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Recommended Reading

Toronto City Hall Booklist

Books about City Hall:

Civic Symbol:  Creating Toronto’s New City Hall, 1952-1966
Armstrong, Christopher
An essential history of the entire design process of Toronto’s New City Hall from the international competition through to the building’s construction.

Competing Modernisms:  Toronto’s New City Hall and Square
Kapelos, George
An analysis of the history, impact and influence of the 1958 Toronto City Hall design competition on Canadian cities and the architectural profession.

Meeting Places:  Toronto’s City Halls: 1834-Present
This exhibition catalogue examines the architectural, cultural and political history of the four structures that that have served as Toronto’s City Hall.

Toronto’s City Halls
A brief history of Toronto’s City Halls, with facts and figures on the construction of the New City Hall.

Portrait of Toronto City Hall, Past and Present
Mika, Nick
A history of Toronto’s City Halls, with emphasis on the 1965 New City Hall and the events surrounding its construction and opening.

Books about Toronto Architecture

Making Toronto Modern: Architecture and Design, 1895-1975 
Armstrong, Christopher
A broad overview of how progressive architecture and urban planning made Toronto into the ‘modern’ city of the mid-1970s. It includes a discussion of the importance of the 1965 New City Hall to both practitioners and the public.

Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto
Goodfellow, Margaret
A comprehensive overview of the resurgence of city building that took place in the period from 1992-2010.

Unbuilt Toronto: A History of the City that Might Have Been
Osbaldeston, Mark
This book, which was short-listed for the City of Toronto Book Award in 2009, explores never-completed building projects in Toronto from its founding to the present. It includes chapters on unrealized plans for a new City Hall  proposed between 1925 and 1955, and on the unsuccessful designs in the 1958 Toronto City Hall competition.

Concrete Toronto: a Guide to Concrete Architecture from the Fifties to the Seventies Also in eBook
A guided tour of Toronto’s concrete architecture, including the New City Hall.

Mean City: From Architecture to Design: How Toronto Went Boom!
Martins-Manteiga, John
This book profiles the buildings, firms and individuals behind Toronto’s ‘design boom’ from 1945 to 1975.

Design City Toronto
Stanwick, Sean
A showcase of over thirty contemporary interior and architectural projects in Toronto from the first decade of the 21st century.

Toronto: No Mean City, 3rd ed.
Arthur, Eric
This is a revised edition of Eric Arthur’s original 1965 book, which has been called one of the most significant books on Toronto and its architecture ever written. The additional essays and epilogue note the impact of the New City Hall on the face of the city.

TSA Guide Map: Toronto architecture 1953-2003
Toronto Society of Architects
A fold-out map which briefly lists 96 buildings and spaces that are part of the development of modern architecture in the City of Toronto.

Toronto Architecture: a City Guide-2nd ed.
McHugh, Patricia
A field guide to Toronto’s architecture, arranged by area to facilitate self-guided walking tours.

Toronto Modern: Architecture, 1945-1965: Catalogue of the Exhibition with Critical Essays, 2nd ed.
An examination of the influence of modernism on Toronto’s buildings, spaces and planning.

Toronto Observed: Its Architecture, Patrons, and History
Dendy, William
A discussion of some of the most significant buildings in Toronto’s history, from 1813 to the mid-1980’s, by a distinguished architectural historian.

General Titles about Toronto’s History/Planning/Development

The Ward: the Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood  Also in eBook
Lorinc, John (ed.)
The Ward, bordered by College and Queen, University and Yonge, was cleared in the mid-twentieth century to make room for ‘modern’ Toronto, including New City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto: Biography of a City  Also in eBook
Levine, Allan Gerald
The most recent general history of the City of Toronto, which explores the spirit, people and places of Toronto over four centuries.

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto  Also in eBook
Micallef, Shawn
A personal view of Toronto’s buildings, streets and neighbourhoods from former Toronto Public Library Writer in Residence Shawn Micallef.

The Shape of the City:  Toronto Struggles with Modern Planning
Sewell, John
An overview of the impact of modern planning theories on Toronto’s development in the 20th century by former Toronto Mayor John Sewell.