Sunday, June 23, 2013

Help! Need To Find Storage Space For 16mm Film Collection (GTA)

>>> UPDATE: Talking to a couple of parties who have offered space for us to store the films. Nothing locked, but most likely the collection will have to be split up between 2-3 locations to accomodate it all. If anyone has any other leads or connections to someone willing to help, please let us know. Email us at

And it looks like the owner of the current space is letting us have a few weeks to do the move as it is obviously not something that can be done over night.

I'll be posting updates on the blog in days to come. Thanks to all the folks who have passed this around!

Looking for any help or leads on securing an unfurnished space of 350 - 400 square feet to store a collection of 16mm film cans. Do you know of a space, or know of a realtor who can help us find a budget-priced space in the Greater Toronto Area? We need to secure something by the end of this month - June 30th. 

Here is the back story. 

As some of you may know, in November of 2010, Eric Veillette and I arranged to "rescue" the 16mm collection from the Toronto Reference Library. This was a huge undertaking, but with the help of a group of our friends, we were able to pack and move over 5000 cans of 16mm film and the shelving racks to store them.

As the operation came about at the last minute, we did not have much of a choice on where we were going to store the collection and we ended up using the basement of a furniture store in the Junction, in an arrangement Eric made with the owner. 

Over the past year and a half, we have identified a number of the rare titles and discovered some valuable Toronto-centric footage. However, this has been a slow process, as Eric and I have been doing it in our spare time and funding it ourselves. This is "pro bono cultural archive work" that we do because we feel strongly that this film collection is worth saving. So far we have found silent home movies that include a lavish ball at the Royal York Hotel in the 1930s, the breaking of the ground for the Yonge Subway, Queen Elizabeth arriving at Toronto Harbour for a visit in the 1950s, as well as works by acclaimed directors like Arthur Lipset and Stan Brakhage.

Here is an example of some of the footage we have found of different areas and events in Toronto during the 1950s: The opening of the Keating St. extension, scenes of Chinatown at night, ticker-tape parade down Yonge St. featuring Marilyn Bell and more:

Unfortunately, and without notice, we have been asked to move the films out of our current space by the end of the month. Yes, June 30th. 

Any help, leads, or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Please forward this to anyone you think might be able to help.

We are also potentially looking for a patron to help us with the collection as so far this has been all funded from our own pockets. Our collection needs a Sugar Daddy!

For reference here is a link to a PDF of an article about the collection that appeared in the latest issue of Taddle Creek, as well as a link to a story from the Toronto Star about the acquisition. This should help explain the importance of the collection for anyone else you may forward this to.

If you can help, please contact me at

Colin + Eric 

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