Friday, February 03, 2006


Spacing is a magazine about Toronto's public spaces and urban landscape. We cover any and every issue that concerns life in the city's public realm.

Spacing was launched in December 2003. The magazine has quickly become an integral voice in debates and discussions about the joys, obstacles, and politics of Toronto's public spaces. In December 2004, Spacing was nominated Best New Title by Utne magazine's Independent Press Awards. In January 2005, the second issue of Spacing was awarded the Best Single Issue design by Applied Arts magazine. Spacing has also launched a collection of 1-inch buttons that replicate the visual landmarks and tile art of Toronto's subway stations. The success of the series has been called the “civic pride fashion statement of the year” by the National Post, and earned the magazine numerous television, radio, and print features.

The Spacing Wire is designed to act as a hub for news, articles, events, websites, projects, and ideas about public space issues in Toronto and from around the world. We believe that for any of us to fully understand whose space is public space, we must know the current events that help shape our cities, for better or for worse.

The Toronto Public Space Committee is a grassroots non-profit organisation run completely by volunteers.

Founded in 2001, we have quickly become one of the loudest voices representing Toronto's streets, sidewalks, parks and alleyways.

We are dedicated to protecting our shared common spaces from commercial influence and privatisation. While some see the streets as an untapped source of advertising revenue we see protected public spaces as a fundamental pillar of a healthy democracy. If only wealthy advertisers have access to our visual environment, then freedom of speech suffers in our city.

We are citizens first, and consumers second. Public space must reflect this distinction, and should be fully and equally accessible by all who walk through it. Public space is the guarantee of a space for citizens to engage in society and interact with each other without commercial influence.

Through our advocacy projects we affect municipal policy, help shape the debate and create a space for concerned citizens to get involved and participate. Through our community events we lead by example by beautifying the city without a big budget, without sponsors and without logos. Together, we are reclaiming our streets and creating community.

We invite you to join us!

[murmur] is an archival audio project that collects and curates stories set in specific Toronto locations, told by Torontonians themselves. At each of these locations, a [murmur] sign with a telephone number and location code marks where stories are available. By using a mobile phone, users are able to listen to the story of that place while engaging in the physical experience of being there. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze.

[murmur] believes interesting things don't just happen at the Rogers Centre and Nathan Phillips Square -- the city is full of stories, and some of them happen in parking lots and bungalows, diners and front lawns. The smallest, greyest or most nondescript building can be transformed by the stories that live in it. Once heard, these stories can change the way people think about that place and the city at large. These are the stories that make up Toronto's identity, but they're kept inside of the heads of the people who live here. [murmur] brings that important archive out onto the streets, for all to hear and experience, and is always looking for new stories to add to it's existing locations.

Geostash is a public art project that uses the city of Toronto as its inspiration and utilises Global Positioning Technology (GPS) and the web as a means to achieve its creative goals. Geostash takes its cues from the practice of Geocaching - a sort of high-tech treasure hunt that was originally conceived in 2000, and has spread worldwide through websites promoting this activity. Each artist will hide a "stash" somewhere in the city and post the GPS co-ordinates of where the stash is hidden on the Geostash website. The stash may contain a set of instructions requesting an in-situ performance, or could contain objects, materials and a manual to create temporary public art. Once the stashes have all been placed in the city, each participating artist will be randomly assigned another artists' stash to find using a GPS receiver. Once found, the artist will transform the contents of the stash into an ephemeral work of art.