Caught in the Eye of the Storm

Urban Revitalization in Toronto’s Lawrence Heights

by Jon Careless  

A historical account of a public housing community struggling and persevering in the face of stigmatization, oppression and urban revitalization.

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Preorder ships October 3

EPUB available October 3

PDF available October 3

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  • Forthcoming October 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636887
  • 192 pages
  • $28.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB Forthcoming October 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773637105
  • $27.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF Forthcoming October 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773637099
  • $27.99
  • For sale worldwide

About the book

This book is a case-study analysis of the public housing district of Lawrence Heights in North York, Toronto, a neighbourhood undergoing the largest revitalization in Canada. The book presents a chronological narrative of change and upheaval in Lawrence Heights, beginning with its origins after World War Two as a modernist style “city on a hill” that was intended to help remedy Toronto’s affordable housing shortage and simultaneously transform its systemically disadvantaged tenant base into idealized members of the middle class. As the community became progressively more racialized and oppressed in the late twentieth century, the reputation of Lawrence Heights and its occupants became steadily more denigrated by the forces of stigmatization, governmental neglect and police brutality. In this milieu, local political officials and private developer partners have striven to tear Lawrence Heights down and rebuild it into a socially mixed neighbourhood. This plan threatens the existing social fabric of a proud and politically active community. 

Capitalism & Alternatives Class Inequality Political Economy Public Policy Race & Anti-Racism Sociology Urban Studies


Jon Careless

Jon Careless is a researcher of urban issues, including homelessness and urban revitalization, with a primary focus on the city of Toronto, where he lives. He has a PhD in political science from York University and works as a senior policy advisor for Ontario Public Service. 


  • Introduction
  • Origins of Lawrence Heights
  • Race, Oppression and Struggle
  • Neoliberalism and Revitalization in Lawrence Heights
  • A Community Wrestles with Change


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