What does it mean to Ryerson to move onto Yonge with the new Student Learning Centre? What does it mean to Yonge Street? How does it change Toronto?
This student project tells the cultural history of Yonge and Dundas – and Downtown Toronto – through six different stories.
First, the Heart of Downtown starts with Yonge Street as a Gateway… Here, we look how monuments and entrances define the area, but also how immigration and poverty have been part of the area in historically ethnic areas, leading to slums and racial tensions.
Next, looking at building and infrastructure, Toronto’s Maleable History is traced through the theme of Permanence and Circulation… Here, we keep looking at the social level with a mind for social cohesion and how places get built.
Then, we look at how Censored Sexualised Bodies are sometimes Covered Up and sometimes Exposed… This theme focuses on cultural communities being kept apart and marginalized, especially through gender and sexuality.
And next the sense of Coming Together in Liberation as subcultures, in print and fashion, through music and politics… This theme focuses on subcultures finding their footing through media and communications.
The most vulnerable downtown suffer from Homelessness On and Off the Street, sometimes sheltered, at other times harrassed… Downtown in this case is a place where individuals interact with suspicion, hesitation, but sometimes charity.
Finally, amid the Circulation of Consumption, we are Nostalgic for Sam’s. The specific location of Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre is famously the site of Sam the Record Man and A&A Records & Tapes, anchor for the music industry in Canada. Downtown from this perspective allows individuals to find each other and have fun together.