatives and major civic events.
• Films that showcase Toronto will be screened and include: Toronto in Silent Cinema, narrated by Mike Filey; 9 Months, 6 Blocks; Tkaronto; Behind the Bohemian Embassy and Let’s All Hate Toronto.
• Award-winning Canadian actor R.H. Thomson will direct two theatrical performances featuring Eric Peterson as William Lyon Mackenzie, Toronto’s fiery first Mayor. In The First Toronto Debate of 1834: Tories & Reformers Wrestle the Challenges of the City's First Council, students from Toronto schools will play the Aldermen and Councilmen of Toronto’s first Council. The second performance, A Unique Meeting - Past & Present, will feature Mayor Miller in a robust debate with Mayor William Lyon Mackenzie.
• Permit Alley will feature interactive activities for kids and families with Art Starts and exhibits from Toronto Police, Fire, EMS and the Historica Foundation.
• Music, dance and theatre will also be front and centre on March 6th. Lal, Maryem Toller, Matt York, Chris Church, Ballet Creole, Shugamai Grace Johnson and other Toronto-based performers collaborate in the finale 1 Love T.O, a celebration of our diversity. Culturally diverse artists from a mix of disciplines create a unique work for the commemoration of Toronto’s 175th.

City of Toronto Museums and the Market Gallery are also celebrating Toronto’s 175th anniversary on the March 6-8 weekend with free admission:
• At Colborne Lodge, John Howard’s Images of Early Toronto runs from March 6 to May 24. Howard’s numerous 1830s watercolours of land and streetscapes provide a rare glimpse of early Toronto.
• At Mackenzie House, Toronto's Tumultuous Year: William Lyon Mackenzie as Mayor runs from March 8 to January 3, 2010. The exhibit explores an eventful year in the life of Toronto’s first - and still most controversial - Mayor.
• At the Market Gallery, St. Lawrence Market, Lit City: Toronto through the Eyes of Artists and Authors opens on Saturday, March 7 and runs to June 13. This innovative exhibit marries passages from Toronto-inspired poetry, novels, science fiction and mysteries with art from the City's collection.

Visit for more information about Toronto 175 anniversary celebrations and additional event listings throughout the year.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto’s incorporation as a city. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Cheryn Thoun, Manager, Strategic Communications, 416-392-9305,



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