Sunday, June 7, 2015


Beginning at the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville, north of Toronto, Lauren McCallum's passion for pairing teaching curriculum with gallery & museum programming soon took here to London, England's Wadsworth Museum for two years. Closed for from lack of funding, Lauren was part of Wandsworth's team to when it re-opened.

Not able to stay longer in London, she headed for western Canada and was part of a group transforming concrete spaces at schools into gardens where children could help grow food for their lunch programmes. This garden experience and her background in museums was what drew her to Gibson House where they were beginning a heritage garden. As part of the Gibson staff she also is involved in programming and working with visiting school children to give them unique experiences. For many it is the first time they have seen where food originates.

For the children who visit Gibson House, it is a chance to see they are not alone in their experiences of coming to a new country. "Its a really nice connection for children that are arriving in North York to visit the Gibson House and see that the [Gibson] family here was adjusting to a new culture just like they are," Lauren describes as the children begin make connections between themselves and the Gibson family in the mid 1800s. "The children visiting see that they are part of what the Canadian culture is. Its the continual evolution of people coming together, merging what they know with what we have."

LAUREN FUN FACT: It was volunteering for the CNIB in Ottawa at a camp for visually impaired children that launched her into teaching which eventually landed her at Gibson house. One never knows where experiences will take you.

In a city like Toronto, it is rare to find a place with ample parking and next to a subway station. Unplug and take a trip back in time at historic Gibson House: 
5172 Yonge Street. (North York Centre subway stop)


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