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The Toronto Islands, An Illustrated History
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"...the irrepressible aliveness and weird wisdom of the father-son series should win it a lasting place in the literature of our day." -Robyn Sarah, The Globe & Mail, Canada.
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Toronto Island

 In 1983, Dreadnaught published "The Toronto Islands" (an Illustrated History)*, which I wrote the year before with the help of a Canada Council Explorations grant. Book a success and proved to be a best-seller, measured by the number of books sold at the time. Lots of radio and TV appearances and The Toronto Star generously devoted a couple double-page weekend features to the book. (a "double-truck" newspaper people called it). Lived on the Islands 1979 - 1985 before moving back to the U.S. to teach at Mt. Madonna School in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Odd coming across "The Toronto Islands" this morning... moving books around, checking out the "library," such as it is. "The Toronto Islands" book filled with photos by Swiss photographer Ursula Heller and my text, including interviews with Islanders, some of whom lived there for 80 years. Interviewed Percy Emslie, (Island milkman from 1949 to 1982), architect Jerry Englar, Dr. Gary Gray, probably one of the few doctors in North America to make house calls, "medical bag strapped to his back, riding a three-speed bicycle, and 'Daddy Frank' Staneland who was  born in 1889 by Trinity Square in Toronto and lived 81 years at Number One Fourth Street on Ward's Island, when the place was still a tent city. And others...

Born and raised in Chicago, living on The Toronto Islands (population 800 - 900 people in the mid-1980s) was my first experience of a "community," especially since cars were not allowed and we all either walked or rode bicycles. As a friend observed, driving alienates you from your neighbors, cycling unites...

I miss the place, "home" for five or so years, yet never entirely felt I fit in... loved  it, loved what it represented, and feel this odd chill browsing through The Toronto Islands book after all these years. 

 *Sward, Robert (1983). The Toronto Islands. Toronto, Ontario. ISBN 0919567223.

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The Toronto Islands - copies wanted

Book out of print. Anyone with copies to sell? How much?