By Ellie King
Toronto kicked off its 185th birthday this past weekend (March 9th - 10th) with a celebration at Nathan Phillip’s Square.
The festival organize by Celebrate Toronto included everything from ice skating, performances from Canadian artists and local food, to art and clothing vendors.
Toronto’s big birthday celebration was significant for various reasons; the Toronto sign at Nathan Philip’s Square featuring a Medicine Wheel was one of them. Toronto may have turned 185, but the land has been used as hunting grounds by Indigenous peoples dating back 5000 years. So featuring the Medicine Wheel at Nathan Philip’s Square was definitely overdue.
Toronto’s name originated from a Mohawk word “Tkaranto” in the late 17th century, with the word “-ront” referring to trees. Since then, Toronto has become the fourth largest city in all of North America and one of the most diverse and multicultural.
The celebrations at the square featured a London, Ontario-based Pop Fiction artist Daniel Turres who turned iconic pop culture characters into works of art in the form of comics, paintings, trading cards and magnets. Another vendor was Toronto based needle-felting artist Celia Tang who sells her work on her Etsy as well as other festivals. Her booth offered keychains of various plush charm animals, pins, cards and clothes all handmade with love.
Toronto’s 185th wouldn’t have been a celebration without performances from popular Canadian artists. Toronto band Gold Complex performed on stage for a crowd of both ice skaters and shoppers alike. The soul/ pop rock band have become quite successful since their 2015 EP release, performing at several well known music venues in Toronto including the Horseshow Tavern and Supermarket.
Gold Complex released their first album New Soul this past February which featured nine jazzy songs, poetic lyrics and pure talent.
Toronto is loved by many and deserves to be celebrated by all for its milestone 185th anniversary. We must continue to support and celebrate our local talent all 365 days of the year, and value the history of our city!