Tag Archives: Urban History

Driftless Historian

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image of an empty gravel road and rolling hills of the Driftless.

This is the seventh in a series, “History En Vélo,” about cycling and thinking historically, shared with NiCHE. By James Longhurst The bike I’m riding at any given moment determines what type of historian I am. As a historian, I’ve been a bit driftless. If I have to identify my research areas, I sometimes call myself an urban environmental historian, or (more… Read more »

Digital History in the Classroom: Mapping Montreal Migration Stories

Daniel Ross In this post, I’d like to provide a short overview of a recent experience integrating digital history into my teaching. This fall, I taught the course HIS4567, Histoire de l’immigration et des communautés ethnoculturelles au Québec, for the first time at the Université du Québec à Montréal. HIS4567 is a second-year undergraduate history course with a group small… Read more »

Planned and Unplanned Urban Migrations

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Richard White As anyone who lives in or frequents Toronto’s inner-city can attest, the place is over-run with human activity. The word “congestion” is probably over-used in urban affairs, and it still feels tainted by its long association with slum clearances, but it is the word that comes to mind when travelling about the city’s lower downtown these days. Walking… Read more »

Beyond the Bulldozer: Rejected Postwar Development in Toronto

(adapted from an earlier post on torontoplanninghistorian.com) Richard White Among the most persistent myths – in the sense of widely-held but erroneous beliefs – about Toronto’s planning history, perhaps even about planning history generally, is that the modernist planners of the postwar generation wanted to “bulldoze” anything old and replace it with some lifeless, modern, tower-in-the-park sort of structure. Indeed,… Read more »

Justin Trudeau’s “New Deal” for Cities

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Bret Edwards Cities played a key role in Canada’s recent federal election. New seats were available in many urban and suburban areas of the country after the House of Commons expanded to reflect recent population shifts and increases. Political parties also devoted large chunks of their platforms to cities in an effort to woo these voters. In some cases, their… Read more »

Who built Toronto’s St Lawrence Neighbourhood?

(adapted from an earlier post on torontoplanninghistorian.com) By Richard White Earlier this month, it was Jane’s Walk time again in Toronto, and thousands were out this past touring various urban locales under the guidance of local experts. It is a remarkable success story, this concept, and a fitting legacy for someone who conceived one of the most influential books of the twentieth century… Read more »

Toronto vs. Montréal: A Short History

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By Daniel Ross Last month, the mayors of Canada’s two largest cities met in Toronto, and the mood was positive. After discussing business partnerships, security, the upcoming federal election and—inevitably—hockey, Denis Coderre and John Tory announced a new era for relations between Montréal and Toronto. “The two solitudes are over,” stated the charismatic Coderre, who last made the news in… Read more »

Feeling the City: Getting at the Historical Sights and Sounds of Downtown

Like most of us humans—80% in Canada, more than 50% worldwide—my home is in the city. And like so many urbanites, I take a whole range of day-to-day sensations for granted. The screech of garbage trucks, the overheard conversations on public transit; the smells of street food and exhaust; the sight of thousands of other people going about their lives…. Read more »

Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History by Sean Kheraj

By Lani Russwurm It would be difficult to overstate the significance of Stanley Park to Vancouver’s identity. Visiting the park is obligatory for tourists, and locals from across the spectrum use it frequently for a myriad of activities. But the feature that distinguishes Stanley Park from most other large urban parks is its large forest that serves as a refreshing… Read more »

Podcast: An Environmental History of the Lower Lea River Valley, Site of the 2012 London Olympics

In this talk, Jim Clifford explored some of the findings of his PhD dissertation on the environmental problems created by half a century of urban-industrial development along the Lower Lea River Valley, and the challenges this history poses for redevelopment for the 2012 London Olympics.