The Book

Imagining Toronto book cover

Imagining Toronto (Mansfield Press, fall 2010) is available at most bookstores and online through Mansfield Press, Amazon or Chapters.

Imagining Toronto was shortlisted for the 2010 Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian literary criticism and won the Award of Merit, the highest honour given to a book at the 2011 Heritage Toronto Awards.

Upcoming Events

25-26 February 2012: "Going Native: Reclaiming Aboriginal Identity in Toronto Literature," “Landscapes of Difference, Espaces de Difference, Raume der Differenz” conference (Session: The Politcs of Place: Urban Sites of Contestation), Canadian Studies Association in German-speaking countries (GKS). Grainau, Germany.

Thursday 15 March 2012: Guest lecture, "The Imagined City," ARC 120, Contemporary Architecture. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, University of Toronto; Isabel Bader Theatre, 9:45-11:00 am.

Wednesday 4 April 2012: "Representing Toronto: Mapping the Role of the Artist in the Contemporary City. Panel discussion. Presented by Koffler Gallery in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues. 80 Spadina Ave., Suite 503; 7:00 pm.

Sunday 22 April 2012: Reading from Acts of Salvage at the Draft Reading Series. Details TBA.

Thursday 3 May 2012: "Literary Bodies." Panel discussion as part of Bodies in the City, a symposium of the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto.

Thursday 17 May 2012: "Imagining Toronto the Wild" at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Inaugural lecture of the TBG's new HortiCULTURE salon series.

Recent Events

Tuesday 18 October 2011, 7:00-8:30 pm: Will the Real Cabbagetown Please Stand Up?: Regent Park, St. Jamestown and Cabbagetown in the Literary Imagination. Parliament Branch (269 Gerrard St. E.)

Saturday 1 October 2011, 2:00-3:30 pm: The Masseys and the Masses: Social and Spatial Ascendency in Rosedale and Forest Hill. Forest Hill Branch (700 Eglinton Ave. W.)

Tuesday 27 September 2011, 7:00-8:30 pm: From Streetcar Suburb to Multicultural Community: Riverdale in the Literary Imagination. Riverdale Branch, Toronto Public Library (370 Broadview Ave.)

Click here for past events.

Welcome to the Imagining Toronto Course!

Welcome to the Imagining Toronto course (GEOG 4280 3.0), running for the sixth year in the Department of Geography at York University in Toronto, Canada!

The syllabus and reading list for this year’s course are available here.

Lecture slides, handouts and links are accessible here.

This year the course will revolve around two principal texts:

Imagining Toronto (Mansfield Press, 2010)


Dionne Brand’s Toronto novel What We All Long For (Knopf, 2006).

In addition, students are expected to read any three books from the following list:

Anderson, Gordon Stewart, 2006. The Toronto You Are Leaving. Untroubled Heart.

 Clarke, Austin, 2008. More. Thomas Allen.

 Dixon, Sean, 2010. The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn. Coach House.

 Doctor, Farzana, 2011. Six Metres of Pavement. Dundurn.

 Downie, Glen, 2011. Local News. Wolsak & Wynn.

 Garner, Hugh, 1968. Cabbagetown. Toronto: Ryerson. [available in multiple editions]

 Helwig, Maggie, 2008. Girls Fall Down. Coach House.

 Maharaj, Rabindranath, 2010. The Amazing Absorbing Boy. Knopf.

 Michaels, Anne, 1996. Fugitive Pieces. McClelland & Stewart.

 Ondaatje, Michael, 11987. In The Skin of a Lion. McClelland & Stewart.

 Vassanji, M.G., 1991. No New Land. McClelland & Stewart.

 Young, Phyllis Brett, [1960] 2007. The Torontonians. McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Please note that the principal texts are available at the York University Bookstore; additional works may easily be purchased directly from their publishers (links provided above), at any local, independent bookstore (e.g., Type Books or Book City) or online via Chapters/Indigo or Amazon. Second-hand copies are also easily available through AbeBooksBiblio or Alibris (for faster delivery of second-hand books ordered online, choose a local seller).

If you are a York student trying to register for the course, please note that it is currently full. More slots may open up n the coming weeks, so please feel welcome to contact me at alharris [at] yorku [dot] ca for further information.

If you are a member of the general public interested in the course, please feel welcome to join in electronically. Course materials will be posted online (see links above) and you should feel encouraged to read any or all of the books listed on the syllabus.

Update: Please note that the classroom location has been changed to N120 Ross Building — a move that will open up a couple of more spaces for students wishing to enrol.

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