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L Space Gallery exhibit


May 22 to July 3, 2015

Opening Saturday, May 23, 2015

3:00-5:00 PM


L Space Gallery at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus

19 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Toronto, M8V 4B6


TTC is accessible: from Kipling Subway transfer to the 44 Kipling South bus.  The L Space gallery is one block south from the bus stop at Kipling and Lakeshore Blvd. W.


There will be difficult but important themes of institutional life, including institutional violence and abuse, discussed and represented at this event.


This exhibition is presented in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot Initiative.

From May through October 2015, the Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on arts, culture and the community in Etobicoke, inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. This City of Toronto and partner-produced initiative features a series of signature projects that include a theatre festival, a travelling, interactive art installation, a contemporary, community senior's dance project, youth mural project, art exhibitions, youth mentorship and employment, local festivals and more. This project, and the legacy Cultural Loops Guide, will enable the local community and visitors to discover Hotspot neighbourhoods and the wonderful places within to experience arts, culture, fantastic food, heritage and parkland. 


Visualizing Absence: Memorializing the histories of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital grounds is a collaborative arts-based research response to archival images, patient records, and hidden and lost stories and memories that constitute Humber College’s historic Lakeshore grounds. 


These grounds are traditional territory of the Ojibway Anishinaabe people who have lived along the Humber waterways and travelled extensively throughout the Great Lakes region. They know this area as Adobigok, or “place of the alders.” Their name for the region is where we get our modern-day Etobicoke.


The Lakeshore grounds and new and existing buildings are situated on a corridor along the Humber River where First Nations people travelled for thousands of years.  We stand here today, where many Humber College students and their ancestors have walked (Charles, 2015).


Researcher and artist Anne Zbitnew, in collaboration with artists Ala Asadchaya, Alison Brenzil, Dave Clark, Stas Guzar, Susan Mentis, Lucy Pauker, and Hannah Zbitnew,  use a variety of media to publicly recover untold hidden and forgotten histories. We respect the past by recognizing our research site as Aboriginal land, and by remembering the psychiatric patients who built, lived, worked, and died here.


This project follows Dr. Geoffrey Reaume (2000) and other mad historians, activists, artists and allies who tell stories in a historical context from a psychiatric patient perspective. 


Turning the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital into a college is a fitting tribute to the patients who built this site with their unpaid labour.


Humber College is a place of education and enlightenment. By acknowledging the past, Humber recovers pieces of its own history and advances its community and cultural contributions to knowledge and awareness of contemporary Mental Heath stigma (Males, 2014).


To paraphrase Thomas King (2003):


Take these stories.  Do with them what you will.  Tell your friends, ignore them, forget them.  But don’t say that you would live your life differently if you had only heard these stories.  You have heard them now.









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