Nothing like a grey, grey winter day to get my heart pumping about what I love about Toronto. And this weekend, I braved the cold with the incredible Rhya Tamasauskas to take pictures of these little paper reminders about what is wonderful about this city of ours.
Since I started The Love Lettering Project in 2004, thousands (!!) love letters have been written. I should do a comprehensive tally, but it’s somewhere between 3-4 thousand letters. That’s a lot of community love.
Of course all the letters written and hidden and found are amazing, there are a few that have really stuck with me:
The two letters above encapsulate two of my very favourite things about Toronto.
This one, written in Kensington Market by a three-year-old, changed how I saw Toronto, a city I’ve lived in for nearly 35 years. Marigolds. I mean, I know that people plant the flower, but until this little guy wrote a love letter to the city’s marigolds, I didn’t realize how many marigolds there are here. And…they’re at the height of a three-year-old. His letter opened my eyes to the city a three-year-old might see, and reaffirmed how many different experiences exist within a single city.
This woman had moved to Toronto from Washington, D.C. the day before she wrote this letter. It was such a good reminder to not take for granted how safe Toronto is (relatively speaking…)
I’d never thought of looking at the downtown buildings (that are so easy to write-off as boring skyscrapers) like this!
How I love spotting Anser’s faces around the city (and didn’t know the name of the artist until I saw this letter!)
Everything about Whitehorse was amazing and exciting — the light! the river! the students! (Did I mention the light?!) Learning what 15-year-olds love about where they lived (especially because most don’t really have a choice in the matter…) was fascinating and enlightening, especially up in the North.
I love learning about other cities through its inhabitants love letters (both above and below…)
“I’m a big lover of simple pleasures, and I’m also a big believer in the idea that sharing small moments of beauty with others can be a very powerful force. That is why I love The Love Lettering Project. The times I have participated, it might have been the tiniest thing that I loved about living in Toronto, but I have so enjoyed the experience of writing it down, designing the card into a little piece of art, and then in a moment of blind faith, hiding it somewhere for another to find – hoping that they’ll open it and feel inspired by the act of doing something just because it was a good thing to do.
The Love Lettering Project makes me want to be both a poet and a tour guide, a family member and an ambassador. I admire the project (and its creator Lindsay) for its spirit of generosity, and its gift of delight.”
This fall I had the great pleasure of bringing The Love Lettering Project, and a presentation on urban interventions to high school students at the Central Toronto Academy. We talked about incredible Toronto-based projects including Adam Bunch’s Toronto Dreams Project, Sean Martindale’s Outside The Planter Box, Matt Greenwood’s Take Picture, Don’t Steal, then we wrote love letters to the school. Man, alive that is an inspiring place to be a student!
I had the great privilege of working with the teachers and students at The Language Gallery in Toronto. It was so wonderful to hear what students who have recently arrived love about their adopted home. So many remarked on how safe it is here, something I definitely take for granted.
Oh. Wow. On Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of hosting a Love Lettering Project event with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park Crawl in Trinity Bellwoods Park and my heart is full to bursting. The sun shone and shone and people wrote letters to all of the incredible green spaces in this wonderful city of ours.
There were bees and amazing eats and Garrison Creek fish crafts and a sousaphone player playing Ghostbusters who had enough energy to power the entire city solo. What an afternoon!
It’s fall, but barely. The sun still shines and the skies are blue blue blue. The peaches have been replaced with the very best apples and it’s time to celebrate the incredible green space we have in this city.
I have handwritten the word “love.” hundreds and hundreds of times on airmail envelopes and am all set to bring The Love Lettering Project to the David Suzuki Foundation’s third annual Homegrown National Park Crawl this Sunday (September 27, 2015)! I’ll be set up in the south west side Trinity Bellwoods (near Queen St) from 12-2.
(And if you’re looking for more green space awesomeness, the Crawl heads north to Christie Pits and will wrap up at 6! There’ll be music and food and beverages and tracing the buried Garrison Creek upstream!)