Suburbs of Desire: The Suburban Landscape of Canadian Cities, c

Carolyn Whitzman, Suburb, Urban Slum, Village
2009 Transformations in Toronto's Parkdale Neighbourhood   unpublished
At the beginning of its development, suburban housing in and around Toronto was viewed as a solution to the poor living standards found in Toronto's slums, thereby attracting primarily middle and upper class families. 1 It is important to note that many early suburbs were also appealing for marginalized groups of immigrants and the working class. 2 However, the current essay will primarily explore the construction and development of upper class-dominated regions, and use the term "suburb" in
more » ... erence to prestigious districts located near or in the city, such as Forest Hill, the Annex, and Parkdale, which primarily comprised of middle and upper class housing in the late 1800s. 3 By the turn of the century, these suburban neighbourhoods were undergoing significant changes associated with urban development. While some suburbs, such as Parkdale and the Annex, were modeled with the intent of housing wealthy and middle-class people, a movement of blue-collar workers and non-British immigrants to the "morally distinct" neighbourhoods of the city began in the 1890s and continued throughout the 1900s. 4 The relocation was influenced by the expansion of industries in Toronto, the housing boom that took place between 1906 and 1913, and the growing affordability of land located outside of the city's core. This essay will argue that industrial development and housing expansion influenced the construction of class relations in Toronto's suburbs, specifically by creating social divisions based on residents' inner city or industry-based employment, their segregated geographical 1