Community comes together in talks of welcome centre

by | Mar 6, 2015 | A&E

Corey Brehaut
A&E Reporter

People have lots of ideas for interpreting Humber College’s new Interpretive Centre.

Humber faculty and Lakeshore community members met to discuss the direction of the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre last Sunday afternoon at Lakeshore campus.

“I think that this is a space that’s going to be a celebration of Etobicoke Lakeshore,” said Tara Mazurk, curator of the new Interpretive Centre.

The space for the gathering was a spacious, high ceilinged room adorned with murals and concept paintings of the new Welcome Centre. For the afternoon of discussion, the tables had markers and white paper with the words Aboriginal History, Civic Engagement, Environment, and Mental Health written on it.

It started with an address from Mazurk in which she said the Interpretive Centre will be part of the school’s plans for a new Welcome Centre. Its purpose is to acknowledge and engage the history of the Lakeshore area including its origin on Native land and time as a psychiatric hospital, she said.

Mazurk opened the topic of what the centre should focus on to a group discussion with Lakeshore residents and community group members after that. The paper on the tables had the five themes written on them and specific ideas were added with marker.

Some of the ideas were about beautifying the Lakeshore grounds with butterfly gardens and naturally growing herbal medicine. Others focused on having events such as oral history and storytelling, reducing the stigma of mental illness and celebrating multiculturalism.

“Our community’s never had an opportunity to showcase ourselves like this,” said Terry Smith, a member of Friends of Sam Smith Park, a community group dedicated to preserving green space in the area.

The next steps are to make sense of and research the suggestions from the open house, meet with community organizations and create an event strategy for the next five years, Mazurk said.

“We really want the community to be proud of it,” said Wanda Buote, principal of the Lakeshore Campus.