Areas of interest

  • Culture and history
  • Urban issues
  • Historical geography of urban redevelopment in Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto
  • Private modernist apartments in Toronto, 1950-1970
  • Industrial and social geography of the suburbs, 1850-1950
  • Segregation in the Indian colonial city, 1880-1920


Main Bio

My work focuses on the historical geographies of urban spaces. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and completed my M.A. and Ph.D. on nineteenth and twentieth-century Montreal at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Sherry Olson. My teaching focuses on urban and historical questions with an emphasis on Canada and the United States. Among other things I have been the editor of the "Urban Historical Review" and the North American editor of "Urban History," and have served on the manuscript review committee of the University of Toronto Press. My research has two strands. The first focuses on the historical geographies of metropolitan economic processes in the United States and Canada between 1850 and 1970. My studies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century industry, factory districts, and class-based neighbourhoods have been informed by work taken from economic and urban geography (flexible production, labor market formation, ethnic and gender divisions of labor, scales of analysis, and landscape); business and urban history (production strategies, economic networks, historical narratives), and historical materialism (the tensions between the contingencies off the historical geographies of people, forms and institutions in urban places and the broader theories of political economy). The second looks at the dynamics that produced a huge wave of private apartment construction in Toronto between 1950 and 1970. As in other large, North American cities, Toronto's housing market. and social geographies were transformed after World War II as areas of low-rise, single-family homes were torn down and replaced with comprehensively planned superblocks of modernist apartments that continue to dominate large swathes of the city. Working with Professor Paul Hess, the purpose of this research is to show how Toronto was transformed from a "city of homes" to a "city of apartments."