Toronto's Poor reveals the long and too often forgotten history of poor people?s resistance. It details how the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute have struggled to survive and secure food and shelter in the wake of the many panics, downturns, recessions, and depressions that punctuate the years from the 1830s to the present.
Written by a working-class historian and a poor people's activist, this is a rebellious book that links past and present in an almost two-hundred year story of struggle and resistance. It is about men, women, and children relegated to lives of desperation by an uncaring system, and how they have refused to be defeated. In that refusal, and in winning better conditions for themselves, Toronto's poor create the possibility of a new kind of society, one ordered not by acquisition and individual advance, but by appreciations of collective rights and responsibilities.
Reviews and Endorsements:
Toronto’s Poor should become the starting point for teaching and writing about the history of anti-poverty mobilization in Canada for years to come.
— James Struthers, Professor Emeritus, Trent University
This book is important is because the authors have a clear and illuminating understanding that the hardship and humiliations imposed on the poor meshes with the deteriorating life circumstances of the mass of working people.
— Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America
About the Authors:
Bryan D. Palmer was the Trent University Canada Research Chair (2001-2015), and currently chairs the Department of Canadian Studies.
Gaétan Héroux is a long time anti-poverty activist with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
Frances Fox Piven is on the faculty of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author, most recently, of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America.