My City Lives

Happy Birthday, MCL!

Holy whoa. Two blog posts in less than 24 hours. Rare but necessary as I just realized that today is the one year anniversary of My City Lives and I just have to send out my love. For those of you who don’t already know, MCL is an online platform that lets you capture and share your daily experiences around the city on video. Presented on an interactive map, these web stories show exactly where each video was filmed so you can learn more about the city based on the stories of others. It's unique and poetic and downright brilliant.

I had the pleasure of collaborating with MCL on behalf of blogUT to shoot some videos exploring the University of Toronto campus. I live and breathe that campus and this city and I just loved being able to document the everyday spaces that make for those simple but extraordinary moments that is la vie.

With MCL Co-Founder Adil & blogUT video partner, Coleman.

I often blog about my travels and love for other cities (see below) but the truth is, Toronto is in my blood. The vibrance of this city just makes me swell with pride and a quick scan through the many videos on the MCL website will show you just what I’m talking about. From our many coffee shops (a staple in my life) to the spaces of innovation, from the obscure spots to find your hipster girlfriend to our Corktown "ukelele jams", MCL captures what makes this city, well, live. It's more than a website, it's a place of discovery.

So with that, happy birthday, MCL! Thanks for bringing in the human dimension that makes our city the pure awesome that it is. Here’s to growing old and grey and taking on more cities than that interactive map of yours can even handle ;)

Sending my love to my friends at MCL (apologies for my sad Photoshop "skills")

"Magellan This City" or rather, this campus!

For awhile now, I (as a rep for blogUT), along with some friends, have been working behind the scenes with My City Lives to film a video series exploring the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. For those of you who don't already know (and take note, cuz you'll be hearing this name more often!), My City Lives is an online platform that gives us, the citizens, the opportunity to capture and share our daily experiences around the city on video. If you check out their website, you'll see that the web stories are presented on an interactive map that shows exactly where each video was filmed so you can learn more about our city based on the narratives of others. It's a simple yet incredibly powerful idea...

Now the idea to shoot on campus arose out of the need to create and build an accessible resource for first-year students who often find themselves lost during those first few weeks of university, both physically and socially. It's a terrifying and potentially alienating experience to find yourself out of your comfort zone in a totally different environment with people you don't know. It's overwhelming. I know because I've been there myself.

Those physical, antiquated maps with grids and street names that the university provides its froshies are no longer enough. They don't even begin to scratch the surface of what the campus is all about. As my friends at MCL say, "Ordinary maps are lifeless...we present a view of a city by the people who make it breathe". So here's to hoping these videos breathe life into this lovely, historically rich and vibrant campus!

**Thanks again to Adil, Coleman, and Saleema who made this all happen. Below are some sample videos but you can view the entire series here.