Publication Year


ISBN: 9781459409408-09

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A Lonely Campaign against Sprawl

From: How We Changed Toronto


1970s. I saw my role as tackling controversial issues and providing leadership for change, even if common wisdom tended in a different direction, and that was probably most evident in the work I did around low-density suburban development. I pioneered arguments that today seem self-evident, pulling together the evidence to support my opinions against low-density suburbs. But as this chapter recounts, I was unable to find a support base that would give gravitas to these arguments, and the powerful interest of the land development industry never felt threatened by my actions.


John Sewell

A lifelong Torontonian, JOHN SEWELL grew up in the Beach neighbourhood and graduated from the University of Toronto Law School. After his career in city politics, he chaired an Ontario Royal Commission on land use policies, taught at Osgoode Hall Law School, worked as a columnist for The Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine, and wrote books on city planning and police. He is a member of the Order of Canada.