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From the 1870s to the 1950s, waves of immigrants to Toronto – Irish, Jewish, Chinese and Italian, among others – landed in ‘The Ward’ in the centre of downtown. Deemed a slum, the area was crammed with derelict housing and ‘ethnic’ businesses; it was razed in the 1950s to make way for a grand civic plaza and modern city hall. Archival photos and contributions from a wide variety of voices finally tell the story of this complex neighbourhood and the lessons it offers about immigration and poverty in big cities. Contributors include historians, politicians, architects and descendents of Ward res­idents on subjects such as playgrounds, tuberculosis, bootlegging and Chinese laundries. With essays by Howard Akler, Denise Balkissoon, Steve Bulger, Jim Burant, Arlene Chan, Alina Chatterjee, Cathy Crowe, Richard Dennis, Ruth Frager, Richard Harris, Gaetan Heroux, Edward Keenan, Bruce Kidd, Mark Kingwell, Jack Lipinsky, John Lorinc, Shawn Micallef, Howard Moscoe, Laurie Monsebraaten, Terry Murray, Ratna Omidvar, Stephen Otto, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Michael Posner, Michael Redhill, Victor Russell, Ellen Scheinberg, Sandra Shaul, Myer Siemiatycki, Mariana Valverde, Thelma Wheatley, Kristyn Wong­-Tam and Paul Yee, among others.
From the 1870s to the 1950s, waves of immigrants to Toronto Irish, Jewish, Chinese and Italian, among others landed in The Ward' in the centre of downtown. Deemed a slum, the area was crammed with derelict housing and ethnic' businesses; it was razed in the 1950s to make way for a grand civic plaza and modern city hall. Archival photos and contributions from a wide variety of voices ?nally tell the story of this complex neighbourhood and the lessons it offers about immigration and poverty in big cities. Contributors include historians, politicians, architects and descendents of Ward res­idents on subjects such as playgrounds, tuberculosis, bootlegging and Chinese laundries. With essays by Howard Akler, Denise Balkissoon, Steve Bulger, Jim Burant, Arlene Chan, Alina Chatterjee, Cathy Crowe, Richard Dennis, Ruth Frager, Richard Harris, Gaetan Heroux, Edward Keenan, Bruce Kidd, Mark Kingwell, Jack Lipinsky, John Lorinc, Shawn Micallef, Howard Moscoe, Laurie Monsebraaten, Terry Murray, Ratna Omidvar, Stephen Otto, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Michael Posner, Michael Redhill, Victor Russell, Ellen Scheinberg, Sandra Shaul, Myer Siemiatycki, Mariana Valverde, Thelma Wheatley, Kristyn Wong­-Tam and Paul Yee, among others.
Using Toronto as a case study, Subdivided asks how cities would function if decision-makers genuinely accounted for race, ethnicity, and class when confronting issues such as housing, policing, labor markets, and public space. With essays contributed by an array of city-builders, it proposes solutions for fully inclusive communities that respond to the complexities of a global city. Jay Pitter is a writer and professor based in Toronto. She holds a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. John Lorinc is a Toronto-based journalist who writes about urban affairs, politics, and business. He co-edited The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House, 2015).
Toronto is home to multiple and thriving queer communities that reflect the intense diversity of the city itself, and Any Other Way is an eclectic history of how these groups have transformed Toronto since the 1960s. From pioneering activists to show-stopping parades, Any Other Way looks at how queer communities have gone from existing in the shadows to shaping our streets.
By the mid-1960s Toronto was well on its way to becoming Canada's largest and most powerful city. One real estate firm aptly labelled it Boomtown. Expressways, subways, shopping centres, high-rise apartments, and skyscraping downtown office towers were transforming the city. City officials were cheerleaders for unrestricted growth. All this "progress" had a price. Heritage buildings were disappearing. Whole neighbourhoods were being destroyed -- by city hall itself -- in the name of urban renewal and high-rise developers. Many idealistic, young Torontonians didn't like what they saw. At a time when political activism was in the air, they engaged in local politics. Recently graduated lawyer John Sewell was one of many. He joined his friends working for local residents in areas targeted for demolition by city hall. Others were fighting the Spadina expressway, planned to push its way through the city to the lakeshore. Still others were saving Toronto's Old City Hall from demolition. This was the modest start of a twelve-year transformation of Toronto, chronicled in John Sewell's new book. Bringing together a fascinating cast of characters -- from cigar-chomping developers to Jane Jacobs and David Crombie, from a host of ordinary citizens to some of the world's most innovative architects and planners -- Sewell describes the conflict-filled period when Toronto developed a whole new approach to city government, civic engagement, and planning policies. Sewell went from activist organizer, to high-profile opposition politician, to leading light of a bare reform majority at city hall, to become Toronto's mayor. Along the way he sparked the rethinking of an amazing array of old ideas -- not just about how cities should grow, but about race relations, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the role of police. His defeat in the city's 1980 election marked the end of a decade of dramatic transformation, but the changes this reform era produced are now entrenched -- in Toronto, but in other Canadian cities, too. How We Changed Toronto is the inside story of activist idealists who set out to change the world -- and did, right in their own backyard.
In late nineteenth-century Toronto, municipal politics were so dominated by the Irish Protestants of the Orange Order that the city was known as the “Belfast of Canada.” For almost a century, virtually every mayor of Toronto was an Orangeman and the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne was a civic holiday. Toronto, the Belfast of Canada explores the intolerant origins of today’s cosmopolitan city. Using lodge membership lists, census data, and municipal records, William J. Smyth details the Orange Order’s role in creating Toronto’s municipal culture of militant Protestantism, loyalism, and monarchism. One of Canada’s foremost experts on the Orange Order, Smyth analyses the Orange Order’s influence between 1850 and 1950, the city’s frequent public displays of sectarian tensions, and its occasional bouts of rioting and mayhem.

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