Hand-Drawn Map-Making Business Stems From Childhood Explorations

Remember exploring your neighbourhood as a kid? Finding all of the hidden and even forbidden places?

As kids, we create mental maps of our¬†immediate Terra Incognita. My own childhood map included the wild ravine behind the apartment building, the stream we weren’t supposed to play in and the shack belonging to the old man whom we kids feared and pestered.

Jeremy Shute grew up in Guelph, Ontario, mapping his own world. But he went a step further. He and his childhood buddies drew actual maps of their neighbourhood, even popping into culverts to trace buried streams.

Now¬†grown up, he still follows that pursuit through a side business creating hand-drawn maps of downtown districts and Guelph’s buried and forgotten streams. Read his story in my Guelph Mercury column today here: http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/4340315-map-maker-helps-chart-guelph-s-hidden-streams/

Have you ever drawn a map of your childhood neighbourhood? During a creative writing class last year, we did just that, looking for the landmarks of growing up and the stories in and around them. What does your map of childhood look like — and what are its stories?

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