Beyond the Global City

Beyond the Global City: Understanding and Planning for the Diversity of Ontario

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 480
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  • Book Info
    Beyond the Global City
    Book Description:

    Policies promoting Toronto as a global city and provincial economic engine have been seen as beneficial to the development of all of Ontario, yet much of the province has borne significant environmental, social, economic, and political costs as a result of one city's growth. Contributors to this volume call for a radical re-imagining of public policy at local, provincial, and federal levels, that accounts for Ontario's overlooked regions. Beyond the Global City presents a kaleidoscopic view of the province - the rich fields and small towns of the southwest, the productive agricultural lands of rural Huron County, historic Kingston and the Upper St Lawrence, the social and cultural diversity of the Ottawa valley, the near mythical woodlands and waters of Muskoka and Georgian Bay, and the heavily exploited coasts and waters of the Great Lakes - to provide a deeper understanding of its various communities. In a series of regional studies, contributors describe each area's distinctive qualities and challenges and offer recommendations about what is needed to move them forward in a more equitable and sustainable way. Two initial historical chapters lay the framework for the regional discussions, while cross-cutting and integrated chapters analyze the state of natural and cultural heritage and current development theory provincially, offering guidance for the future.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8742-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    Gordon Nelson
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)

    The title of this book is intended to highlight its two primary purposes. The first is to paint a very different image of Ontario from the one that has been dominant for several decades. The prevailing view is of a province centred on and driven by the great city of Toronto, one of a growing number of huge metropolises expanding vigorously into surrounding lands and waters in different parts of North America and the world. The continued growth of Toronto and other great global cities is generally associated with massive urban sprawl; traffic gridlock; rising service costs; water, air, and...

  5. 1 The Origin of Ontario’s Georegions: Pre-European Times to the 1850s
    (pp. 3-26)

    This chapter and the next set the stage for the rest of the book by presenting the historical evidence for the settlement of Ontario and the development of the major georegions in some detail. They also describe the effects of First Nations and Euro-American immigrants on the environment and on one another. The immigrants arrived primarily from Europe and the thirteen American colonies to form an ethnic and cultural mosaic that is strongly reflected in ensuing chapters on Ontario’s eleven georegions. An awareness of settlement history and its effects on environmental, economic, land-use, and other dimensions also provides useful background...

  6. 2 The Industrial Era and the Further Development of Ontario’s Georegions: The Railroads, 1850s–1900s
    (pp. 27-54)

    A picture of the Short Distance Society and the Industrial Society was presented in chapter 1. The Industrial Society took off with the rapid construction of railroads beginning in the 1850s. This is not to say that some of the villages and towns had not undertaken smallscale manufacturing as part of the Short Distance Society. Because some of the settlements of the colonization era were positioned so that they had advantages over the others, industry became more concentrated and advanced in them. For example, upstream from Kingston, Gananoque had a good harbour on the St Lawrence and was located at...

  7. 3 Sweetwater Seas and Shores: Waters and Coasts of the Great Lakes Georegion
    (pp. 55-79)

    With over twenty-six thousand square kilometres of water surface and ten thousand kilometres of shoreline, the lakes and watersheds of the Great Lakes comprise a significant regional land and waterscape within the province of Ontario. The essence of this region is the presence of the water bodies of the Great Lakes and their importance in the abiotic, biotic, and cultural aspects of human history and land use in Ontario. The Great Lakes serve as essential natural ecosystems with important roles in hydrology, drainage, and wildlife habitat. The waters and coasts of the Great Lakes have also been important in terms...

  8. 4 Toronto: Putting the Georegion in Perspective
    (pp. 80-101)

    York, Toronto, Toronto Region, Metropolitan Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, Golden Horseshoe, Greater Golden Horseshoe ... The evolving nomenclature of the Toronto-based segment of southern Ontario calls to mind an ever-growing creature, slowly eating up the surrounding landscape and trapping countless people within the congested concrete jungle. Certainly this is the view of many from outside, and even inside, the region. Often denounced as having too much influence on provincial and national politics, Toronto is seemingly easy to revile. The Toronto Georegion is, on the one hand, one of many important, unique, and special places within Ontario. On the other hand,...

