Today’s book cover contest features four books on the topic of “cities”. You can find out more about each title below. But first, pick your favourite cover!
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Toronto Sketches 11 (by Mike Filey): Mike Filey’s column “The Way We Were” first appeared in the Toronto Sunday Sun not long after the first edition of the paper hit the newsstands on September 16, 1973. Now, almost four decades later, Filey’s column has enjoyed an uninterrupted stretch as one of the newspaper’s most widely read features. In 1992 a number of his columns were reprinted in Toronto Sketches: “The Way We Were.” Since then another nine volumes have been published, each of which has attained great success.
Included in this latest compilation are stories about the controversial, though not altogether new, improvements to the TTC’s St. Clair streetcar route, as well as accounts of such fondly remembered gasoline brands as Joy, B-A, and White Rose. Then there are those popular Great Lakes passenger ships that carried thousands to such “foreign” ports as Lewiston and Rochester in New York State. Recounting the unforgettable Toronto snowstorm of 1944 and the tragedy of the fire aboard the SS Noronic prove that not all memories are pleasant ones.
Unbuilt Calgary (by Stephanie White): Calgary is a typical boom-and-bust town that was first based on ranching and farming, then oil and gas, and now energy. And energy is what its citizens have, whether for skiing, work, or construction. It is a city that leaps ahead eagerly to new futures and rarely looks back., but Calgary can also be an unsentimental city, discarding its ideas, plans, and buildings with ease.
Unbuilt Calgary is a survey of 30 projects that were proposed but not realized, schemes that were situated at critical times in Calgary’s development, and proposals that indicated the city’s ambitions through its first 100 years. Unbuilt Calgary looks back to ideas and notions that might have been, and building endeavours that would have changed the shape of the city for better or worse. The 30 critical projects are accompanied by drawings and models to illustrate something of Calgary’s irrepressible exuberance.
Reinventing Brantford (by Leo Groarke): One hundred years ago, the City of Brantford advertised itself as the most important manufacturing centre in Canada. During the century that followed, its industrial economy boomed, faltered, and finally collapsed. By the end of the twentieth century, Brantford was known for unemployment, hard luck, and the infamy of having “the worst downtown in Canada.” For twenty years the downtown was in steep decline. Significant attempts at urban revival had failed until Wilfrid Laurier University decided to locate a campus in the heart of Brantford’s crumbling city centre. Leo Groarke revisists the grandeur of the city’s past, explores the economic downfall, and tells the story of the arrival of the university, its early struggles, its commitment to historic restoration, and its ultimate success as a catalyst for urban renewal. The compelling story he recounts will engage anyone interested in the plight of the North-American city core and the role that universities and colleges can play in re-establishing downtowns as vibrant centres of historical and contemporary importance.
A Winnipeg Album (by John David Hamilton and Bonnie Dickie): Winnipeg was Canada’s first important city in the west and was the supply point for other prairie cities like Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and even far-off Vancouver. It exploded from a village of 2,700 people in 1877 to a fully modern metropolis of 100,000 in just thirty years and by then had a university, newspapers, publishing firms, a major theatre, and a vibrant mass of immigrants who flooded in to open up the West. Growing Winnipeg was served with paddle-wheelers on the Red River, Red River ox carts, a Canadian-owned railway to St. Paul, Minnesota, and finally the CPR linking Montreal with the west coast. A Winnipeg Album is a pictorial impression of Winnipeg’s colourful, dramatic, and relatively brief history, compiled and with commentary by John David Hamilton and Bonnie Dickie. Over one hundred stunning black-and-white photographs record the early days of the city and trace some of the dramatic events that made Winnipeg “Canada’s Chicago.”