A community-created quilt, featuring dozens of squares stitched by Gerrard Street business owners and residents, was unveiled last Saturday at the Gerrard-Ashdale Library. The quilt was born of an idea from artist Leanne Rhem and Lazy Daisy Café owner Dawn Chapman, after media coverage and community meetings about vacant storefronts in the area.
“We can’t be passive citizens if we want to make change,” said Chapman.
The quilt project, called Social Fabric, asked local business owners and neighbours to create a square depicting what the neighbourhood means to them. The fabric and beads, donated by Rang Home Decor, were handed out in free kits, and several sessions were held to gather the community together to work on the quilt squares.
Chapman said while the core of the neighbourhood remains the Gerrard India Bazaar, there is a very diverse group of people from many ethnic backgrounds hoping to make a positive change on the street.
“Everyone got the same kits, but everything that came back is incredibly different,” she said. “We all have the same goal, we all want our neighbourhood to thrive.”
The quilt will be on display at the library until the end of the week, when it will move to the window of, appropriately enough, an empty storefront at 1447 Gerrard St. E.
“So in a way, the story’s nicely gone full-circle. It was born at a meeting about empty storefronts, and that’s where it’s going to be hanging,” said Chapman.