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.

Week 11: City Limits

This week in the Imagining Toronto course we’ll discuss representations of suburbia, beginning with stereotypical notions of suburbs as middle-class bastions of white-flight and going on to discuss how suburbs have shaped (and been shaped by) shifting experiences of gender, race and class.

Literary works discussed will include Phyllis Brett Young’s The Torontonians (1960; 2007), Hugh Garner’s Death in Don Mills (1975), M.G. Vassanji’s No New Land (1991), Rabindranath Maharaj’s Homer in Flight (1997), David Chariandy’s Soucouyant (2007) and V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage (2008), among other works.

Lecture slides for today’s class are accessible here: 2011-2012 Week 11 slides Geog 4280 City Limits

Additional links:

Link: “Welcome to the Suburbs” (1950s film; Youtube)
Link: “Sin in the Suburbs” (film, 1964; via Youtube)
Link: “Subdivisions” by Rush (via Youtube)
Link: “Suburbia” by the Pet Shop Boys (via Youtube)
Link: “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” by the Barenaked Ladies (via Youtube)
Link: “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day (via Youtube)
Link: “Rockin’ the Suburbs” by Ben Folds (via Youtube)
Link: “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire (via Youtube)
Link: “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” by Arcade Fire (via Youtube)
Link: “Shaikhing Up the Hood: Suburban Placemaking in Scarborough” (Aslam Shaikh, via Youtube)
Link: “The Microcosm of Markham” (The Agenda with Steve Paikin, via Youtube)
Link: The Leona Drive Project
Link: Vertical Poverty: Rexdale (United Way, Poverty by Postal Code 2)

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