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ERA Architects


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Ideas & Issues

Diving Into the ERA Library—Part 1 

by ERA Architects

Having access to unique and highly specific books about neighbourhoods, cities, and architecture is a vital aspect of the culture of ERA. Periodically, we will pull books off the shelves of ERA’s library to reveal some of the charming and forgotten publications that shed light on local history.  

Truth & Reconciliation: Calls to Action 

In support of National Indigenous History Month, we want to draw attention to this small but beautifully designed book, Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. Its pages contain the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 10 principles of reconciliation and the 94 calls to action, as well as the 46 articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The book is an excellent tool to help serve as a guide to assist in repairing the damaged relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. 


The Chinese in Toronto from 1878, by Arlene Chan (Dundurn Press, 2011) 

In 1894 Toronto’s Chinese population numbered 50. Today, no less than seven Chinatowns serve the nearly 500,000 residents of Chinese descent in the GTA. Author Arlene Chan lays out a comprehensive account of the local Chinese Canadian community’s history with insight from early residents, news clippings, and personal archival records. 

ERA has worked with Arlene in the past on The Ward anthology books and she is currently working on an essay about signage in Chinatown for another ERA publishing venture.  


Hurricane Hazel, by Betty Kennedy (MacMillan of Canada, 1979) 

In 1979, to mark the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel’s destructive force on Toronto, journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy released the book “Hurricane Hazel”, which tracks the storm over the course of days and it rips through the Caribbean, the States, and over Lake Ontario and catches local meteorologists by surprise.  

Brampton, An Illustrated History, by Helga V. Loverseed (Windsor Publications, 1987)  

This hardcover book collects over 120 historic illustrations and photos on Brampton from its early colonial days, when it was known as Buffy’s Corner, up to the booming population growth of the 1970s and 80s. It was published in partnership with the Brampton Board of Trade so, not surprisingly, the narrative is full of hope and optimism for future growth and progress. Nearly half the book is dedicated to documenting the early settlers making it a worthwhile historical resource. 

Markham, 1793-1900 (Markham District Historical Society, 1979) 

This 352-page hardcover book provides an amazingly detailed history of the Markham area after English settlers arrived. Written and researched by the Markham District Historical Society, the book is chalked full of government notices and proclamations, advertisements from the first retailers, the first photos of the land and buildings, and stories about the social life of the small collection of farming families in the area.

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