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November 22, 2004
Economic Development and Parks Committee supports development of new cultural attraction to tell Toronto "story"
  
The Economic Development and Parks Committee today endorsed further development
of Humanitas, a new cultural attraction that will serve as a forum for civic
engagement, story-telling and dialogue about the realities, challenges and
pleasure of Toronto's urban experience and humanity's aspirations for the
future of cities.

A new public attraction that will tell Toronto's stories to Canadians and the
world was one of the key recommendations of both the Culture Plan for the
Creative City, and the Waterfront Culture and Heritage Infrastructure Plan.
Both plans were adopted by Toronto City Council in June 2003 and December 2001
respectively. Commenting on today's presentation, Brian Ashton, Chair of the
Economic Development and Parks Committee said, "We have to create a city that
people want to live in, visit and be inspired by. Humanitas will inspire
greatness and capture the essence of what Toronto is and will become."

In commissioning the feasibility study for Humanitas, the Culture Division
directed the consulting team to conduct a community consultation process that
would engage Toronto's diverse communities, youth, arts and heritage
organizations, as well as existing museums. The consulting team was led by Lord
Cultural Resources Planning & Management Inc., and included the Canadian Urban
Institute, E.R.A. Architects and LURA Consulting. The Honourable David Crombie,
President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, presented the report's
findings to the committee.

More than 650 representatives from more than 500 organizations were invited to
participate in consultation sessions that were held in different areas of the
city. The feasibility study was supported by a grant from the federal
government's Cultural Spaces program and the City of Toronto.

"Though we've had more than our share of challenges in the last decade, telling
the Toronto 'story' will be an exciting new chapter. We are on the threshold of
a powerful civic renaissance and are positioned to become an international
cultural capital," said Rita Davies, Executive Director, City of Toronto
Culture Division. "Humanitas would serve as a spotlight, illuminating and
celebrating the many facets of the jewel that is our city," added Davies.

Media Contact:
Rita Davies, Executive Director, Culture Division, 416-397-5323



 

 

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