Toronto - the largest and one of the most multicultural cities in Canada - boasts an equally interesting and diverse architectural heritage. Architecture, Design and Craft in Toronto 1900-1940 tells a story of the significant changes in domestic life in the first 40 years of the twentieth century. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach to studies of residential spaces, the author examines how questions of modernity and modern living influenced not only architectural designs but also interior furnishings, modes of transportation and ways to spend leisure time. The book discusses several case studies, some of which are known both locally and internationally (for example Casa Loma), while others such as Guild of All Arts or Sherwood have been virtually unstudied by historians of visual culture. The overall goal of the book is to put Toronto on the map of scholars of urban design and architecture and to uncover previously unknown histories of design, craft and domesticity in Toronto. This study will be of interest not only to the academic community (namely architects, designers, craftspeople and scholars of these disciplines, along with social historians), but also the general public interested in local history and/or visual culture.
Alla Myzelev is Visiting Assistant Professor, SUNY Geneseo, USA.
'This book offers a unique and engaging perspective on the history of architecture and design in Toronto. Focusing on a series of domestic and semi-domestic spaces, including hotels, Myzelev weaves together stories of patronage, design, aspiration, tradition, and the staging and performance of modern lifestyles. Her book makes a vital contribution to the study of design culture in early twentieth-century Toronto, illuminating the interrelationships between architecture, art, craft, and design, and how patrons, architects, and designers sought to express themselves and their communities in response to the conditions of modernity.' Michael Windover, Carleton University, Canada
'Alla Myzelev's new book fills an important gap in our knowledge of North American architecture of the twentieth century. Focussing on the first and second great building booms of Toronto, it charts the complex rise of Toronto as Canada's cultural capitol and one of North America's greatest urban metropolises. Over seven well-paced chapters, Myzelev discusses its great homes, such as Sir Penry Pellatt's Casa Loma and the home of Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris, as well as its major commercial and cultural buildings, most notably the Royal York Hotel. Topically published during the city's current building boom, Myzelev's carefully researched account rightly positions Toronto among the great cities of the twentieth century. It will be required reading for all scholars of modern architecture.' Matthew Reeve, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada