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Category Archives: Toronto

This week’s city reading: dying alt-weeklies, recanting Richard Florida, and anti-urbanist Margaret Atwood

What Cities Lose When an Alt-Weekly Dies (David Dudley, Citylab) “The thing the Voice and its descendants gave readers was something more important than the occasional scoop: They served as critical conveyors of regional lore and scuttlebutt and intel. Dailies may have told you what was going on; alt-weeklies helped make people locals, a cranky cohort united by common […]

This week’s city reading: This Year’s Best Design Cities, When Airbnb Overtakes Your Building, the Lonely Los Angeles of “Heat”

The World’s Best Design Cities 2017 (Metropolis) “The crowds coursing down Via Tortona or gathering outside Bar Basso for one week in April are no more than a memory when the city is deserted in August. For years, it was also a city of extreme traditionalism: The Salone del Mobile’s gravitational pull on innovative international designers seemed […]

This week’s city reading: Detroit stays flawed, Mexico City kills parking minimums, corporations flee the suburbs

The new Detroit’s fatal flaw (Heather Ann Thompson, Washington Post) “Way back in July of 1967, just before that infamous evening when Detroit went up in flames, city boosters had been feeling pretty optimistic about the Motor City’s future. Detroit, then the nation’s fifth-largest city, was a metropolis that epitomized all that postwar America had to offer. Home to […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E66: Who Am I? with Craig Davidson

In a pub in Toronto’s Swansea, Colin Marshall talks with novelist Craig Davidson, author of Rust and Bone, The Fighter, Sarah Court, and most recently The Fighter, all under his on name, and author of horror fiction under the pseudonyms Nick Cutter and Patrick Lestewka. They discuss Toronto’s distance, geographical and in sensibility, from Niagara falls; his potential attraction to […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E65: Unerotic City with Mark Kingwell

At the University of Toronto, Colin Marshall talks with Mark Kingwell, professor of philosophy and author of such books as A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism, The World We Want: Restoring Citizenship in a Fractured Age, Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City, and most recently the collection Unruly Voices: Essays on Democracy, Civility and the Human […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E64: The Greatest Point of Relevance with Alex Bozikovic

In Toronto’s Christie Pits neighborhood, Colin Marshall talks with Globe and Mail architecture critic Alex Bozikovic, who also writes for such publications as Dwell, Wallpaper, Toronto Life, and Spacing. They discuss whether Honest Ed’s has any architectural significance to go with its social significance, and what its imminent disappearance says about the urbanism of Toronto’s future; its Los Angeles-like interest […]

Guardian Cities: Old White Guy for Mayor in Toronto

If I entered Toronto’s heated mayoral race, I would pledge to ban the United Colors of Benetton from the city. While I have no objection to the company’s shirts, coats or knitwear, their advertising, with its image of glossy diversity, must feed the insecurity Toronto feels about its own. As a white male (albeit a non-Canadian one), […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E63: Mementos Mori with Keith McNally

Out with the raccoons on the closed second-floor balcony of a Toronto bar, Colin Marshall talks with Keith McNally, the podcast auteur behind the shows XO, I Have a Ham Radio, and The Vinyl Countdown. They discuss the function and imminent disappearance of Honest Ed’s; podcasting as a 21st-century means of hanging out with “friends” and having man-to-man […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E62: Nothing to Declare with Amy Lavender Harris

In Toronto’s Junction, Colin Marshall talks to Amy Lavender Harris, geographer at York University and author of Imagining Toronto, a study of the city as depicted in its literature. They discuss the psychedelically-illustrated, Toronto-centric poetry of Dennis Lee with which so many Torontonians grew up; how it took her thirty years from her Lee-reading days to […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E61: Publishing Crushing with Alana Wilcox

Near the University of Toronto, Colin Marshall talks to Alana Wilcox, Editorial Director of Coach House Books and author of the novel A Grammar of Endings. They discuss the past twenty years’ boom in Toronto writing; what factors, including an embarrassing mayor in the nineties, made “mythologizing our own city” possible; why Coach House prints […]