There is probably no other western metropolis of the size and stature of Toronto that has less collective interest in its heritage and, until recently, less admiration for the finest architecture of any vintage.
We are a city of immigrants, of course, but so are New York, Chicago and London, all of which venerate their pasts.
Toronto almost deliberately turns its back on all that has gone before. Unlike other great cities, we still have no museum dedicated to our own civic history, nothing to inform us fully of the legacy we inherit.
Instead, we’re prone to a kind of self-flagellation, in which our own past achievements are deemed slight, and current efforts thought to be inherently inferior to anything elsewhere. It’s an equation of self-defeat.
“We live in what surely is the greatest civil society on the planet and we’re building one of the least attractive, least efficient modern cities in the world,” says (developer) Paul Oberman.