Book Cover

In this ambitious new geographical memoir, residents
of a historic Toronto district share personal recollections of
their defiance in the face of destruction and the special moments
of daily life that have made their community unique and lasting.
Words Indeed Publishing proudly announces Nancy Williams
and Marie Scott-Baron, editors,


Recollections Stone

This lavishly illustrated and lively volume begins with semi-feudal
land grants in the 1790s and culminates in the creation of the
Robarts Library and Rochdale College and the sudden
and dramatic death of the would-be Spadina Expressway.

Part history and part memoir, Recollections of a Neighbourhood
gives the reader a sense of what and who made this
neighbourhood so special. Academics, writers, activists,
artists, neighbours, working together to build and preserve
a Toronto of which they, and we, could be proud.

With scores of photographs, many by designer Anne Vellone,
specially commissioned maps from Mariange Beaudry of the
University of Toronto Cartography Office, and reminiscences
by residents spanning over 60 years – ‘from UTS to Stop Spadina’
Recollections reveals the history and the texture of life
in a lively, close-knit, somewhat bohemian Victorian
neighbourhood in central Toronto.


‘We are the community that almost wasn't’...

Susan Worts, neighbour

If you have a story about the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood
you would like to share we'd love to hear from you.

Please contact us at

No. 43 Sussex Avenue

No. 43 Sussex Avenue


‘In the late 60s and early 70s, this small but unforgettable neighbourhood
was “my Toronto”. How wonderful, forty years later, to find its past
revived and its particular magic celebrated in this lively word-portrait.
And best of all, it’s still there!’

Laurie Dennett, author of A Hug for the Apostle, about the Camino

‘Recollections of a Neighbourhood is a touching memoir of a much loved
Toronto neighbourhood. Through a collection of personal stories,
the book urges us to steward our architectural and cultural heritage.
This is a beautiful book to be treasured.’

Pat Hanson, partner, gh3 architects + landscape architects

‘A thoughtful and thought-provoking book. A beautiful combination
of words and images, that offers its readers a historical tour
of a wonderful neighbourhood. Readers who lived or worked in the area
are treated to a delightful tour down memory lane, in good times
as well as hard. The story of Huron-Sussex is told by a plurality
of voices speaking chorally and with great affection, though each
presents the neighbourhood from a unique perspective.’

Domenico Pietropaolo, principal St. Michael’s College,
University of Toronto

‘This is a beautiful and useful book. Edited by the late Nancy Williams
and Marie Scott-Baron, elegantly designed & composed by Anne Vellone,
along with her original photography—Recollections of a Neighbourhood
is an important contribution to Toronto’s history, and something
the city’s neighbourhoods need more of.’

Brian Fawcett, author of Human Happiness
No. 37 Sussex Avenue

Long time resident John Board at No. 37 Sussex Avenue


Sparrows sniffed the air, and hung
Like humming-birds with bubble gum
Doing pushups in the sun
The day we stopped Spadina.

The people stopped to touch the air
And breathe the green renewal there
As though the headline was a prayer
The day we stopped Spadina.

And parking lots came out to play
Arrayed in green instead of grey
And I said, Why not stay that way?
The day we stopped Spadina.

I watched a woman’s face which glowed
I saw computer cards explode
And I heard grass grow on Walmer Road
The day we stopped Spadina.

And Bishop Strachan from underground
Was half converted by the sound
Of pleasure in Toronto town
The one and only day we stopped Spadina.

(c) Dennis Lee, 1974 with permission of the author