  9. 5 The Carolinian Canada Georegion: Farmland, Forests, and Freeways in Conflict
    (pp. 102-126)

    The Carolinian Georegion in southwestern Ontario is the heartland of Canada in more ways than one. It is the urban-industrial heartland, with dynamic cities, manufacturing, and important transportation facilities; it is the agricultural heartland, with a greater diversity of crops than any other region in Canada owing to its relatively warm climate; and it is the ecological heartland, with more rare and endangered species than any other region in the country. The long settlement history of this region has led steadily to the growth of an urban-industrial economy centred in Toronto but extending increasingly southwest across the Carolinian region; urban-industrial...

  10. 6 The Huron Georegion: Rurality in an Urbanizing Province
    (pp. 127-150)

    While Ontario is expected to grow by nearly four million people over the next thirty years, the Huron Georegion, which includes most or all of Bruce, Huron, and Perth Counties and parts of neighbouring counties, will struggle to maintain its existing population. This geo region is located to the immediate east of Lake Huron and comprises one of the most important agricultural regions in Canada. By virtue of its rurality, it will require policies (federal, provincial, and local) that respect the different needs and aspirations of rural Ontario relative to the rapidly urbanizing regions of the province. Special issues, such...

  11. 7 Peterborough: A Georegion in Transition?
    (pp. 151-168)

    The idea of the region is foundational to the practice of geography. The division of space into regions has a long history within the discipline of geography, and the properties of regions, their core areas, and their boundaries have long been the subject of intense debate (Gregory 1978; Massey 1984; Gilbert 1988; Pudup 1988; Thrift 1990a,b; MacLeod and Jones 2001; Paasi 2002). Regions in their traditional interpretation by geographers could be defined as parts of the earth’s surface that have discernibly distinctive climatic, landform, vegetation, land use, demographic, and other characteristics that differentiate them from other regions (Bone 2000). Yet...

  12. 8 Georgian Bay, Muskoka, and Haliburton: More Than Cottage Country?
    (pp. 169-200)

    The mere mention of “cottage country” anywhere in Canada almost inevitably conjures up images of Ontario’s forested lakelands. This chapter explores the georegion stretching from Georgian Bay eastward to Haliburton and the Algonquin Highlands and from the French River southward to the Trent-Severn waterway and the Oak Ridges Moraine. Although permanently if sparsely settled since the early nineteenth century, it is widely considered a summer leisure destination, and indeed it is now dominated by second homes numbering in the tens of thousands. Residents of major cities in the lower Great Lakes basin have extended their everyday life-spaces to include its...

  13. 9 The Kingston Georegion: Going “Glocal” In a Globalizing World
    (pp. 201-226)

    Toronto and its “Golden Horseshoe” megalopolis is Ontario’s principal economic engine. However, there is considerable concern over the environmental, social, and economic impacts of its quintessential gigantism and exponentially sprawling land use. Perhaps more damaging than the growing material presence is the expansion of an associated universalizing mind-set and way of life. Taken together, they threaten the essential character and sense of place exhibited by Ontario’s several regions and challenge their difference and uniqueness. Indeed, what is being assaulted is the diverse tapestry of cultural landscapes and living regions that have been produced by distinctive patterns of land use, ways...

  14. 10 The Ottawa Valley Georegion
    (pp. 227-244)

    Here we explore one of Ontario’s, and Canada’s, most diverse georegions – the Ottawa Valley. The chapter provides basic facts and figures on the Valley, then offers some of the nuances and subtleties that characterize life in this georegion. The Ottawa Valley is the city of Ottawa and the National Capital, certainly, and the Ottawa River watershed, but it is so much more. The Valley plays a highly symbolic role in our nation as the point of intersection between Canada’s two founding European cultures and their expression in the political constructs of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

    We seek to...

