Introduction to Planning History: Toronto and Its Region

Function of Art
November 5, 2019
November 5, 2019

Research Essay Assignment

Students are required to write a research essay of 2000 to 2500 words, due in class Tuesday November 13. Papers should be double-spaced, with minimum one-inch margins, and should include a title page with the topic clearly visible, numbered pages, a bibliography of works consulted, and references showing the source of quotations or ideas (foot or endnotes, Chicago Style).

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Proposals stating your topic and briefly explaining why you chose it – maximum one-half page, single-spaced – must be uploaded to Quercus by midnight Sunday October 13. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Option One
Students wishing to explore a more general aspect of planning history can write a standard academic research paper, based entirely on academic literature, on a topic of their choice. The topic, and a basic bibliography, must be approved by the instructor, so anyone choosing this option is advised to develop their topic in consultation with him.

Option Two
Students wishing to learn about the planning of certain neighbourhoods in and around Toronto can write a fieldwork-based research paper that describes, briefly recounts the creation of, and identifies the planning ideas* that shaped, one of the neighbourhoods below. This option requires travelling to and examining the chosen neighbourhood, preferably more than once, so the topic should be selected with this in mind.

* The term “planning ideas” refers here to a range of possible subjects: the scope of planning (neighbourhood or region; single aspect or comprehensive; physical form or social make-up), what a plan prescribes (land use; lot size; architectural style), physical or spatial design (curved or straight streets; single or multiple family housing; high or low rise buildings), the planning process (expert or non-expert; locals or outsiders; ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’).

Each of the neighbourhoods listed below includes a short list of research material that is required for that topic. The items listed are of various types – some are big-picture international planning histories and some are local studies, some were written when the neighbourhood was created and some were written later, and some are actual planning reports (which may be a little technical) – and each type provides a particular perspective. A few of these neighbourhoods have had other material written about them, some of it formally published and some of it not (eg. a heritage assessment); this additional material certainly can be used, but be aware of the purpose for which it was written.

Note that although this is a locally-focused assignment, it also requires research into international planning history. Top-notch papers will effectively put the local planning into the international context.

Neighbourhoods for Option Two (*UTSC Course Reserves; **PDF on Quercus)
Lawrence Park
*Derek Hayes, Historical Atlas of Toronto, 114-17 for a brief summary
*Steven V. Ward, The Peaceful Path: Building Garden Cities and New Towns (passages on garden suburbs)
Mervyn Miller, Hampstead Garden Suburb: Arts and Crafts Utopia?
Barbara Myrvold and Lynda Moon, Historical Walking Tour of Lawrence Park, expanded and revised edition, 2007 (ebook available through Toronto Public Library catalogue)
Two interesting sales booklets prepared by the developer are also now available on line, as PDFs, through the TPL catalogue – “Lawrence Park Estates: A formal & Artistic Grouping of Ideal Homes” (1910) and “Lawrence Park Estates: The Perfect Site of Ideal Homes” (1911)

Kingsway Park
*Steven V. Ward, The Peaceful Path: Building Garden Cities and New Towns (passages on garden suburbs)
Mervyn Miller, Hampstead Garden Suburb: Arts and Crafts Utopia?
**Ross Paterson, “The Development of an Interwar Suburb: Kingsway Park, Etobicoke”, Urban History Review, 13, 3 (February 1985), 225-35
Elizabeth Ingolfsrud and Alec Keefer, Kingsway Park: Triumph in Design
“Humber Valley Surveys” (1911), a promotional booklet prepared by the developer, available on line, in PDF, through the Toronto Public Library catalogue

NOTE: A key question for the above two neighbourhoods, Lawrence Park and Kingsway, is to what extent, if at all, they were true garden suburbs.

Trefann Court
*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow Hall, Chapter 8, “The City of Sweat Equity”, especially ‘The Great War on Urban Renewal’
*Graham Fraser, Fighting Back: Urban Renewal in Trefann Court
*John Sewell, The Shape of the City
*The Trefann Court Urban Renewal Scheme (by Trefann Court Working Committee)
*Richard White, Planning Toronto, see ‘Trefann Court’ in Index

Don Mills
*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Chapter 4, “The City in the Garden”, especially ‘Garden Cities for America’, 133-44, and Chapter 8, “The City on the Highway”, especially 347-62
**Hancock and Lee, “Don Mills: New Town”, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Journal, January 1954, 1-9
*Richard White, ‘Planning Suburbia’, in Planning Toronto, 91-113
*John Sewell, The Shape of the City, Chapter 3

Flemingdon Park
*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Chapter 7, “The City of Towers” and Chapter 9, “The City on the Highway”, especially ‘The Stockholm Alternative’
**Macklin Hancock, “Flemingdon Park: A New Community”, Plan Canada, 2 (1): 6-24
**”Housing in Flemingdon Park, Ontario”, May 1961 and “Flemingdon Park Revisited”, April 1967, Canadian Architect

St Lawrence Neighbourhood
*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Chapter 8, “The City of Sweat Equity”
*Cameron Gray, “The St Lawrence Neighbourhood in Toronto”
**Toronto Housing Department, “St Lawrence, 1974-1979”
**David Hulchanski, “Planning New Urban Neighbourhoods”, in David Gordon, ed., The St Lawrence Neighbourhood in the Town of York
*Richard White, ‘St Lawrence Neighbourhood’ in Planning Toronto, 326-32

*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Chapter 5, “The City in the Region”
*Steven V. Ward, The Peaceful Path: Building Garden Cities and New Towns (passages on New Towns)
*Norman Pressman, “Planning New Communities in Canada”
**Bramalea: “Canada’s First Satellite City” (1958)
*Richard White, Planning Toronto, see ‘Bramalea’ in Index

North Pickering New Town (early 1970s)
(Do not get distracted by later plans for “Seaton” and “Central Pickering”)
*Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Chapter 5, “The City in the Region”
*Steven V. Ward, The Peaceful Path: Building Garden Cities and New Towns (passages on New Towns)
*Norman Pressman, “Planning New Communities in Canada”
*Ontario Ministry of Housing, “North Pickering Project: Summary of Recommended Plan”
*Richard White, Planning Toronto, see ‘North Pickering’ in Index

NOTE: The above two topics, Bramalea and Pickering, were “New Towns”, devised within a regional context. There is a large international literature on this subject which could be used here – eg. a new book by Rosemary Wakeman, *Practising Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (2016).

Academic Integrity
Students are reminded that plagiarism – presenting another person’s work as one’s own – is a serious academic offence and severe penalties will be imposed on those who commit it. Plagiarism can take many forms: cutting and pasting from internet sources, submitting work done by someone else, using ideas from published material without proper attribution, or using direct extracts from published material without using quotation marks (even if properly cited). To explain what is and is not plagiarism, the Writing Centre has prepared “How Not to Plagiarize”:

How Not to Plagiarize

It is also a violation of the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters to submit course work that was presented for credit in any other course. The academic code can be viewed at:

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