Made as part of Arts Etobicoke's Augmented Reality in Village of Islington project.
Mimico takes its name from the Anishinaabe word for “place of abundant pigeons” as at one time, omiimii was the most abundant bird on the planet and the mouth of Mimico Creek was a migratory stopover. The passenger pigeon flew in huge flocks that could be several miles wide and could reach a length of forty miles; there are reports of a single flock taking three days to pass over.
Writing in 1837, Anna Brownell Jameson described the landscape of the Etobicoke and Mimico Creek watersheds as mysterious spaces “where foot of man hath never penetrated”. We know that she was wrong as Indigenous presence on these lands and waters has an imprint and continues to imprint upon the land in abundant and generative ways. I have written a poem to the passenger pigeon as a way to connect the history of this area, colonization, movement, passage and the possibility of return.