‘Some Great Ideas’ by Edward Keenan

A JCP member recently came across the book ‘Some Great Ideas’ by Edward Keenan which she wanted to share with the JCP community:

I recently came across a really good book by Edward Keenan. There is a lot of the Junction material in his book because the author turns out to live here. The title is ‘Some great idea ‘and the book talks about Toronto’s past and present. It has some moments where the events described are incredibly current and parts of this book read like our manifesto (basis of unity). I think that our project (JCP) is we on the right path and its timing is perfect.

Here is a review (just a small piece) of the book by Angela Hickman. I picked this passage because it talks about one thing that many people notice: how divided the larger area where we live is.

‘Keenan has been a journalist in Toronto for over a decade (and grew up here to boot), and while I wouldn’t say he’s unbiased, I would say that he’s fair. His personal stories, whether from reporting or his personal life, are illustrative of both how the city works and how it doesn’t, and that dichotomy is often jarring. Take, for example, Keenan’s story of moving from one ward to its neighbour across the tracks. His family moved only a couple of blocks – easy walking distance from their old apartment (Dundas St. and Pacific Ave – KK) and found themselves in an entirely different version of the city. I see these changes every day on my way to and from work. I get on the subway in a dense, walkable city neighbourhood and get off in a neighbourhood of busy four-lane roads and a whole lot of cars. In my case, both of these neighbourhoods are middle class, but they demonstrate very different planning philosophies.

But these differences – this diversity – are Toronto’s strength, Keenan says. Diversity of income, race, urban landscape, age, gender, background, etc. is what makes Toronto such a liveable city. In recent years, however, that diversity has become increasingly divided. The city as whole remains diverse, but its neighbourhoods less so, as development downtown pushes up prices and low income residents are pushed farther out, where there are lower levels of the services they would most benefit from. It’s a problem Keenan says, but not one without solutions (and, to his credit, he offers numerous workable ideas as starting points).’

You can read the full review here: http://www.chbooks.com/reviews/books-under-skin-thinks-some-great-idea-should-be-every-nightstand-city


2.      Here is another very insightful piece from the time when the Junction started to change. http://readingcities.com/index.php/toronto/comments/the_junction_hip_arts_hangout/

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