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.

Archiving Imagining Toronto

Imagining Toronto is now an archive(d) site. Please click on Library for a detailed (and occasionally updated) list of books engaging with the city.

For information about Amy Lavender Harris’ current projects, please visit her author website at .

Contact is always welcomed at alharris [at] imaginingtoronto [dot] com.

The Naked City: Film, Fiction and the Represented Urban Landscape | 2013 Willowbank Lectures

On Saturday 13 April 2013 I’ll be doing a talk called “The Naked City: Film, Fiction and the Represented Urban Landscape” as part of the 2013 Willowbank Lectures at the Willowbank Centre for Cultural Landscape in Queenston, Ontario.

The 2013 Willowbank Lectures have “Urban Dwelling” as their organizing theme, a rubric meant to convey some of the […]

Imagining Toronto the Wild at the Toronto Botanical Garden

I’ll be the inaugural speaker at the Toronto Botanical Garden‘s HortiCULTURE Salon Series tonight, 17 May 2012 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

My talk, titled “Imagining Toronto the Wild,” will explore Toronto’s culture-nature nexus. Here’s the official description:

“Crack open the concrete city and you’ll encounter landscapes shaped by ravines and buried watercourses, their contours home to […]

Representing Toronto: Mapping the Role of the Artist in the City

Just a quick update to let people know I’ll be contributing to an upcoming panel discussion called “Representing Toronto: Mapping the Role of the Artist in the City” at the Koffler Gallery Off-site (80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 503) on this coming Monday 2 April 2012.

The discussion, whose participants will include literary me, theatre director Jacob […]

Spacing Reviews the Imagining Toronto Book

There’s a lovely review of the Imagining Toronto book in the current issue of Spacing Magazine. After describing the book’s strengths in detail — its “fusion of cultural theory and local history” and its varied emphasis on physical landscapes, culture and class — reviewer Emily Landau praises the book’s “enviable awareness of space and keen […]

"Toronto Light and Dark" in the Literary Review of Canada

Thank you to my emeritus Geography Department colleague (and fellow Heritage Toronto Award finalist) John Warkentin for alerting me to a wonderful review of the Imagining Toronto book appearing in the October 2011 issue of the Literary Review of Canada.

LRC contributor Joe Berridge describes the book as “tremendously enjoyable” and adds (after invoking urbanist Jonathan […]

Imagining Toronto Book News

I am extremely pleased to announce that Imagining Toronto will be published by Mansfield Press. Assuming the universe unfolds as it should, the book is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2008.

Mansfield Press is a Toronto-based publisher of poetry, literary fiction, and books about city culture. Some of Mansfield’s most notable titles include […]

Last Leaves: One more book sale report

On Thursday I evaded the week’s responsibilities and biked downtown to pick up warm-from-the-press copies of GreenTOpia: Towards a Sustainable Toronto (Coach House, 2007; I’m a contributor) and stopped by the St. Michael’s College book sale. A smaller sale than the others, but still offering its own treats and treasures.

My special finds:

Gwendolyn MacEwen’s The T.E. […]

Beware of Falling Leaves

Yesterday errands and a strong wind blew us downtown, where Peter and I spent a couple of hours at the Trinity College book sale (it’s on until Tuesday in case you’re interested in some good deals). Peter bought an armload of science fiction, and I picked up a few treasures, including:

Margaret Avison‘s Momentary Dark (McClelland […]

The Imagined City

Haunted subway tunnels? A riot at Christie Pits? The CN Tower toppled into Lake Ontario? Amy Lavender Harris (Imagining Toronto) and Gary Michael Dault (Cells of Ourselves, The Milk of Birds) explore Toronto’s place in the literary imagination and discuss how Toronto writers capture the city’s diversity and growth, as well as its nightmares, desires, […]