Marshall McLuhan, Family Man, Revealed

28Jun11

Stamp for No. 29 Wells Hill Avenue

WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER JONES

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The human side of great 20th century intellectual Marshall McLuhan was revealed yesterday afternoon when three of the author’s six children gathered at their childhood home to unveil a Heritage Toronto plaque marking the house’s history. Teri McLuhan (far left), Elizabeth McLuhan and Michael McLuhan (both above right) each took a moment to reminisce about growing up in the house at 29 Wells Hill Avenue, around the corner from Casa Loma. Teri recalled a house filled with music, both recorded (McLuhan senior apparently had a soft spot for Erik Satie, Flanders & Swann and Tom Lehrer) and performed, sometimes by Glenn Gould, who was a frequent visitor.

Also pictured above are University of Toronto Dean of the Faculty of Information, Seamus Ross (yellow tie) and poet Dennis Lee (in the hat), who initiated the plaque program as his legacy project following his term as the City’s Poet Laureate from 2001 – 2004. Lee noted that McLuhan was living in the house when he wrote The Gutenberg Galaxie (1962) and Understanding Media (1964), “which to my mind were seminal books of the 1960s. The Gutenberg Galaxie . . . changed the configuration of my mind because the dots were being connected in such a way that just to keep up with it you had to alter the way your mind worked. It was a thrill to discover that the author of that book was a denizen of the same place as I was.” http://tinyurl.com/68tsufd

photo

29 Wells Hill Avenue

Where Marshall McLuhan & his family lived between 1955 and 1968, before to moving to nearby Wychwood Park.

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