Inasmuch as history is supposed to be rooted in objectively recorded facts, such accounts often overlook the multi-layered texture of people’s lives and, at times, have even ignored entire events and viewpoints. As a local response to such oversights, members of the Missing Plaque Project have spent the past four years wheat-pasting these unacknowledged histories all over the city.
Focusing on subjects that have been largely discounted by the official history books, posters cover a range of events — from neighbourhood demolitions to unrecorded riots and protests — and are being put up in the areas where they took place. According to founder Tim Groves, “The strength of the Missing Plaque Project is that I am independent from the government and, therefore, don’t have bureaucrats censoring and editing the histories to make sure they portray Toronto in a favourable way.” In doing so, this initiative is reinforcing a dialogic approach to history that allows for a multiplicity of local, untold histories to emerge.
On May 12 at 2 pm, the Missing Plaque Project will unveil fifteen new posters at the 519 Community Centre; afterwards, everyone will be invited to hit the streets and start postering. The following evening at 8 pm, the Missing Plaque Project will also host a campfire in Dufferin Grove Park and attendees will be encouraged to tell stories about Toronto.
The recently revamped project also includes a new website www.missingplaque.tao.ca.