The Italians Who Built Toronto

Italian Workers and Contractors in the City's Housebuilding Industry, 1950-1980

The Italians Who Built Toronto

After World War II, hundreds of thousands of Italians emigrated to Toronto. This book describes their labour, business, social and cultural history as they settled in their new home. It addresses fundamental issues that impacted both them and the city, including ethnic economic niching, unionization, urban proletarianization and migrants' entrepreneurship.<BR> In addressing these issues the book focuses on the role played by a specific economic sector in enabling immigrants to find their place in their new host society. More specifically, this study looks at the residential sector of the construction industry that, between the 1950s and the 1970s, represented a typical economic ethnic niche for newly arrived Italians. In fact, tens of thousands of Italian men found work in this sector as labourers, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers and cement finishers, while hundreds of others became contractors, subcontractors or small employers in the same industry. This book is about these real people. It gives voice to a community formed both by entrepreneurial subcontractors who created companies out of nothing and a large group of exploited workers who fought successfully for their rights. In this book you will find stories of inventiveness and hope as well as of oppression and despair. The purpose is to offer an original approach to issues arising from the economic and social history of twentieth-century mass migrations.

Migrant Housing

Architecture, Dwelling, Migration

Migrant Housing

Migrant Housing, the latest book by author Mirjana Lozanovska, examines the house as the architectural construct in the processes of migration. Housing is pivotal to any migration story, with studies showing that migrant participation in the adaptation or building of houses provides symbolic materiality of belonging and the platform for agency and productivity in the broader context of the immigrant city. Migration also disrupts the cohesion of everyday dwelling and homeland integral to housing, and the book examines this displacement of dwelling and its effect on migrant housing. This timely volume investigates the poetic and political resonance between migration and architecture, challenging the idea of the ‘house’ as a singular theoretical construct. Divided into three parts, Histories and theories of post-war migrant housing, House/home and Mapping migrant spaces of home, it draws on data studies from Australia and Macedonia, with literature from Canada, Sweden and Germany, to uncover the effects of unprivileged post-war migration in the late twentieth century on the house as architectural and normative model, and from this perspective negotiates the disciplinary boundaries of architecture.

Canada

Modern Architectures in History

Canada

Canada is a country of massive size, of diverse geographical features and an equally diverse population—all features that are magnificently reflected in its architecture. In this book, Rhodri Windsor Liscombe and Michelangelo Sabatino offer a richly informative history of Canadian architecture that celebrates and explores the country’s many contributions to the spread of architectural modernity in the Americas. A distinct Canadian design attitude coalesced during the twentieth century, one informed by a liberal, hybrid, and pragmatic mindset intent less upon the dogma of architectural language and more on thinking about the formation of inclusive spaces and places. Taking a fresh perspective on design production, they map the unfolding of architectural modernity across the country, from the completion of the transcontinental railway in the late 1880s through to the present. Along the way they discuss architecture within the broader contexts of political, industrial, and sociocultural evolution; the urban-suburban expansion; and new building technologies. Examining the works of architects and firms such as ARCOP, Eric Arthur, Ernest Cormier, Brigitte Shim, and Howard Sutcliffe, this book brings Canadian architecture chronologically and thematically to life.

The Italian Emigration of Modern Times

Relations between Italy and the United States concerning Emigration Policy, Diplomacy and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment, 1870-1927

The Italian Emigration of Modern Times

The Italian Emigration of Modern Times examines diplomatic issues that arose between Italy and the United States over a series of lynchings of Italian immigrant labourers before World War I. The work explores a significant epoch in Italian economic and diplomatic history which became intertwined with American ethnic and race relations issues. On one level, the book emphasises the pragmatism and restraint which characterized Italy’s official reactions to these repeated episodes of murder of its nationals. On another level, it shows that the diplomatic crises which swirled around the lynching of Italians pushed onto the American political scene the question of whether there should be a federal anti-lynching law. Naturally, the lynching of Italian nationals in the US produced wide public outrage in Italy. Italian domestic outcries presented the Italian government with a serious dilemma. Emigrant savings and financial transfers to family members remaining in Italy were an important economic asset. Italian diplomats launched investigations and protested vigorously, but ended up accepting federal financial compensation for the victims’ families. The consistent pragmatism and restraint of the Italian government through these episodes of violence is the unifying theme of the entire work.

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Italian Canadian Internment in the Second World War

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Italian Canadian Internment in the Second World War

Italians came to Canada to seek a better life. From the 1870s to the 1920s they arrived in large numbers and found work mainly in mining, railway building, forestry, construction, and farming. As time passed, many used their skills to set up successful small businesses, often in Little Italy districts in cities like Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, and Winnipeg. Many struggled with the language and culture in Canada, but their children became part of the Canadian mix. When Canada declared war on Italy on June 10, 1940, the government used the War Measures Act to label all Italian citizens over the age of eighteen as enemy aliens. Those who had received Canadian citizenship after 1922 were also deemed enemy aliens. Immediately, the RCMP began making arrests. Men, young and old, and a few women were taken from their homes, offices, or social clubs without warning. In all, about 700 were imprisoned in internment camps, mainly in Ontario and New Brunswick. The impact of this internment was felt immediately by families who lost husbands and fathers, but the effects would live on for decades. Eventually, pressure from the Italian Canadian community led Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to issue an apology for the internment and to admit that it was wrong. Using historical photographs, paintings, documents, and first-person narratives, this book offers a full account of this little-known episode in Canadian history.

How the Italians Created Canada

From Giovanni Caboto to the Cultural Renaissance

How the Italians Created Canada

From the moment explorer Giovanni Caboto stepped onto Canadian soil, Italians have left their footprints on Canadian history. In the 1700s, Italians including Alphonse and Henri de Tonti came to New France to trade with the Natives and settle the vast land. In the 1800s, Italian workers built the foundation for railways and highways into Canada's northern forests. Today, Little Italy is a part of every major Canadian city. The Italian-Canadian vote is even credited with helping keep Canada together in Québec's sovereignty referendum.

Sweethearts

How the Mafia, Jewish developers, and Italian workers built high-rise Toronto

Sweethearts

Toronto was Boomtown in the 1960s. The city was growing quickly, gobbling up farmland for suburbs, pushing through expressways, knocking down neighbourhoods to make way for high-rise apartments. With the rapidly growing population, there was huge demand for new housing. Toronto needed apartments, lots of them. It was a perfect market for a new kind of housing high-rise apartments, replacing older low-density houses and sitting alongside the expressways in the suburbs. Housing was a great business for making lots of money, quickly. Young entrepreneurs, many of them Jewish, seized the opportunities. But when they went looking for financing, their projects didnt fit the rules and regulations of the banks and the insurance companies. So they turned to other sources of funds. Like John Pullman, who came to Toronto with money to lend that belonged to mob genius Meyer Lansky and his associates. Source of the cash: the mobs profitable gambling operations in the U.S and the Caribbean. Building high-rise apartments takes lots of construction workers. Toronto attracted thousands of immigrants, many from Italy, ready and willing to work. Unscrupulous subcontractors found it easy to exploit labourers who spoke little English. The men were ripe for unions, and union leaders saw the opportunity. But residential construction unions in Toronto had close Mob ties. Corrupt officials could extract money from the developers as well as their members. Extortionists, hit men, mysterious fires, accidents, wildcat strikes it was a wild scene. Writer Catherine Wismer follows all these threads in her fascinating account of this colourful and little-known episode in Torontos colourful history.

Hidden heroes

evidence that God is at work

Hidden heroes