Toronto History Museums Launch New Awakenings Project “It’s Been a While” for World Children’s Day – City of Toronto


Press release

November 18, 2021

Today, Toronto History Museums launched new content for the City of Toronto’s Awakenings program titled “It’s Been a While” in time for World Children’s Day on Saturday, November 20. This project brings new perspectives to young and child storytellers from diverse backgrounds through 10 audio tours and Reflections films, which take viewers behind the scenes and into conversation with young people.

Through the lens of young people, “It’s Been a While” addresses the lack of diverse representation in the stories of Toronto’s history, as they reimagine stories from the past and share their thoughts and observations. “It’s been a long time” includes the following audio tours:

  • Colborne Lodge – Emily and Julia
  • Fort York National Historic Site – Aaron and Noah
  • Gibson House Museum – Alik and Jermaine
  • Market Gallery – Rya and Mya
  • Mackenzie House – Oscar and Reefat
  • Montgomery Inn – Katya and Amyra
  • Scarborough Museum – Lily and Tristian
  • Spadina Museum – Kayden and Zoe
  • Todmorden Mills – Ruby and Tara
  • Zion School – Ahnuf and Amare

Visitors to select Toronto history museums will be able to participate in audio tours as part of their guided tour experience. To learn more about tours and on-site experiences for youth and children, watch the films “Awakenings Reflections: Behind the Scene Discussions”. Program details are available here

The City is grateful for the continued support of community partner Toronto Raptors, technology sponsor Panasonic and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM Toronto.

Launched in December 2020, Awakenings is a series of art projects by black, indigenous and color artists, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism and anti-racism. The series is part of the City’s efforts to combat anti-black racism.

Media can access the new Awakenings program promotional video here

United Nations World Children’s Day provides an inspiring entry point to defend, promote and celebrate children’s rights, resulting in dialogues and actions that build a better world for children. More information is available here


“This new Awakenings project offers Torontonians the opportunity to reconnect with their communities through Toronto’s history museums and to hear the perspectives of young storytellers from diverse backgrounds. We launched Awakenings to help black, Indigenous and color artists reveal Toronto’s hidden history. This is one of the many ways the city works to combat anti-black racism and I encourage people to experience the Awakenings and rediscover our city. “

– Mayor John Tory

“Awakenings changes the narrative by adding a youthful perspective to the hidden stories in Toronto history. With over 80 percent of the creators involved in these projects coming from Black, Indigenous and Colored communities, the program adds fresh and authentic perspectives to Toronto’s historical narrative.
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough-Center), chair of the City’s economic and community development committee

“As part of Panasonic’s commitment to supporting art, culture and our communities, we are very honored to participate as a technology sponsor in the City of Toronto Awakenings programs. This project truly resonates with our philosophy of contributing to society by providing cutting edge technology and helping to bring art and history to life.

– Stefan Berens, Head of Multimedia Entertainment Business Division – Panasonic Canada Inc.

Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills, and Zion School. More information is available here, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter , on Instagram, on Facebook and on YouTube

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s primary economic engine and one of the most diverse and enjoyable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and ranks regularly at the top of international rankings thanks to investments supported by its government, residents and businesses. For more information, visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Contact: Media Relations,


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