Courses focused on Urban Issues

See the list below for courses that focus on urbanization, urban planning, and urban issues in Canada…

(F= Fall-term 2022; S=Winter-term 2023)

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INI101H1-S – Blogging the Just City (S. Micallef)

An introduction to the concept of the city as a creative environment promoting not only growth and wealth but also social justice, equality, cooperation, and civility. Students will learn to build their own blog to help them to observe, interpret, and reflect upon the process of urban interaction and the relationship between creativity and justice. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

UNI101H1-F/S – Citizenship in the Canadian City (TBD)

Who belongs? Who governs? Who decides? In this course, you will examine the concepts of citizenship, public space, political membership, civic responsibility, and belonging. You will address topics such as Indigenous sovereignty claims, urban multiculturalism, public housing, and greening the city. Restricted to first-year students.

UNI102H1-F/S – Performing the City I (TBD)

In this course we learn about different practices of performative engagement with the city and experiment with them through exercises and creative activities. The goal is to gain, through this mode of embodied engagement with the city, a critical understanding of urban space as a diverse social, cultural, and physical environment. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

ANT347H1-S  – Metropolis: Global Cities (E. Sammons) 

The role of culture, cultural diversity, space and performance in urban institutions and settings. The cultural context and consequence of urbanization.

UNI104H1-F/S – Sex in the City (TBD)

You will learn about the sexual politics of the city and how cities and their neighbourhoods become sexualized and desexualized spaces. In Sex in the City, you will examine what “sex” means to Toronto’s varied, multicultural communities by looking at urban space, cultural productions, law enforcement, safety and health resources and more. Restricted to first-year students. 

GGR124H1-F/S – Cities of Urban Life (TBD)

Offers an introduction to North American cities and urbanization in a global context. It explores social, cultural, political and economic forces, processes, and events that shape contemporary urbanism. The course adopts the lens of ‘fixity’ and ‘flow’ to examine how the movement of people, ideas, goods, and capital, as well as their containment in the infrastructure and space of the city, give rise to particular urban forms.

FAH199H1-F – Architecture of Toronto (J Mace)

*A Canada Constructed course!*

The architecture of Toronto is characterized by artful and influential monuments as well as stylistically incoherent neighbourhoods, vibrant civic spaces alongside dysfunctional infrastructure. This course investigates how Canada’s national metropolis came to embody such extremes of architectural richness and urban contradictions. The seminar focuses on how to “read” the buildings of Toronto and think critically about the forces that have shaped city planning, monuments, public space, and concepts of heritage. Readings and discussions will be combined with field trips, research on site or in the archives, and direct engagement with local communities and preservation initiatives. Restricted to first-year students.

GGR199H1-F – Global Racial Capitalism in the 21st Century (TBD)

This course uses the tools of political economy, decolonial and anti-colonial theory, and critical approaches to the study of racism to explore how the construction of racial categories continues to be integral to the working of capitalist systems. We will explore the reasons why capitalism was never meant to work for everyone by examining how and why racial categories have continued to matter since capitalism’s earliest formations. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

SOC205H1-F – Urban Sociology (B. Berry)

This course reviews theories of urban genesis and urban form; the interrelationship of urbanization, industrialization and modernization, issues in urban living (housing, transportation, urban-renewal, poverty, unemployment, etc.); urban social networks (ethnic and cultural heterogeneity, neighbourhood, community and other voluntary associations).

SOC249H1-S – Sociology of Migration (Y. Tanaka)

This course examines contemporary migration flows, types and causes of migration, theories of migration, immigration policies, and migrant integration with emphasis on Canada.

FAH473H1-S Studies in Canadian Architecture and Landscapes (TBD)

*A Canada Constructed course!*

An in-depth study of themes in the history of architecture and landscape in Canada.

ENV307H1-S – Urban Sustainability (Jakubiec, A.)

This course critically examines the concept of urban sustainability in theory and application. Case studies of ongoing urban sustainability programs in the developed and developing world help students assess the successes and failures of these programs. The course also examines the current state of research and implementation efforts toward urban sustainability. Toronto’s urban sustainability and sustainable needs will be investigated through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) during the course (previous experience with GIS is not required).

HIS312H1-F – Immigration to Canada (L. Mar)

From the colonial settlement to 21st century, immigration has been a key experience and much debated in Canadian life. Drawing on primary sources, as well as historical and contemporary scholarship, this course will discuss migration, citizenship and belonging as central features in Canada’s experience of immigration. This course focuses on the individuals, groups, and collectives who built, defined, contested, and reimagined this country, to help make and remake Canada through immigration.

ECO322H1-S – Canadian Economic History, 1850-1960 (TBD)

Canadian economic history between 1850 and 1960, with a focus on the debate over the ability of the market mechanism to optimize economic development. Topics covered include: tariff policies, Confederation, the transcontinental railroad, opening the West, the Great Depression, monetary policy and the Bank of Canada, regional growth and dominion-provincial relations.

GGR336H1-F – Urban Historical Geography of North America (TBD)

This course explores the emergence and reproduction of class and racial social spaces, the development of new economic spaces, and the growing importance of the reform and planning movements. Emphasis is on metropolitan development between 1850 and 1950.

URB339H1-S – Divide City / United City (J. Hulchanski)

Focus on the impact of increased economic inequality and economic polarization trends that are reshaping Canada’s metropolitan areas, changing neighbourhoods, and affecting the lives of our diverse urban population. Using the Toronto area as an example, students explore the consequences of these trends and the implications for public policy.

JGU346H1-F – The Urban Planning Process (TBD)

Overview of how planning tools and practice shape the built form of cities. This course introduces twentieth century physical planning within its historical, social, legal, and political contexts. Community and urban design issues are addressed at local and regional scales and in both central cities and suburbs. The focus is on Toronto and the Canadian experience, with comparative examples from other countries, primarily the United States.

GGR357H1-S – Housing and Community Development (TBD)

Focuses on the importance of adequate housing and quality neighbourhoods. It roots theoretical explanations and policy debates in realities using Canada and Toronto as examples. Topics covered include the evolution of public policies relating to social housing, rental housing, homeownership, neighborhoods, and homelessness.

INS403H1-F – Indigenous Peoples and the Urban Context

Critically examines Indigenous peoples’ experiences, encounters and interactions in urban areas in Canada. This course explores the historical and contemporary conditions of Indigenous peoples, including urban governance and the development of Indigenous organizations. This course will focus on youth perspectives and how traditions, cultures and knowledges are expressed in urban settings.

This project is supported by the Learning & Education Advancement Fund at the University of Toronto

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