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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Heart of Toronto

Corporate Power, Civic Activism, and the Remaking of Downtown Yonge Street

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Heart of Toronto

Corporate Power, Civic Activism, and the Remaking of Downtown Yonge Street

A close look at urban change in the heart of Toronto.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, downtown North America was reconfigured for the suburban age. Municipal officials planned renewal schemes, merchant groups lobbied for street improvements, and developers built ever bigger and taller. Everywhere attention turned to the problems and possibilities within the commercial and civic heart of cities. The Heart of Toronto follows one such example of reinvention: downtown Yonge Street. Efforts to keep pace with, or even lead, urban change included the street’s conversion into a car-free public space, a clean-up campaign targeting the sex industry, and the construction of North America’s largest urban shopping mall. These revitalization projects were all connected to wider trends of postwar decentralization, economic restructuring, and cultural transformation. Interweaving histories of development, civic activism, and corporate clout, The Heart of Toronto widens our understanding of the actors and power dynamics involved in remaking downtown in Canada’s largest city.

224 pages | 23 halftones, 2 maps | 6 x 9

Geography: Urban Geography


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