Half of Toronto’s population is born outside of Canada and over 140 languages are spoken on the city's streets and in its homes. How to build community amidst such diversity is one of the global challenges that Canada – and many other western nations – has to face head on.
Making a Global City critically examines the themes of diversity and community in a single primary school, the Clinton Street Public School in Toronto, between 1920 and 1990. From the swift and seismic shift from a Jewish to southern European demographic in the 1950s to the gradual globalized community starting in the 1970s, Vipond eloquently and clearly highlights the challenges posed by multicultural citizenship in a city that was dominated by Anglo-Protestants. Contrary to recent well-documented anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media, Making a Global City celebrates one of the world’s most multicultural cities while stressing the fact that public schools are a vital tool in integrating and accepting immigrants and children in liberal democracies.
"Making a Global City is a good read that comes at an important time…Vipond persuasively shows how Canadians of all stripes have come together over decades to adapt, adjust, integrate and challenge diversity in meaningful and peaceful ways. It is a history that gives hope for the future."
‘This is an eminently readable and stimulating contribution to the literature on citizenship, as well as to the history of schooling in Canada… The book, with its solidly grounded historical base, adds greatly to that literature.’
‘This highly accessible sociological study serves as a thoughtful meditation on the economic, social, political, and cultural changes experienced in Canada over the past century, as reflected in the fascinating history of a landmark downtown Toronto public school.’
"Vipond writes with sophistication, appreciation, and affection of all that a neighbourhood public school is called upon to do…The result is a most thoughtful, engaging school history – full of empirical, analytical, and theoretical insight into how a school should be in a diverse, divided city and world."