The Toronto Kiss Map is a touching and sassy collaborative storytelling project that makes love visible across Toronto.
Imagine a map of our city covered in colourful place markers. Click each one to open a tiny story of a kiss that happened in that spot. Imagine if anyone — you, me, Michael Ondaatje — could easily add to this map, anonymously, anytime. Imagine how it would create a new view of this city, not of cold and concrete, but as a place of connection, softness, and tiny moments of love.
On April 21st, I posted this idea on Facebook, and almost instantly, my news feed was full of kiss-stories. Furtive kisses, long and slow ones, romantic ones and total heartbreakers. It was already happening.
That night, I started fiddling. I’m no techie, but I managed to create a Google Map that approximated what I was going for. I posted it on my Facebook wall and went to bed. By morning it had 560 hits. Within two days it was cresting 2,000, and over 100 people had shared it on their own walls.
The idea works. It’s simple. It's tantalizing. It makes people smile. It lets us have tiny, tender moments cherished and witnessed. It lets us feel like part of something bigger. It lets us see our city with eyes of love.
Here’s the thing. Google Maps are seriously limiting. Right now, anyone can delete, change, or move anything, even other people’s kisses or the instructions. Also, it’s set onto a map of the entire world. Way too big. And... it’s not gorgeous. The Toronto Kiss Map deserves to be gorgeous.
I want to invest in a Web Developer who can create the map I dreaming of. I want users to be able to save their kisses. I want to be able to approve them before they’re "map-ready". And, I want to house the map on its own domain — someplace beautiful and easy to find and share. I have found the help. I’ve created the advertising plan. I just need $1000 and it’ll be launched mid-summer.
Funded by Toronto, ON (May 2011)