Toronto, No Mean City

Front Cover
University of Toronto Press, 1986 - Architecture - 315 pages
1 Review

Eric Arthur fell in love with Toronto the first time he saw it. The year was 1923; he was twenty-five years old, newly arrived to teach architecture at the University of Toronto. For the next sixty years he dedicated himself to saving the great buildings of Toronto's past. Toronto, No Mean City sounded a clarion call in his crusade. First published in 1964, it sparked the preservation movement of the 1960s and 1970s and became its bible. This reprint of the third edition, prepared by Stephen Otto, updates Arthur's classic to include information and illustrations uncovered since the appearance of the first edition.

Four new essays were commissioned for this reprint. Christopher Hume, architecture critic and urban affairs columnist for the Toronto Star, addresses the changes to the city since the appearance of the third edition in 1986. Architect and heritage preservation activist Catherine Nasmith assesses the current status of the city's heritage preservation movement. Susan Crean, a freelance writer in Toronto, explores Toronto's vibrant arts scene. Mark Kingwell, professor and cultural commentator, reflects on the development of professional and amateur sports in and around town.

Readers will delight in these anecdotal accounts of the city's rich architectural heritage.


What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Toronto, No Mean City

User Review  - Aaron Rankin - Goodreads

I read a used copy without the new essays designed to bring the work up to date that appear in recent editions. As a result, the book felt (quite naturally) dated. Arthur is fairly restrained about ... Read full review


The Village and the Ancient Trails
A LateFlowering Georgian
Prosperity and Eclecticism
Romanesque and Cast Iron
B Builders and Contractors

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1986)

Eric Arthur was, at his death in 1982, professor emeritus in the School of Architecture, University of Toronto. He was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 1968. Stephen A. Otto has been a director of the Ontario Heritage Foundation and a member of the Toronto Historical Board.

Bibliographic information