How do we build cities where we aren't just living within the same urban space, but living together?
Greater Toronto is now home to a larger proportion of foreign-born residents than any other major global metropolis. Not surprisingly, city officials rarely miss an opportunity to tout the region’s ethno-cultural neighbourhoods. Yet there’s strong evidence that the GTA is experiencing widening socio-economic disparities that have produced worrisome divisions. We say that ‘diversity is our strength,’ but has a feel-good catchphrase prevented us from confronting the forces that seem to be separating and isolating urban communities?
Through compelling storytelling and analysis, Subdivided’s contributors – a wide range of place-makers, academics, activists and journalists – ask how we can expand city-building processes to tackle issues ranging from transit equity and trust-based policingto holistic mental health, dignified affordable housing and inclusive municipal governance. Ultimately, Subdivided aims to provoke the tough but pressing conversations required to build a truly connected and just city.
Introduction - Jay Pitter
Identity and the City: Thinking Through Diversity – Beyhan Farhadi
Doing Immigrant Resettlement Right – Doug Saunders
Wasauksing–Vancouver–Toronto: My Path Home – Rebeka Tabobondung
How We Welcome: Why Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program Undermines Place-making – Sarah Beamish and Sofia Ijaz
Finding Space for Spirituality – Fatima Syed
Navigating the City with an Invisible Illness: The Story of Dorothy – Denise DaCosta
Culture and Mental Illness – Karen Pitter
Neighbourhood Watch: Racial Profiling and Virtual Gated Communities – Asmaa Malik
Accessing Education: An Immigrant’s Story – Nicholas Davis
Policing and Trust in the Hyper-Diverse City – Nana Yanful
Three Questions about Carding – Idil Burale
An Overburdened Promise: Arts Funding for Social Development – Ian Kamau, Paul Nguyen and Ryan Paterson, with John Lorinc
Designing Dignified Social Housing – Jay Pitter
Walking Through Loss: A Critical Visit to an Old Neighbourhood – Photography by Taha Muharuma
Reconsidering Revitalization: The Case of Regent Park – Jay Pitter in conversation with Sandra Costain
Model Citizens – Andrea Gunraj
A Tale of Two – or Three – Cities: Gentrification and Community Consultations – Mariana Valverde
Mobility in the Divided City – Eric Mann
Toward MoreComplete Communities: Business Out of the Box – Alina Chatterjee
Going Beyond Representation: The Diversity Deficit in Local Government – John Lorinc
Brampton, a.k.a. Browntown – Noreen Ahmed-Ullah
Life in the City In-Between – Shawn Micallef
Conclusion – J. David Hulchanski
About the authors
After establishing a career in public funding and marketing communications, Jay Pitter earned a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University, where she investigated crime prevention through environmental design and urban place-making. She is also a writer and part-time professor.
John Lorinc is a journalist and editor. He reports on urban affairs, politics, business, technology, and local history for a range of media, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Walrus, Maclean’s, and Spacing, where he is senior editor. John is the author of three books, including The New City (Penguin, 2006) and Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias (Coach House Books, 2022), and has coedited four other anthologies for Coach House Books: The Ward (2015), Subdivided (2016), Any Other Way (2017), and The Ward Uncovered (2018). John is the recipient of the 2019/2020 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. He lives in Toronto.
Karon Liu has been a staff food reporter for the Toronto Star since 2015 and aims to link food with culture, history, identity, politics – anything you can imagine. He's also an avid home cook, and his favourite utensil is a pair of wooden chopsticks his grandma used to use.
Other titles by John Lorinc
What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings
Smart Cities and the Pursuit of Utopian Urbanism
The Carrying Place
Stories of Indigenous Toronto
How the Missing Middle Will Solve Toronto's Affordability Crisis
The Ward Uncovered
The Archaeology of Everyday Life
Any Other Way
How Toronto Got Queer
The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood
How The Crisis Of Canada's Cities Is Reshaping Our Nation
A Groundwork Guide