Flip-Toronto brings neighbourhoods to life on the TTC
Starting on August 4th, subway riders will have the chance to see Toronto in a new way via a very old medium. Thanks to the work of a group of artists, short, handmade flip books that explore the city's neighbourhoods, landmarks and forgotten stories will play in video form on subway platform screens alongside the usual CP24 and advertising fare.
Flip-Toronto - a collaboration organized by Claire Sykes and Susana Reisman of Circuit Gallery and Pattison Onestop media - is a series of eight short movies produced by local artists based around neighbourhood themes. One shows old city hall morphing into new city hall, another references Google Maps.
In a telephone conversation, Sykes says the idea to adapt the project for Toronto came after her business partner, Susana Reisman, travelled to Beirut to publish a children's book. A similar, print project - Flip-Beirut - had recently been published in the Lebanese capital. "It was one of those projects that evolved very organically," says Sykes. "We thought 'wouldn't it be great if there were all these cities that did this.'"
Rather than jump into full-scale print release, Sykes and Reisman produced silent, 30-second videos of each 60-page book to help the project garner exposure on the TTC. The artists, which include noted animator Patrick Jenkins, the creator of "Morphing City Hall," cover a number of facets of Toronto life. In one video, artist Aubrey Reeves, granddaughter of former Toronto Argonauts captain Ted Toogood, recalls the famous "Mud Bowl" Grey Cup at Varsity Stadium in poignant detail.
Sykes hopes viewers take away a renewed interest in the city. "It's a fun project," she says. "It addresses in a quick way things like changing neighbourhoods."
"They're just fun anecdotes - it's a wonderful way of telling stories about the city and maybe it will inspire other people to tell more."
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