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Ontario’s literary and physical landscapes collide in new project

This summer, Ontario’s literary history will become a permanent part of the province’s physical landscape with a new project called Ontario: Read It Here.

A series of eight plaques will be installed across the province in the exact geographic location where Ontario-based literary scenes takes place. The project is an expansion of Project Bookmark Canada, which launched last April with a plaque featuring a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s novel In the Skin of a Lion. The novel is about the building of Toronto’s Bloor Street Viaduct; the plaque is situated at the east end of the architectural landmark. Ontario: Read It Here is a joint initiative between Open Book: Toronto, Project Bookmark Canada, and Humber College’s creative book publishing program, and will feature a corresponding online map. From the press release:

A sophisticated online mapping project, including travelogues and reading lists, will enhance the installations, driving Ontario book lovers and tourists from all over to visit the installations at cities and towns across the province, to read the featured books and authors and to further explore Ontario’s literary scene.

Each poster-sized plaque, called a Bookmark, will feature black text on a white ceramic background, with up to 500 words from the featured book or poem relating to the specific location. This initiative will mark the places where Ontario’s real and imagined landscapes meet, said Miranda Hill, founder and executive director of Project Bookmark Canada, in the release. Reading about a place gives you an added appreciation for it.

Organizers hope the project will showcase Ontario as a vibrant literary setting, and plan to announce the first locations in the coming weeks.