I am very pleased to report to you that Toronto City Council took an important and critical step today toward establishing a Toronto City Museum at Casa Loma by supporting motions I put forward along with motions regarding its governance by Councillor Mihevc. While moving on ways to better operate and preserve Casa Loma, a historic Toronto icon, Council endorsed our idea to ask for expressions of interest from Torontonians to create a space to share our city’s history.
For over 40 years, successive Councils and prominent residents have debated various venues for a City Museum; unfortunately none of the sites have ultimately been deemed appropriate. Casa Loma presents an exciting opportunity to house Toronto’s artifacts in a building that merits their importance.
I deeply appreciate the support and thoughtful suggestions I have received from many of you since our proposal was put forward a couple weeks ago. I would also like to thank former Mayor David Crombie and historian Mike Filey for their guidance. In fact, this has been a long-running passion of Mayor Crombie’s who put forward a motion to establish a City Museum as a Councillor in 1970 and was instrumental in the creation of a digital site to exhibit our past through the Toronto Museum Project.
While today’s approval at Council is an important first step, the hard work has just beginning. To join New York, Chicago, Montreal, Vancouver and most other major, global urban areas that have a city museum, we will need to capture Torontonians’ imaginations and support.
It’s now time that together we city-build, protect and celebrate our heritage and offer vision for Toronto. For our city’s history and Casa Loma’s future, let’s create Toronto’s first City Museum.