This publication was created with the goal of providing a snapshot of housing types and issues in Toronto in conjunction with the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC) conference “Fresh Perspectives on Housing” (June 7-10, 2000).
East/West: A Guide to Where People Live in Downtown Toronto does not attempt to include all sites, all voices, and all opinions, but a significant dimension of the publication has been to provide a forum for different voices that do not usually have the opportunity to be heard together. We have deliberately avoided influencing or homogenizing the responses of the authors for the sake of an overarching thesis. Instead, we have attempted to convey each author’s contribution (text and illustrations), as part of the complex and often incongruous matrix of opinions that come from governments, heritage groups, builders, planners, lawyers, architects, landscape architects, and developers, as well as students and people who live in the centre of the city. The perspectives within this book, therefore, do not necessarily represent those of the editors or the SSAC.
The publication is organized around two cross-sections of the downtown core, one in the east end and one in the west. The eastern cross-section takes Parliament Street as its spine, running from Rosedale to the Harbour; the western cross-section follows Spadina Avenue and St George/Beverley streets, from Wychwood and Casa Loma to the Harbour. This sectional view of the city is not intended to be exclusive or divisive in any sense, but to provide a profile of housing where the juxtaposition of differences becomes as significant as the presentation of congruent neighbourhoods. Most sites, but not all, were selected because they fit on one of the cross-sections. Parts of these cross-sections are adaptable for self-guided walking tours. Some sites have been included that are off the sectional grid because they illustrate major trends, ideas, or issues that could not be easily treated within the framework of the downtown.
East/West: A Guide to Where People Live in Downtown Toronto is our invitation to visit, explore and reflect upon the neighbourhoods and housing sites of Toronto.
For more about the book, or to order, please see Coach House Books.