Special Places: The Changing Ecosystems of the Toronto Region


342 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0735-0
DDC 508.713'541





Edited by Betty I. Roots
Reviewed by J.H. Galloway

J.H. Galloway is a professor of geography at the University of Toronto.


In 1913, the Royal Canadian Institute, Canada’s “oldest active
scientific society,” published The Natural History of the Toronto
Region, Ontario, Canada, edited by Joseph H. Faull. To celebrate its
150th anniversary, the Institute decided to sponsor a second volume that
would take up the themes of the earlier one, as well as look at the
changes that have taken place in the natural history of the Toronto
region since 1913.

The book, which is intended for a nonspecialist yet educated
readership, consists of 30 rather brief chapters by 39 specialists.
Heritage, preservation, and restoration are recurring themes. There are
chapters on the region’s physical setting, climate, watersheds,
history, ecosystems, flora and fauna, and special places, such as the
Scarborough Bluffs and the savannahs of High Park. The text includes
scientific language when necessary (but no jargon) and is interspersed
with excellent maps and diagrams, as well as beautiful photographs.
Individuals who have played a prominent role in the study of the
region—such as Richard Saunders, the ornithologist, and Donald Putnam,
the geographer—are commemorated in sidebars.

This birthday gift that the Institute has seen fit to give itself is a
splendid volume that will be consulted by home and institutional users
for many years to come. All branches of public libraries in and around
Toronto, as well as all school libraries, should obtain a copy.


“Special Places: The Changing Ecosystems of the Toronto Region,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/2326.