Our IN blog highlights entrepreneurial design ventures, the making of things (creatives) and technology. In this post, we would like to take a minute to talk about how our creatives, here at the George Brown College, School of Design have developed a stunning tribute to early Toronto entrepreneurs.
We are going back, way back, to a time before Toronto was Toronto, to the 1830's when Toronto was the city of York. Today, we complain non-stop about commuting and the slow and over-crowded King streetcar. However, in the 1830’s, in the days before paved roads, commuting along King Street was a long walk down a muddy, sometimes sewage riddled street, earning the city the nickname, “Muddy York.” The alternative, horse drawn carriages, were privately owned and only for the wealthy.
In the early 1830’s, escaped American slave and York resident, Thornton Blackburn saw an opportunity as he walked this route to his waitering job at Osgoode Hall. Taxi carriages had just been introduced in Montreal. Inspired, Blackburn obtained the plans to have his own 4 -person, horse drawn taxi carriage built. He painted his carriage a distinctive yellow and red and is credited for inspiring the red TTC streetcars that we still see today. Blackburn and his wife, Lucie, grew the taxi business, “The City”, into a prosperous and successful enterprise.
This pair of inspiring early Torontonian entrepreneurs is being remembered and celebrated in a mural project conceived and created by four GBC School of Design students: Jamie (Jung Yoon) Choi, Justin Heymans, Adriel McPherson, and Huda Tariq all accomplished designers.
Come and see it in person: “Leap of Faith”
A mural celebrating Lucie and Thornton Blackburn, African American Canadian pioneers and founding citizens of Toronto.
Free and open to the public
November 10, 2016 @ 12pm-8pm
The George Residence, 80 Cooperage St.
Organizing team: Jo Enaje, Graeme Kondruss and Magdalena Sabat
Photography I Shing Leung