Instructor: Professor Bruce Elliott

Introduction to urban growth and development in Canada. The historical basis of the urban pattern and its influence in Canada and the internal structure and institutions of Canadian cities. Ottawa is used as a case study. (Field c)

Lectures three hours a week.  Students in other disciplines (for example Architecture, HTA, and Heritage Conservation) are welcome.

The focus of the course is on the growth of cities: urban and suburban form, function, and evolution, the development and planning processes, the form and meaning of the built environment, and city neighbourhoods.  Our emphasis will be on Ottawa as a case study, but comparative material (e.g. Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Calgary, international contexts, and the ever-present American example) will be introduced in the lectures and readings.  To contextualize the experience of the greater Ottawa area we will read select articles and chapters of some major works on North American urban and suburban development, and explore some controversial viewpoints.

The readings inevitably will deal with only certain aspects of the lecture content for any given week.  Students are cautioned that the lectures provide essential background and context for their research papers, as well as forming much of the basis for the midterm examination.  Attendance in class is therefore important.

Each week will include both lectures and workshop sessions on approaches to the historical study of neighbourhoods, the questions you can ask, the sources that are available, and the methods you can apply to analyze them.  Each student will select a neighbourhood and prepare a research paper on an aspect of neighbourhood development or evolution using original sources (such as maps, photos, directories, census, tax assessment rolls, land registration records, newspapers, community newsletters, etc.) – all of which will be explained in class.

Students will emerge with marketable skills in applied or public history, including the ability to conduct neighbourhood research and analysis, and to trace the history of heritage buildings.

Students will meet privately with the instructor throughout the term to discuss selection of research projects and their progress in pursuit of them.

Students will be evaluated on a mid-term in-class exam, oral presentation, research essay, and attendance and participation (including keeping appointments with the instructor).