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.

GEOG 4280, Summer 2013 Edition

The Imagining Toronto course (GEOG 4280 3.0) will be offered in the Department of Geography at York University in the Summer of 2013.

The course syllabus may be accessed here.

This term, slides, handouts and links will be distributed through York University’s Moodle interface (log-in required).

Week 12: Desire Lines

Lecture slides for today are available here: 2011-2012 Week 12 slides GEOG 4280 Desire Lines

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 […]

Week 10: Class Fictions

Slides for today’s class are available here:

2011-2012 Week 10 slides GEOG 4280 Class Fictions


GEOG 4280 Week 6: The Myth of the Multicultural City Part II: The Place of Our Meeting with the Other

While politicians and ideologues declare multiculturalism at an end, people in Toronto go about our everyday lives, thrown together by collisions of culture, conflict and circumstance. This week in the Imagining Toronto course we’ll explore lived experiences of multiculturalism, considering whether the language of tolerance — as a minimum standard for civility in an era […]

GEOG 4280 Week 4: The City of Neighbourhoods

Slides for today’s class are accessible here: 2011-2012 Week 4 slides GEOG 4280 The City of Neighbourhoods

Link: “We define ourselves by our neighbourhoods”

Link: Neighbourhood map of Toronto (Toronto Star)
Link: “Shrinking middle class makes Toronto a city of socio-economic extremes” (Globe & Mail)
Link: “Toronto increasingly becoming a city of vertical poverty” (Globe & Mail)
Link: “Vertical Poverty” study (United Way)
Link: “The Three Cities Within Toronto” (Hulchanski; .pdf)
Link: “Poverty by […]

GEOG 4280 Week 3: Toronto the Wild

This week in the Imagining Toronto course we’ll explore some of the ways culture and nature intersect in the imagined city. We’ll look in particular at the ravines, the lakeshore and Toronto islands; we’ll also consider the complicated relationship city-dwellers have with the wildlife — raccoons, pigeons, coyotes — living in our midst.

Literary texts we’ll […]

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 […]