  15. 11 Learning from the Past, Assessing the Future: A Geo-historical Overview of Northeastern Ontario
    (pp. 245-276)

    The development of Northeastern Ontario is often associated with extractive activities such as forestry and mining. Various other activities include railroad and hydroelectric initiatives, highway and other transportation projects, and agricultural settlements. Tourism and recreational developments have a rich history in this region, yet relatively little research has focused on these activities. Although various researchers have examined the role of First Nations and Euro-Canadian settlement in Northeastern Ontario, there is a limited understanding of the importance of this history in the new economy. The goal of this chapter is to examine how various economic ebbs and flows have affected Northeastern...

  16. 12 Northwestern Ontario and the Lakehead Georegion: A Region Apart?
    (pp. 277-308)

    The vast Northwestern Ontario Georegion is characterized by key geographical features – the boreal forest, mineral deposits, abundant wildlife, and numerous lakes and rivers – as well as by a small human population, which is spread across many small communities and one large one. The region consists of just over half a million square kilometres and is bounded by an Arctic shoreline to the north, Lake Superior and the international boundary to the south, and Manitoba to the west. To the east is Northeastern Ontario, with some cultural and geographical similarities to the northwest, yet with its own distinct development through the...

  17. 13 The Intersection of Landscape, Legislation, and Local Perceptions in Constructing the Niagara Escarpment as a Distinct Georegion
    (pp. 309-335)

    The Niagara Escarpment is unique among Ontario’s georegions as the focus of Canada’s first large-scale conservation plan. Its distinctive landscapes are the result of an ancient geological formation most recognized as a prominent ridge and known for its many rare species of flora and fauna. Aboriginal people were present eleven thousand years ago with diverse cultures when Euro-American settlers arrived in the late eighteenth century. Although distinct settlement and land use patterns are evident on the Escarpment, they are variations on larger regional patterns and continue to be influenced by the pressures of growth around the so-called Golden Horseshoe. These...

  18. 14 The Changing Natural Heritage of Ontario in Broad Perspective
    (pp. 336-358)

    In this chapter I discuss the challenges Ontario faces with the fragmentation of habitats from urban and rural development. Rural development has had a steady impact in Ontario, at least through the World War Two and postwar eras, when mechanization and chemical management became more common, particularly in agriculture and forestry. The response was similar in the United States and Western Europe, where there were demands for much greater conservation of the natural heritage by such means as parks and protected areas. These demands led to debates over the roles of parks and protected areas, including the Temagami controversies, the...

  19. 15 Changing Cultural Landscapes of Ontario
    (pp. 359-387)

    In order to grapple with the idea of change in Ontario’s cultural landscape and how such changes unfold, we first have to be clear about what we mean by “cultural landscape” as well as a number of other key terms such as environment, healthy communities, ecology, and sustainability.

    Most of the preceding chapters have explored the georegions of Ontario seeking a better understanding of the appropriate ideological basis for planning. If we define planning as the management of change, then the first chapters were essential in giving us a sense of the historical development of the province. The chapter immediately...

  20. 16 Retrospect and Prospect
    (pp. 388-432)

    The original intention of this concluding chapter of Beyond the Global City was to offer an overview of the findings, along with some general suggestions or recommendations for the future. This approach followed from the book’s goal of providing a fuller understanding of the complexity of Ontario and its various geo regions as a basis for improved planning.Beyond the Global Citywas seen as an antidote to the Toronto-centred flat-earth model of the province. This model ensued from the commitment of the provincial government and other leaders to neo-liberalism, globalization, and rapid economic growth, notably, during the last three...

  21. Contributors
    (pp. 433-438)
  22. Index
    (pp. 439-452)