A Dalek in Toronto

I first noticed the Dalek on October 19. I know the exact day because I dropped my camera, shattered the outside casing, and needed to find a replacement. I walked down Yonge street in hopes of finding a camera store… because this seemed like a logical place to look in a city that I barely know.

During my meander down Yonge, I saw a Dalek peering out of the old Eaton’s building in College Park. It seemed to be oddly placed and it was dark inside. And, this wasn’t a Halloween or party decoration… I was a real Dalek from the Doctor Who TV Series. What was it doing here? Why was it standing askew inside an old building that seemed to be under construction? I glanced at the Dalek a few more times and cursed myself for not having a working camera in hand. I vowed to return at a later date to take a photo of the machine.

Then I forgot about it until a few days later when people started pinging me. Doctor Who is in Toronto… and no one knows why they said. There were speculation and observations… but no one knew why a Dalek was sitting in a dark building on Yonge street.

We would find out more about the Dalek on October 29th, when the building officially opened to the public as the British Consulate-General’s first-ever “Pop-Up Consulate” in Toronto.

The pop-up is only on Yonge for 12-days in celebration of the strong links between Canada and the UK. Called 12 Days of GREAT, there’s more than Doctor Who in the building: there’s James Bond (some of the movie cars are on display — including a Norton Dominator SS motorcycle that will be used in the next movie), there’s the Beatles (coupled with a Beatles tour of the city which mimics their 1964 visit to the city) with a Ringo Starr appearance on Bloor (I saw him), and many other British cultural/societal contributions.

The most important of all of these contributions is the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest, which are on display at Fort York until November 7th.

In all, I’m glad that I discovered this Dalek. It really opened the door to a whole bunch of interesting things that are happening in Toronto in October/November.

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