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 was 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.
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.