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March 2002

page 3

The Impact of Cholera on the Design and Implementation of Toronto's First Municipal By-laws, 1834

Logan Atkinson


The City of Toronto was incorporated in 1834 amid much political animosity and turmoil. The tension between the executive administration and its tory sympathizers on the one hand, and the promoters of reform on the other, had moved political matters to a critical juncture. Perhaps inconsistent with this struggle between central and municipal authority in Upper Canada was the statute by which the City was created, a statute that settled virtually complete legislative authority on the local government. But the first municipal election returned a reform majority to Toronto's council, with the intransigent William Lyon Mackenzie as first mayor, further heightening the difficulties between the central authority and the local administration.

It might be anticipated that, when the City turned its attention to passing its first set of by-laws in the late spring of 1834, the contest over the right organization of government would dominate the thinking of City councillors. However, a review of those by-laws and the issues that gave rise to them reveals that environmental concerns, including the threat of a repeat of the dangerous cholera epidemic of 18;1, had as much to do with the ultimate design of those by-laws as did political orientation. In fact, the environmental pressures felt at the time allowed for the transcendence of political differences for the sake of the defence of public health, a result quite inconsistent with dominant interpretations of the role of law and legal institutions in the Upper Canadian experience.

page 16

La ville au cœur de la nation : l'utilisation du passé dans l'élaboration de l'identité urbaine

Harold Bérubé


The commemorative ceremonies surrounding the 100th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation in 1934 and the tercentenary of Montreal's foundation in 1942 were opportune moments to produce discourses which underline the importance of the urban experience in the creation and the transformation of national identities during the 20th century. A rabbi, Maurice N. Eisendrath, and an abbé, Lionel Groulx, broadcast, within a few years, speeches which put the past at the service of the present and of the future, with the goal of promoting an urban identity as guarantee of the flourishing of their respective nations. Beyond important differences between the two men and their ideologies, fundamental similarities appear upon analyzing them: both use similar discursive strategies, with the ultimate goal of linking an uncertain present to a stronger past, to create and reinforce the collective identity, as much urban as national.
page 28

Old Strathcona: Building Character and Commerce in a Preservation District

Karen L. Wall


Urban spaces of leisure serve to coordinate cultural and economic benefits for local citizens, and contribute to civic profiles in the international competition for prestige and resources. The potential conflicts between cultural and commercial priorities in urban development are particularly marked in the cases of heritage or conservation-oriented districts, The Old Strathcona Historical Preservation District in Edmonton, Alberta provides a case study for an inquiry into how local community has been imagined and expressed through material development processes. The discourse of heritage as both cultural and economic resource is reflected in an analysis of the negotiation among various interests to define Old Strathcona's character and functions. A central point of tension lies between the mandate to conserve and narrate what are primarily community, and cultural values and the economic potential of pragmatic commercial development using that historical content as a marketing feature. As an environment dedicated to consumption, however, Old Strathcona does in fact represent a core element in local civic identity.
page 41

Harold Kalman and the Architectural History of Canada: A Review History

Leslie Maitland

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