Thursday, June 30, 2011

opening at the Varley Art Gallery

Sunday was the opening for Cul-De-Sac. All three of our Show us your Unionville participants were in attendance, as well as a few of their family members and partners. It was a perfectly sunny day with hot dogs and lemonade.
Working with the Varley was a real pleasure and we owe them so many thanks for the opportunity and for putting their trust in Robin and me - we were installing our contribution to the show up until the very last second... but we did it!

don't forget to listen to our podcasts follow these links:
 show us your unionville day 1- kelly
show us your unionville day 2- sean
show us your unionville day 3- lynn

Monday, June 27, 2011

show us your unionville!! DAY THREE - lynn

On our final day in Unionville we met a woman named Lynn, born and raised in Unionville Lynn like our other breakfast dates had a great perspective on the town, where it's been and where it's going. We had breakfast on Unionville main street at a place called Toogood Cafe.

Lynn is an animator by trade, she was living in Halifax but found herself back in Unionville for a contract in Toronto, three years later she is still in Unionville and still working various contracts in Toronto. Hr work sounds really awesome, it's not on the internet but that may change soon.

Lynn was really keen on the adventure aspect of our project and she planned us a kind of game to play in the flood plains of the city. This is a park system that can't really be developed on it because of it's tendency towards flooding. So in turn the land is an incredible path system lush with all the natural flora in the area. Lynn set us out playing Wilderness Bingo on our walk. While we walked we kept and eye out for a list she made ahead of time of birds, animals and plants that she had spotted on the path in the past. This was actually an awesome way to ensure that we were paying attention to our surroundings rather than just walking and talking, with out looking like I might normally do.

With out the list in front of me I will try to list everything we saw:
blue jays, orioles, cardinals, red winged black birds, cow vetch, wild dill, wild strawberries, geese, ducks, and a whole bunch more flora. Oh and I found a Saskatoon bush so i had a little snack... I don't remember if anyone else did?

When we met Lynn she walked us down Main Street Unionville before we ate and explained to us what the street looked like when she was a kid. Lynn has a love hate with her home town and was very vocal about it. I think if you listen to the podcast you will find she looks at her home with a critical and careful eye and wanting to preserve the small town feel of her exploding city.

 Lynn and Robin at the Too Good Cafe (Too Good was a family name in Unionville)

 Our adventure walk!

 A pretty flower - I will have to check the notes to see what it was...

Remnants of Unionville, the way Lynn remembers it as a child.

 Beaver dam!!! 

And of course don't forget to check out Robin's website and the podcast! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

show us your unionville!! DAY TWO - sean

Day two!
Today we met a charming man named Sean. He has lived in Markham for 38 years. He moved to Toronto from Dublin, Ireland in 1955 and after that he moved to Markham. Sean has seen the city change a lot in 38 years (for better or for worse) and he drove us around the city showing us new developments and old landmarks. It was really interesting, and Sean himself is quite the story teller. He had a story about everything!

The place that Sean wanted to take us to (Apple Jacks) was closed, so we settled for Cora's. Once we were on our driving tour about we stopped at a couple locations along the way, I have limited photos today because of some technical difficulties with my camera. But here is a link to our podcast from the day listen and enjoy!

and of course check out Robin's website for more UNIONVILLE!

Just going for a little drive about. 

We stopped at Too Good Pond (i love the name!)

And I chased some geese...

Million dollar homes...

So, so much construction...
Its a city bursting at the seams with development.

So that was day two.. what will tomorrow hold for us?!?

Friday, June 24, 2011

show us your unionville!! DAY ONE-kelly

Welcome to Unionville Brette and Robin! So begins another installment of the ongoing Show Us Your City! series with Robin Lambert and myself. We have been invited by the Varley Art Gallery of Markham to explore the city/ town of Unionville Ontario. Unionville is a little town inside Markham Ontario. The area of Markham is growing rapidly but while new subdivisions are being added to the city the area known as unionville appears to be trapped in time (or in an episode of the gilmore girls). Quaint... oh so very quaint.

We meet Kelly an environmental technician co op student, she just completed university at the u of t with a major in Environment in Society and a second major in European Studies.  We met her at T and T Bakery a real cute mom and pop joint in Markham. Kelly was born and raised in Markham and she is an active member of her community. She participates as a gardener for a local gardening project in the park near her home. And at her job she is involved with another community gardening project called Colour your Corners (a beautification project for the public corners on the streets of Markham) and another public project called Public Realm.

After our delicious breakfast Kelly took us to a couple locations. All of which were quite personal. We went to her home, which is the same house that she grew up in. We saw her beautiful backyard as well as a warped tree in front of her house where she would hang out as a child. Next she took us down the street to a park where her and her best friend used as a meeting place and finally she wanted us to go for a frozen yogurt at a place she calls 'the window' where her and her boyfriend go for dates.  Unfortunately we got rained out before the frozen yogurt. In fact Robin and I got drenched and the window was closed because of the rain but we found the window so we will be back! All in all we had a most delightful first day in Unionville/ Markham.

 Kelly in front of T&T

 Giving directions!

 Kelly's Dad has been working on their backyard for years, 
this is his zen garden, note the yin yang.

 The crooked tree.

 The nameless park near Kelly's house.

 The RAIN!!!!! Oh so much Rain!

soon i will be posting a link to our podcast that robin is currently editing while i type this... while you wait for that watch this brunch related video! or listen to our podcast that we made!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

welcome home

unpacking the cabinet of curiosities has been a real treat. I'm glad to be back in Toronto. I owe this blog some attention.