Accidental City: The Transformation of Toronto

Robert Fulford, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-77307-9
Toronto is ""like San Francisco upside down,"" says Fulford, a columnist for the Globe and Mail and a disciple of noted urban sociologist Jane Jacobs. Built on steep, wooded ravines, the city was until recently a colorless provincial town, despite its varied topography. Within Fulford's lifetime, and thanks to both the successes and failures of central planners, Toronto has become a cosmopolitan center. Fulford describes ferocious struggles by its various ethnic communities to retain their different identities in the face of attempts to homogenize them, and he cites efforts to preserve the natural wilderness that has made present-day Toronto ""a city within a park rather than a park within a city."" Horrendous errors in architectural and planning decisions notwithstanding, Fulford claims it is now a city of vitality and beauty and feels that Toronto, in its haphazard, contentious development, has become one of North America's most livable cities. His book provides a witty, incisive study in urban development. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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