A Hamilton native, Mark Osbaldeston has written and spoken extensively on architectural and planning history. His first book, Unbuilt Toronto, was the basis for an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum and was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards and the SpeakerÂ’s Book Award. It also received a Heritage Toronto Award of Merit, as did its sequel, Unbuilt Toronto 2.
Short-listed for the 2009 Toronto Book Awards and Heritage Toronto Book Awards and the 2012 Speakerâ€™s Award
Unbuilt Toronto explores never-realized building projects in and around Toronto, from the citys founding to the twenty-first century. Delving into unfulfilled and largely forgotten visions for grand public buildings, landmark skyscrapers, highways, subways, and arts and recreation venues, it outlines such ambitious schemes as St. Albanâ€™s Cathedral, the Queen subway line and early city plans that would have resulted in a Paris-by-the-Lake.
Readers may lament the loss of some projects (such as the Eatons College Street tower), be thankful for the disappearance of others (a highway through the Annex), and marvel at the downtown that could have been (with underground roads and walkways in the sky).
Featuring 147 photographs and illustrations, many never before published, Unbuilt Toronto casts a different light on a city you thought you knew.
An impressively researched exploration of dozens of never-realized architectural and master-planning projects intended for the city Ideally, this book will give necessary perspective to the bureaucrats, planners, and architects who contribute to the evolving form of the city. One hopes that Unbuilt Toronto will inspire a sustained collective vision that will ameliorate a Toronto that at times seems more than an amateurish aggregation of merely good-enough interventions.
Compelling text along with dozens of photos and plans make Unbuilt Toronto a lot of fun to read - and there's an equally great sequel to boot.