We’re a tiny department with a huge job to do.
What does the city forget? It’s our job to find out!
Will we reaffirm a commitment to care for each other and our environment? Or will we dismantle the social infrastructure we’ve built? The DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC MEMORY hopes to survive long enough to find out. We gather living memories of Toronto’s public services and community organizations. Based on these memories we create commemorative signs for public sites like libraries, daycares, community programs and shelters. Since 2011 we’ve spoken with hundreds of Toronto residents, visited dozens of sites across the city and held eleven large public sign unveilings.
Our goal throughout our time working together as the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC MEMORY has been to counter what we see as the shortsighted dismantling of social infrastructure by providing historical perspective on past struggles to create a more inclusive and accessible city. The core questions that guide our work are: What does the city forget? and Who does the city forget?