Historical Writing: Book Award Nominees

This category recognizes English language non-fiction books or e-books.

The 2017 nominees are:

Author:
Matthew Blackett with Jamie Bradburn

Publisher:
Spacing Media Inc.

50 Objects That Define Toronto

50 Objects That Define Toronto employs strong visual imagery to explore everyday objects that define Toronto’s character and played a role in significant historical moments.  The 50 objects were selected from a longer list of over 350 submitted by some of Toronto’s leading historians.  The small book can easily be tucked into a pocket and used as a guide on a walk, making 50 Objects That Define Toronto unlike any other local history book in more ways than one.

Author:
Rose Catalano

Publisher:
iUniverse

A Child’s Voyage to a New Life: Memoir of a Little Italian Girl

Using a combination of facts, experiences, and cultural wisdom passed down by parents and grandparents, Catalano discusses cultural differences, language barriers, discriminatory working conditions, and family pressures that defined the Italian-Canadian woman she has become.  A Child’s Voyage to a New Life: Memoir of a Little Italian Girl recounts her childhood in Southern Italy, immigration to Canada in the early 1960s, and journey to become a successful entrepreneur in Toronto.

Author:
David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden

Publisher:
Simon & Schuster

How Can I Help?: A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist

How Can I Help? is a behind-the-scenes account of a week in the life of Dr. David Goldbloom, a psychiatrist at Toronto’s CAMH, one of Canada’s leading mental health hospitals.  Mental illness and psychiatry have complicated histories that have often been misunderstood by the public, the media, and doctors. Dr. Goldbloom attempts to demystify a profession that has undergone profound change over the past 25 years and looks to a future where we can offer new hope for sufferers of mental illness.

Author:
Christopher Ward

Publisher:
Penguin Random House Canada

Is This Live?: Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic: The Nation’s Music Station

On August 31, 1984, the Nation’s Music Station launched in Toronto, breaking ground in Canadian television—live, gloriously unpredictable, seat-of-the-pants TV, delivered fresh daily.  Is this Live? delivers a dose of Canadian history and pop culture nostalgia from the 1980s and ’90s, capturing the pure fun and rock ’n’ roll rebellion of the early years of MuchMusic television. Broadcasting from Toronto’s iconic studio at 299 Queen Street West, MuchMusic’s programming connected Canada in unprecedented and often improvised way.


Author:
Steve Penfold

Publisher:
University of Toronto Press

A Mile of Make-Believe: A History of the Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade

A Mile of Make-Believe examines the history of the Santa Claus parade, focusing on the Eaton’s sponsored parades in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg, as well as the shorter-lived parades in Calgary and Edmonton.  Penfold tells the story of a company’s impact on Toronto culture and community, and argues that the parade ultimately represented a paradoxical form of cultural power: it allowed Eaton’s to press its image onto public life while also reflecting the decline of the once powerful retailer.

Edited by:
Lorna R. Marsden

Publisher:
University of Toronto Press

Leading the Modern University: York University’s Presidents on Continuity and Change, 1974-2014

Founded in 1959, York University is now the second largest university in Ontario and third largest university in Canada.  Leading the Modern University documents the challenges of financing, moral crises, and succession that university presidents encountered from the early 1970s to 2014, and reveals that large public institutions have internal dynamics and external forces that supersede any individual leader’s years in office.  This is a case study for those interested in organizational change during a dynamic period in higher education.

Author:
Doug Taylor

Publisher:
Dundurn Press

Toronto’s Local Movie Theatres of Yesteryear

Slip once more into the movie theatres of your youth. Relive the experience of sitting in their darkened auditoriums, witnessing the adventure, comedy, and romance of the silver screen of Toronto’s old movie theatres. Most of the theatres have been demolished, but to visually recreate them, the book includes 128 historic pictures of the theatres — exteriors, marquees, colourful neon signs, and auditoriums — many of the photos never before published in books or on the internet.


Author:
Mohammad Abdul Qadeer

Publisher:
University of Toronto Press

Multicultural Cities: Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles

What defines a multicultural city? Policy? Geography? Demography? Multicultural Cities offers a tour of three of North America’s premier multicultural metropolises – Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles –guided by the perspective that multiculturalism is the combination of cultural diversity with a common ground of values and institutions.  A comprehensive investigation of how some of today’s leading majority-minority cities thrive, this book is an important complement to any discussion about how cities can and should accommodate diversity.


Author:
Sarah Bassnett

Publisher:
McGill-Queen’s University Press

Picturing Toronto: Photography and the Making of a Modern City

Dispelling popular misconceptions, Picturing Toronto demonstrates that Arthur Goss and other early 20th century photographers did not simply document the changing conditions of urban life – their photography contributed to the development of modern Toronto and shaped its inhabitants.  Bassnett investigates how a range of groups used photography to reconfigure the urban environment and exposes how photographs were at the heart of debates over what the city should look like, how it should operate, who should reside where, and under what conditions it was appropriate for people to live.

Author:
Tony van Straubenzee

Publisher:
Words Indeed Publishing

Rind in the Marmalade: A Headhunter’s Tales

Rind in the Marmalade recounts van Straubenzee’s career as a human-resources manager and executive-level head-hunter on Bay Street, from the early 1970s—when women and minority groups began entering boardrooms—to the early 2000s.  The reader is presented with many of the lively characters van Straubenzee came to know with the aid of over 175 illustrations and photos that include the financial district’s handsome bank and business towers, its legendary clubs and restaurants, and landmarks from across the city.

Author:
David Wright

Publisher:
University of Toronto Press

SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children

Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has earned an international reputation and has an equally remarkable history – from its humble origins in rented houses in the 1870s, the hospital would flourish to become a medical institution of great significance, innovation, and controversy. SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children chronicles the history of this enduring fixture of Toronto life and represents an accessible scholarly interpretation of the interplay between an influential hospital and the communities that became part of its legacy.

Authors:
Bryan D. Palmer and Gaétan Héroux

Publisher:
Between the Lines

Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History

Toronto’s Poor tells the important and often unheard side of the city’s history, a continuum of dispossession and struggle.  For almost two centuries, the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute in Toronto have struggled not only to survive in good times and bad, but to have their story heard.  Featuring many photos and illustrations from the 185 year span, this history of Toronto is an accessible, provocative, and important read for anyone seeking to better understand this dynamic city.