Heritage Toronto – a charitable agency of the City of Toronto – has issued an open invitation to participate in its online “State of Heritage Survey.” (Follow this link) I recently attended a tour that Heritage Toronto facilitated as part of Doors Open Toronto 2018, and I enjoyed the experience. I’m interested in heritage not only as a history nut and museum nerd, but also as a committed city-dweller. Some Torontonians hear the word ‘heritage’ and imagine boring history classes. (Not my history classes, of course!) But I think that the cultural, natural and built heritage of the place one calls home can be explored actively and personally as a way of enhancing wonder and discovery. Just as heritage can encompass all sorts of interests, pride of place and stewardship of Toronto’s heritage can help bring communities and citizens together. In that spirit, I think that many people may want to contribute their voices to heritage issues, but don’t know how to get involved. So, I willingly opened up the survey.
The lead page contains this information:
WE WANT YOUR OPINIONS AND INPUT ABOUT THE STATE OF TORONTO’S HERITAGE. Every municipal election year, Heritage Toronto researches and releases a report on how well the city is preserving and celebrating cultural, natural, and architectural heritage. This survey will help gather information from Toronto residents on their awareness, interest and concerns about Toronto heritage, and ideas on how heritage can be better celebrated and preserved in our city. Feedback gained here will help develop recommendations for future heritage policies and actions.
The survey is a breeze, and is worth the minimal effort. It took me take about 4 minutes to complete. It asks questions concerning knowledge about, support for, and use of Toronto’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage. It mentions some web and phone-based Heritage Aps that were new to me. It made an interesting differentiation between celebrating heritage and protecting heritage – something about which I want to think more. There were also questions about the new/old idea for a Museum of Toronto. On this topic, the survey inquired about a spectrum of factors affecting access to Toronto’s museums and galleries, including affordability, perceived elitism, and how visiting cultural destinations fits in with leisure time. At the conclusion of the survey, I was able to register my email address for a chance to win a Heritage Toronto prize pack.
To expand their consultation efforts associated with writing this report, Heritage Toronto are having a public forum on Tuesday, July 31st, at the Great Hall. All are welcome to attend. (Register here)
It will be interesting to follow this Report into next year’s election debates.