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.

Speaking & Media

Speaking and Media

Amy Lavender Harris speaks regularly to popular and scholarly audiences about Toronto literature, urban culture and the imaginative qualities of cities. Some recent and forthcoming talks are listed below. If you would like Amy to talk to your organization, conference, high school or university classroom, workshop or other event, please feel welcome to contact her at alharris [at] yorku [dot] ca.

Amy also speaks regularly to the media about cities, place, planning, literature and urban culture. She has been quoted or referenced in the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, This Magazine, Eye Weekly, Now Magazine, and has also appeared on CBC Radio One’s Here & Now program, Spacing Radio and CIUT’s “Take Five.”

A voice sample (from a street interview recorded as part of a 2009 episode of Spacing Radio) is available here.

Speaking and media enquires should be directed to alharris [at] yorku [dot] ca or 416-604-9416.

Recent and Forthcoming Appearances

Invited speaker, “Landscapes of Difference, Espaces de Difference, Raume der Differenz” conference, Canadian Studies Association in German-speaking countries (GKS). Grainau, Germany, February 2012.

“The Imagined City” (second series), Toronto Public Library, September-October 2011. Talks include “From Streetcar Suburb to Multicultural Community: Riverdale in the Literary Imagination,” “The Masseys and the Masses: Peculiarity and Privilege in Rosedale and Forest Hill” and “Will the Real Cabbagetown Please Stand Up?: Regent Park and Cabbagetown in the Literary Imagination.”

Invited presenter, Classical Pursuits: Toronto Pursuits, July 2011.

Invited speaker, The Glocal City in Canadian Literature conference, Salamanca, Spain.

Jane’s Walk, May 2011: “Textures of Kensington Market” and “Parkdale, Scummy Parkdale.”

Brockton Writers’ Series, May 2011.

“The Imagined City” series (First session), Toronto Public Library, April-May 2011. Talks included “City Limits: Changing Suburbs and the Literary ImaginationFrom Hip to Chic: Imagining Yorkville, 1960 to the Present,  The Imagined City: Navigating to the City at the Centre of the Map and  The Imagined City: A Literary Voyage into Toronto’s Ravines and Wild Places.

Invited speaker, the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) Annual Conference, June 2010.

Guest, Spacing Radio, Episode 8: The Haphazard City. 28 September 2009. Broadcast available for download here.

Speaker, Bookcamp Toronto. Title: “Putting Print in its Place: The Importance of the Local in a World of Globalized Words.” 6 June 2009.

Invited reader, Doors Open Toronto gala, Royal Ontario Museum, 22 May 2009.

Invited speaker, 4th Annual Osgoode Constitutional Roundtable. Title: “The Myth of the Multicultural City.” 5-6 March 2009.

Invited speaker, Walk21 Toronto Community Conference, 1 March 2008. Title: “The Poetics of Walking”, followed by a literary walking tour of Kensington Market. A preview of the walking tour aired on CBC Radio One’s Here & Now program on 28 February 2008.

Moderator, This is Not a Reading Series Toronto launch of Chris Turner’s The Geography of Hope, 18 February 2008.

Invited panelist, Beyond Bureaucracy [IPAC] conference, Toronto, 15-16 November 2007. Session title: “Creativity and Public space”.

Speaker, Walk21 Conference, Toronto, 1-4 October 2007. Paper title: “Walking the Imagined City”.

Invited public lecture (with poet, painter, and arts writer Gary Michael Dault), “The Imagined City”, 31 May 2007, a featured event of the 2007 Toronto Festival of Architecture & Design. “The Imagined City” was featured on CBC Radio One’s “Here & Now” program on 30 May 2007.

Invited keynote speaker at Think Tank / JUICE Dialogues, a design symposium at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Toronto, 14-15 October 2006. Talk title: “Designing the Imagined City”

Invited panelist, The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach, Goethe-Institut Toronto, 20 September 2006. Talk title: “The City’s Vanishing Narratives” (the text of this talk is available here)

Opening night speaker, Salon Voltaire, Toronto, 8 September 2006. Talk title: “Imagining Toronto: Facts, Figments, and the Fictional City”.