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History Post-confederation (1867-)

The Annex

The Story of a Toronto Neighbourhood

by (author) Jack Batten

Boston Mills Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2004
Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2004
    List Price

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Out of print

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The timely lessons of a timeless neighborhood.

The Annex is a unique urban neighborhood of Toronto. While it now rests deep within the city, at one time -- until its annexation in the late nineteenth century -- it was a separate entity. The Annex retains a certain pride that enabled it to withstand much of the urbanization that has blighted other major cities. Today, the district is considered one of the most chic neighborhoods in a city known for its chic neighborhoods.

The Annex is the illustrated story of how a nineteenth-century subdivision owned by a single land developer became the upscale, multi-ethnic, trendsetting hub for much of downtown life in Toronto.

This story involved the city's wealthiest citizens and farsighted architects who gave the Annex its look, as well as the neighborhood activists who resisted changes that inevitably come with modern urban planning. This book features 128 black and white photographs of:

  • Key homes
  • Churches
  • Public buildings
  • Institutions of higher learning
  • The district's abundant parks
  • More recent architecture.

The Annex is an inspiration for people everywhere who want to protect the distinctive character of their neighborhoods.


About the author

Jack Batten practised law in Toronto for four years before turning to a life of writing. He has written for all the major Canadian magazines and is the author of thirty-three books including four crime novels. Five of his nonfiction books dealt with real-life Canadian lawyers, judges, and court cases; a biography of John Robinette was among these books. Batten's books have also dealt with sports, Canadian history, and biography. He has reviewed jazz for The Globe and Mail, movies for CBC radio, and still writes a column on crime fiction for the Toronto Star. His biography of Tom Longboat won the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for best children's nonfiction in 2002, and the book is being made into a feature film. His most recent book is The Annex: The Story of a Toronto Neighbourhood, published in 2004.

Jack Batten's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Jack tells the Annex's story with candor and affection... a mixture of interesting historical facts sprinkled with personal observations, experiences and photos both old and new... a great read.

The Annex Echo

History is fetchingly well mined... the book has international appeal in the way that histories of other literary neighborhoods do.

Books in Canada

Jack Batten has not only the knowledge of the Annex but the skill to write about it.

University of Toronto Bookstore Review

Other titles by Jack Batten