TimelapseTO is an initiative created to engage youth across Toronto in conversations about the future of their neighbourhood, using colourful, tactile materials, and a large map.
The first session of TimelapseTO was held on June 1st at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The majority of participants were walking-by UTSC students, professors, staff, and acquaintances of the ambassadors. Throughout the workshop, the ideas and imaginations of the participants shone through their Lego creations.
Although the large map caught the attention of many, I could tell that encouragement was needed to spark people's interest. I ran around asking “Hey would you like to build something with Lego and put it on the map? It could be anything you would like to see in the Scarborough area and you can put it anywhere on the map!” There were also some participants who were very enthusiastic and needed no encouragement at all to begin with! Two participants were so excited with building their Lego bridge and art centre, they spent more than 30 minutes at the map! (Look at the picture below).
As an ambassador and also a participant of the event, I immensely enjoyed the activities. It was great to see that not only students participated, but many adults were playing around with the Lego as well. Their stubby hands gingerly piecing together a skyscraper – brings me back!
It was very satisfying to see the empty map getting filled by one tower after another. It’s heartwarming to see that students and faculty alike care about the infrastructure development in Scarborough. People laid down bridges, music halls, freeways, aquariums, biking trails, and parks. In the end, Scarborough had a collection of rainbow-colored transit systems, residential areas, and towering financial districts. Everybody was so excited about the project that they had built! But who could blame them? It was a beautiful city, as Scarborough should be.
Overall, it was a very exciting opportunity for me to help facilitate the event! The interactions I had with participants and the changes I saw on the map were unforgettable. As so many participants do, I hope to see Scarborough develop and grow into a city full of great facilities and infrastructure!
Jace Lee is currently pursuing a major in International Relations and double minor in Political Science and Economics at the University of Toronto Scarborough and has experience participating in collaborative group and youth activities. As a Youth Ambassador, Jace hopes to bring positive change to the city of Toronto.