Agincourt: A Community History

In 2001/02, the MHSO undertook an initiative, in partnership with the Scarborough Historical Museum, to document the dramatic change that Agincourt has undergone since the 1930s as it has grown from a cross-roads village to a burgeoning metropolis. A particular focus of this community-based initiative was the demographic shift from a predominantly Anglo-Protestant resident base to an ethnically diverse population. Oral history interviews were undertaken with 48 individuals, both long-time residents and newer arrivals from places as far flung as Sri Lanka, Egypt, Estonia, and Hong Kong. The effort culminated in a travelling exhibit, Agincourt: A Community History, of stories, photographs, and artifacts which recounted Agincourt’s development into a large, multi-ethnic community. The exhibit explored encounters with difference – different languages, different cultures, and different ways of doing things. A book of tours, Walking/Driving in Agincourt, was also produced – a ‘foot-driven’ complement to the ‘voice-driven’ exhibit. The project was awarded the Oral History Association’s Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award for outstanding oral history project. Mural Routes and the Scarborough Arts Council built on the initiative working with youth artists to create a mural, Agincourt’s Journey Through Time, at the Agincourt Mall. The mural, which was on view on an exterior wall of the mall until 2006, depicted the community’s history and ethnic diversity.