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Before-I-die-I-want-to wall coming to Toronto

A before-I-die-I-want-to wall is coming to Toronto.

The wall, which begins with the phrase “Before I die I want to …” and lets participants finish the sentence, has spread around the world since it began in February 2011. There are 12 walls in seven countries with more than 25,000 responses and plans for 20 additional walls around the world including the one in Toronto.

The interactive art project was conceived by American artist Candy Chang, who turned the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a giant chalkboard and allowed people to write about their hopes and dreams anonymously.

Melissa Ip, who is behind the Toronto one told CityNews in an email that she was inspired by Chang to create a wall here. It’s still in the planning stages and should be up in August, she said.

She contacted the local BIA in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood and the Toronto Public Space Initiative to help find a space. A location has been chosen, but hasn’t been disclosed.

Ip said Chang’s project resonated with her because she went through an experience that made her think about life and death. She was in Japan most of last year during its earthquake and nuclear reactor disaster.

“I wanted to encourage people to take a moment and focus on what’s important to them. So I decided to do this project,” she said.

She also believes the wall will make Toronto more vibrant.

“I’m a big believer of enjoying the places you live, having fun with them and with the people around you. This will encourage neighbours to talk with one another and share what their hopes and aspirations are.”

The only other Canadian wall is in Montreal near the University of Quebec campus which was created by students of the Design Problematic class.

Of the responses on the dozen walls, 15 per cent want to travel to a distant land, 10 per cent want to reconnect with family, two per cent just want to get rich and one per cent wants to write a book.

Here are some most recent responses:

  • Before I die I want to change someone’s life for the better.
  • Before I die I want to fall in love.
  • Before I die I want to ride first class.
  • Before I die I want to do what I don’t have the confidence to do.
  • Before I die I want to be proud of myself.
  • Before I die I want to think of myself as being smart.

What do you want to do before you die? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.