UHR Cover

Vol. 42, No. 1 (2013)
Publication Date: 2013-11-30
Number of articles: 12


Rooster Town: Winnipeg's Lost Métis Suburb, 1900–1960
David G. Burley
In the spring of 1959 the City of Winnipeg ordered the removal of fourteen families, mostly Métis, from land needed for the construction of a new high school in south Winnipeg. For at least a decade, the presence of Rooster Town, as the squatters' shantytown was known, had drawn complaints from residents of the new middle-class suburbs who objected to the proximity of families of mixed ancestry who seemed indolent, immoral, and irresponsible and whose children brought contagious diseases into the elementary school. Suburban anxieties gave expression to a much deeper municipal colonialism that since the incorporation of Winnipeg had denied Aboriginal people a place in the city. Various agencies of municipal governance and the processes of urban development dispossessed indigenous peoples and pushed them farther onto the edges of the city until no space remained for them. The removal of Rooster Town erased the last visible evidence of a continuing Métis community that had survived in the area since the nineteenth century and that at its peak in the 1930s had numbered several hundred residents.
Constructing an Urban Drug Ecology in 1970s Canada
Greg Marquis
In 1970, youthful researchers carried out participant-observer studies of the drug scene in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. This ethnographic research, prepared for the federal Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (the LeDain Commission), was part of the commission's extensive series of unpublished studies. The commission, which released an initial report in 1970, one on cannabis in 1972 and a final report in 1973, adopted a broad approach to the issue of drugs and society. This article examines the unpublished studies as examples of social science "intelligence gathering" on urban social problems. The reports discussed the local market in illegal drugs, its geographic patterns and organizational features, the demographic characteristics of drug sellers and consumers, the culture of the drug scene, and the attitudes of users. Unlike earlier sociological and anthropological studies that focused on prisoners and lower-class "junkies" or more recent studies that examine marginalized inner-city populations, the city studies reflected the era's fixation on middle-class youth culture and the addiction-treatment sphere's growing concern with amphetamine abuse.
The City, the Country, and Toronto's Bloor Viaduct, 1897–1919
Ann Marie F. Murnaghan
There are certain structures in cities that exemplify the grandiose designs of the city builders at the turn of the twentieth century. The Prince Edward or Bloor Viaduct is one of these structures crossing Toronto's key landform, the Don Valley, immortalized in Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion. Plans to build the bridge emerged as early as 1897, although the construction did not begin until 1913. The Bloor Viaduct can help us consider the progressive era by examining how discussions of nature/culture and country/city were incorporated into the discourses of its planning and construction. Technically, the bridge was an engineering feat spanning three valleys, making east-west travel in the growing city more efficient, improving the transportation of food and lumber. Symbolically, this monument highlighted the ability to overcome nature with a bridge and bring an aestheticized nature to the city. This contradiction between overcoming and improving access to nature is built into the bridge's planning and construction history. By exploring the symbolic and material aspects of this bridge, the contradictions of nature in the process of nation building appear more striking.

Book Reviews

Trent, Peter F. The Merger Delusion. How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal (Montréal/Kingston : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012), 672 p.
Harold Bérubé
Ghorra-Gobin, Cynthia (dir.). Dictionnaire critique de la mondialisation, 2e édition, Paris, Armand Colin, 2012, 645p.
Laurent Devisme
Kerr, Daniel R. Derelict Paradise: Homelessness and Urban Development in Cleveland, Ohio. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2011. Pp. 295. Photographs and maps.
David Hood
Bourillon, Florence et Annie Fourcaut (dir.). Agrandir Paris, 1860-1970. Paris : Publication de la Sorbonne, Comité d'histoire de la Ville de Paris, collection Histoire contemporaine, 2012, 433 pp.
Annie-Claude Labrecque
Serna, Pierre et Gaël Rideau. Ordonner et partager la ville : XVII–XIXe siècles, Rennes : Presse universitaire de Rennes, 2011, 222 p.
Marie-Pascale Leclerc
Gilbert, Dale. De cloches et de voix. Patrimoine de la vie paroissiale à Notre-Dame-de-Grâce de Québec, 1924–2009, Québec, Éditions Zemë, 2012, 123 p.
Dominique Marquis
Harris, Richard. Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914–1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Pp 431. Illustrations, photographs.
Jonathan McQuarrie
Laurin, Suzanne. L'échiquier de Mirabel, Boréal, Montréal, 2012 (29,95$)
Mario Polèse
Bourillon, Florence (éd.) Changer les noms des rues de Paris. La Commission Merruau—1862 (Rennes/Paris : Presses universitaires de Rennes/Comité d'histoire de la ville de Paris, 2012), 348 p.
Mathieu Trépanier
All Rights Reserved © Urban History Review / Revue d'histoire urbaine, 2013

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required