“Danger. Mines,” read the sign on a tree facing the sidewalk at Bloor and Christie, much to the surprise of passersby, who stopped to stare.
A few feet away, ramshackle huts made from bed sheets and scraps of corrugated metal stood in the shadow of an apartment building across the street.
A tent with food rations and another with medical supplies lay just beyond.
Apartment residents stood on their balconies and watched the foreign scene below, reminiscent of television images of refugee camps in faraway lands — not something you see in Canada.
But this past weekend, it was all very real in Christie Pits Park, where international medical relief organization Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) set up the free, interactive, awareness-raising exhibit called Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through who were refugees and said, ‘That’s exactly how it was,’” said Wendy Rhymer, a Toronto nurse and midwife who has done four tours with MSF since 2007.
The purpose of the exhibit is to raise awareness not only of the plight of people all over the world, but also the work that MSF does.
Medical professionals from all over Canada volunteer for missions abroad where they provide emergency medical relief as well as vaccination campaigns, water and sanitation improvement, maternal care, and a host of other health-related services.
If you missed the exhibit in Toronto, you can still catch it this coming weekend in Waterloo from June 3-6 at the Waterloo Public Square. For more information, call 416-964-0619.