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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Architecture and the Canadian Fabric

Architecture plays a powerful role in nation building. Buildings and monuments not only constitute the built fabric of society, they reflect the intersection of culture, politics, economics, and aesthetics in distinct social settings and distinct times. From first contact to the postmodern city, this anthology traces the interaction between culture and politics as reflected in Canadian architecture and the infrastructure of ordinary life. Whether focusing on the construction of Parliament or exploring the ideas of Marshall McLuhan and Arthur Erickson, these highly original essays move beyond considerations of authorship and style to address cultural politics and insights from race and gender studies and from postcolonial and spatial theory.


536 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing into Canadian Architectural History / Rhodri Windsor Liscombe

Part 1: Architectural Culture in French Canada and Before

1 First Impressions: How French Jesuits Framed Canada / Judi Loach

2 Visibility, Symbolic Landscape, and Power: Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin’s View of Quebec City in 1688 / Marc Grignon

Part 2: Upper Canadian Architecture

3 The Expansion of Religious Institution and Ontario’s Economy, 1849-74: A Case Study of the Construction of Toronto’s St. James Cathedral / Barry Magrill

4 “For the benefit of the inhabitants”: The Urban Market and City Planning in Toronto / Sharon Vattay

Part 3: Building the Confederation

5 Shifting Soil: Agency and Building Type in Narratives of Canada’s “First” Parliament / Christopher Thomas

6 Stitching Vancouver’s New Clothes: The World Building, Confederation, and the Making of Place / Geoffrey Carr

7 Digging in the Gardens: Unearthing the Experience of Modernity in Interwar Toronto / Michael Windover

Part 4: Reconstructing Canada

8 A Modern Heritage House of Memories: The Quebec Bungalow / Lucie K. Morisset

9 Place with No Dawn: A Town’s Evolution and Erskine’s Arctic Utopia / Alan Marcus

Part 5: Styling Modern Nationhood

10 The Idea of Brutalism in Canadian Architecture / Réjean Legault

11 Nation, City, Place: Rethinking Nationalism at the Canadian Museum of Civilization / Laura Hourston Hanks

Part 6: Fabricating Canadian Spaces in the Late/Postmodern Era

12 From Earth City to Global Village: McLuhan, Media, and the Cosmopolis / Richard Cavell

13 Big-Box Land: New Retail Format Architecture and Consumption in Canada / Justin Mc

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