Sources Directory     A to Z Index     Topic Index News Releases     RSS Sources Select News RSS Feed     Sources Calendar    



Toronto For Sale: the Destruction of a City

Stein, David Lewis
Publisher:  New Press, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1972  
Pages:  141pp  
Dewey:  352.0084
Resource Type:  Book

An account of how the Toronto City Council rezoned land to maximize land densities, favoring the interests of private developers over the public in the 1970s.

Abstract:  Stein argues that the Toronto City Councilors in the early 1970s had prioritized the demands of private developers over the interests of their constituents. Specifically, he believes that city aldermen had on several occasions agreed to rezone land to maximize density that would profit the developers, at the expense of the people of Toronto.

The majority of the book focuses on the interaction between developers and city council that resulted in rezoning residential land from single-family housing to high-density apartment buildings. In particular, four accounts are examined: St. James Town West, Bloor-Dufferin, McCaul Street and the intersection of Quebec and Gothic Avenue.

As a result, Stein holds that on one hand, the developers benefit from increased profits. On the other hand, the public suffers when lower-income families are unable to purchase expensive apartments. Moreover, the public loses publically accessible parks that cannot be replaced with privately landscaped space such as tennis courts and gyms. Despite this, the public is the one who has to subsidize the developer's projects by paying for such costs as road reconstruction to accommodate increased population densities. Consequently, Stein names specific aldermen in his accounts and calls for the public to hold them accountable for their actions; he even includes the council's residential rezoning voting records of the four accounts in the appendix.

In the end, however, Stein concedes that the developers themselves are not the problem; they are only working within the rules of the system. Furthermore, while self-identifying as a socialist who is critical with the system, he does not believe revolution is the answer. Instead, Stein concludes by challenging the average Torontonian to join civic organizations, be informed, and politically participate in the democratic process if they want a city worth living in.

[Abstract by Jared Ong]


Sources is an online portal and directory for journalists, writers, news editors, researchers. Use Sources to find experts, media contacts, spokespersons, scientists, lobbyists, officials, speakers, university professors, researchers, newsmakers, CEOs, executive directors, media relations contacts, spokespeople, talk show guests, PR representatives, Canadian sources, story ideas, research studies, databases, universities, colleges, associations, businesses, government, research institutions, lobby groups, non-government organizations (NGOs), in Canada and internationally.
© Sources 1977-2015. The information provided is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form or by any means (whether electronic, mechanical or photographic), or stored in an electronic retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher. The content may not be resold, republished, or redistributed. Indexing and search applications by Ulli Diemer and Chris DeFreitas.

    Sources, 812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201, Toronto, ON M6G 1L9.Phone: (416) 964-7799 FAX: (416) 964-8763